For a couple of years we’d been fantasy house buying in France. It started when a friend of ours, Chris, found a website listing property for sale in France, this site provided hours of amusement for Chris and me. We’d meet our friends at the Bull & Butcher pub in Akeley, with a print out of whatever outrageous chateaux we’d found that week and spend the evenings daydreaming about what the six of us would buy, living an idyllic life as some sort of middle-aged commune.
The addiction then moved onto Living France magazine, and every month we’d go through the property pages with a fine toothcomb. We’d decided, years ago, that we wanted to end up in France, and the plan was to try and realise this by the time John was 50 – the target date was 2012.
John had a Eurostar booking that he hadn’t been able to take the year previously and we needed to use it before it expired. Work was pretty busy (and as we work together time off was quite rare) but we needed to use the ticket, so we booked Saturday to Thursday as holiday, and decided that we’d take our MK2 Jaguar for a really decent run through France down into the Dordogne. And just for the fun of it, we arranged to see 5 properties located in the Charente and Deux Sevres, purely to give us a feel for what you could get for your money. Read more