I know it’s a bit of a passé but I could say the it was a house that chose us. Not the other way around.
You see, after what had felt like a lifetime of weeding through adverts in leboncoin, shaking hands with far too many greasy estate agents and rage-browsing pre banking crash-styled expat websites with names like Pleasant Meadows wanting us to BUY IN FRANCE WHERE YOU CAN STILL AFFORD TO LIVE LIKE IT’S THE SPRING OF 2007, we got to view what was to become our home.
Shuffling our feet through the dark, musky corridors of this old house, leaving behind a trail of nervous footsteps on the floor covered in dust and dead spiders, we, me and my husband to be, we both thought – “FUCK ME this is it“. The proprietor, a pleasant man who looked like he just finished teaching chemical bonds to a class full of snotty-nosed teenagers, who later revealed himself to be, in fact, a chemistry teacher, must have had a good eye for suckers as we moved in last Sunday.
We had discovered regional France is treasure chest of large, derelict housing stock available to buy with next to nothing – if you stay clear of.. well.. the services, motorways, the TGV… and you have a fondness of DIY and hasty decisions. And that’s exactly what we did.
Where I probably should have spent my energy growing up perfecting anything from valuable professional skills to a natural yet out-of-this-world selfie-pout, I dreamt of old houses to do up, 60’s cookware to save from the oblivion and retro clothes that were oh so vintage but not in a way that was cool. In this light, our house, Le Numéro 21, is perfect. Even more un-usually, I have the luxury of getting hitched to somebody who happens to share my passion of preservation of historic homes, as boy.. this one is going to take a bit of work before everyone else sees our diamond in the rough.
And by rough, I mean ROUGH AF.
Intimidated? I certainly am. As a old house novice armed with intermediate decorating skills at best and an appetite for learning about the history of this area and the house I inhabit, this is bound not to be your average renovation blog, but hopefully, a journey worth following.