I arrived in La Creuse during mid October to start my search for a new home. Fortunately, my old friend, Bob, has a property near Gouzon and kindly allowed me to stay with him until I found a place of my own: the condition being that I would help with the renovation work on his house and adjoining buildings. This was a good deal for me as the costs to be incurred in the sale of the house in Spain and the purchase of a house in France would, I knew, be extortionate.
I worked hard during October, November and early December: mixing cement and render, carrying stones and rocks, clearing and cleaning, alongside Bob and Dom. It was hard work but I enjoyed the challenge and was even awarded the title of 'Honorary Man' by Dom, the main artisan of the project! However, as a woman, I was still expected to make the numerous cups of tea. Hmmm!
The weather was clement with sunshine every day: the autumn colours were spectacular; every shade and hue of yellow, red, orange and brown with the leaves clinging on due to the lack of wind and rain. I went down the road towards Chambon-sur-Voueize to take photos of the exceptionally beautiful backdrop. I had no regrets about leaving the arid Spanish landscape.However, I had learned a valuable, if expensive, lesson, by living in a remote part of Spain: never to buy a place in the middle of nowhere again! I was determined that I would look for a property in or on the edge of a town within walking distance of shops and facilities. I started my search online: I even viewed some country houses in the verdant, forest-filled Haute-Vienne and, although the region is stunningly beautiful, it furthered my resolve to move to a town.
Eventually, on greenacres.com I saw what I was looking for: a large, 17th century, merchant's house on four floors, overlooking the river and Mediaeval quarter in Aubusson. I arranged a viewing straight away. Would I be disappointed?
An offer had been made on my house in Almeria: less than I had hoped for but I accepted it so I was in a position to make an offer, I hoped.