Tuesday, February 24, 2009

At Last!

TnOs house

Yes, it is finished. Well, enough to move into. No, no, it's not our house, but I'll explain.

It all started with a casual coffee conversation. " Why don't you use ours?" Those words, or words to that effect, were spoken by Mrs Swenglish nearly two years ago. Ours what? House, was what she referred to.

We were talking to some friends of ours in France, an English couple, and they were selling their big house to build something smaller, more easily maintained. They had not organised where to live in the meantime yet, so we offered them to live in ours while they were building. We don't spend many weeks there in a year, especially since we go to Sweden quite often these days for family reasons. They planned on building a wooden house, which comes in a kit almost, but that came to nothing, so they opted for a more traditionally modern house, French style. Building time was estimated to about six months.

They hired an English builder to oversee everything and to be the one to co-ordinate with French specialists, like plumber and electrician. Our friends speak only a little French, and did probably not feel confident enough to take on a French builder. Today I believe they regret that decision. They have been through all sorts of trouble with this builder, and things dragged on and on and on. In the end they sacked him and finished some of the remaining work themselves. They are very hands-on and not afraid of putting the hours in, as well as ache and pain and worry. You see, they are in their early seventies and not much for a lie-in. They have achieved a lot in their lives through hard work.

A few times during the building process we have shared our house with them when we have been there. They had stored many of their belongings with other friends, in their barns and garages, and also our house was full to the brim with their furniture as well as ours. We even had guests in the summer for a few days. No major problems. Amazing, isn't it?

But when we got to our beloved house in Normandy last week, they had eventually managed to move into their new house, basically just the phone and a few pots and pans were left. The six months had in the end turned into 17 months! Yes, nearly a year and a half. Now you will understand better how the title of this post should be spoken, with a great sigh of relief and a smile.

So in the last week we have enjoyed having our house back, doing a lot of nothing and sitting in front of the wood-burning stove. Home sweet home, at last!

wood-burning stove

6 comments:

LadyFi said...

Ah bliss! Your own house - and with only you in it. What wonderful friends you are!

As for stafettisdagsbullsloppet .. an ingenious idea! Must have been a fun relay race.

swenglishexpat said...

LadyFi - That's what friends are for... as the song goes.
As for the kids, they all lined up afterwards to get their own buns, properly made ones!

oreneta said...

Well, you certainly are very generous souls anyway....and it must be nice to get the place back to yourselves.

Veronica said...

I can relate ... after Cyclone Tracy we shared a house with another couple for about six months, and as much as we enjoyed it and got on well, it was nice to have our own space again eventually.

swenglishexpat said...

Oreneta - Yes, our generosity had to be stretched further than we could imagine!

Veronica - Don't know if I could cope with six months, but then again, what to do?

Anonymous said...

So brother, when will you invite me to France. I'm the only one that haven't been there yet....??? Joking..... Love, your little sister