Friday, 18 September 2015

Renovation project - Renovations required for British TV series

Renovation project - Renovations required for British TV series

As you all Know, we bought our derelict house in Brittany in 2012 and by 2014 we were a successful B&B.

I have been contacted by a TV company that has just started production on a new series for a British Terrestrial Channel.

They are looking for people across Europe who have just started or are about to start or who are even near the end of a similar project to Jenny and John (renovation of a derelict house in Brittany, France):

Our project would have been perfect but, bad timing for us, perfect timing if this is you!

This is the ideal opportunity to showcase your work and think of all the free advertising for your B&B/hotel

The company are looking for:

Renovation work on what will become future accommodation. This could range from boutique hotels and guest houses to larger, more ambitious projects, and the aim is to follow the renovation right up to the ‘hotel’ opening.

The company would love to hear from anyone at any stage of their project, whether you have just got the keys or even if you think you are only weeks away from opening.

Buildings don’t have to be complete renovation jobs either – change of use is always good, or style overhaul.

If you think you fit the bill, or would just like to chat to the company send me an e-mail at the address below and I will forward your details.

or click on the about us page for more contact details

Please don't send all your info just name and a very brief outline and a contact e-mail address

Good luck everybody and I look forward to seeing you on the TV!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Renovation project - Bordeaux, France

Renovation project - Bordeaux, France

We arrive at our first stop in Bordeaux later than planned, we had hoped to get here in the mid afternoon but we arrived at 7pm instead, this means we do not get as long to look around as we had hoped.

We are booked in to a Formula 1 hotel, this is the most budget hotel you can get and cost 39 Euros for the night, which in Bordeaux is fantastic value, we are only two and a half kilometres out of the city centre.

As we drive into the city we are amazed at just how beautiful it is, we have driven past many times and always planned to stop at some point, I had visited once before but it was 29 years ago and I was hitch-hiking through, so have few memories other than of a large statue.

But we found it!
Bordeaux, FranceBordeaux, France

Bordeaux, FranceBordeaux, France

As we drive along we notice the trams, they are everywhere and I would definitely recommend using these instead of the car.

Bordeaux, France

The roads are fantastic with well kept houses and shops, all are just as you imagine a beautiful French city, with balconies and windows overlooking the streets.

Bordeaux, FranceBordeaux, France

Bordeaux, FranceBordeaux, France

Bordeaux, FranceBordeaux, France

Bordeaux, FranceBordeaux, France

We drive back to the river and pass a cruise ship that is moored and head for a car park, even these are beautiful with lines of trees to keep the cars in the shade.

Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

We head to a large open park with stunning statues and fountains, unfortunately we do not have the camera with us and have to make do with our phone cameras and these do not do Bordeaux justice.
Bordeaux, France

We wander along the streets and come across a square with restaurants, the sun is still shining and we decide to eat here, the food is fantastic and John says it is the best steak he has ever eaten, I have escargot and they are so nice (I just have to erase from my mind what I am actually eating)

Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, FranceBordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

It is so sad that we do not get more than a few hours in Bordeaux and we have decided that without a doubt we will be coming back for a long weekend, there is so much to see and do, as we walk back to the car we go to look at the moored liner and realise all along the grass verges there are people having picnics, as nice as the restaurant was, I wish we had brought a picnic blanket and some wine and could just lounge on here.

Bordeaux, FranceBordeaux, France

Bordeaux really is the city for any budget.

From high end hotels and restaurants to budget hotels with picnics by the river.

I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes though as there is so much walking to be done, at the turn of every road the architecture is magnificent, with an abundance of points of interest.

As we settle down in the hotel we realise that our journey has started, this is our last stop in France, tomorrow we will be passing over the Pyrenees on to Spain.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Renovation Project - Leaving France

Renovation Project - Leaving France

I am awake by 6 am, I am not sure if it is nerves or the amount of wine I drank last night, but I feel a bit dodgy (not good considering we are going to be driving for miles over the next few days)

By 6.30 I give up trying to go back to sleep and get up, I manage to sort out all the bits and pieces I needed to do. John is up and about by 7.30 and we sit and have a coffee outside, this is it, we are actually leaving Huelgoat, we have had so many happy times here and the memories will stay with us for ever, but it is time to move on.

The car is almost packed, it is just the things for our journey we need, so as we are getting those together I realise I do not have my health cards or the cheque book. I ask John if he has seen them and he hasn't. I think I have maybe left them at the physio yesterday, so I call and check and no, they are not there.

We cannot find them in the house and we have unpacked our bags and searched through them, there is nothing for it, we have to look through the car, I can't believe we are unpacking, and even worse they are not there, at this point I have a panic attack, not good and something I have not had for a long time, so poor John is having to calm me down when I think he actually wants to kill me!

We are now late for our setting off time and as I move the big red bag (which we had unpacked) I realise they are underneath it, we have searched everything apart from the most obvious place, but all's well, we can now set off, we are only a little late.

The last bits go in the car, the house is all locked up, it's time to leave, but!

The car won't start!

The battery is as flat as a pancake, John unpacks the car again whilst I call our friend Brian to come and give us a jump-start, but there is no where to park his car, the road is busy, in the end he just blocks the road but we still can't get the car started.

We consider going to buy a new battery, but luckily, the driver of the car in front returns and we ask them to move their car so that we can get Brian’s behind us, the leads are now properly in place.

After a few minutes the car starts.

I am really thinking something is telling us not to leave today, but all the hotels are booked.

We pack the car for the third time and this time we really are off.

Good bye Huelgoat, thanks for everything!

jenny and john in Francejenny and john in France

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Renovation Project - Time to say goodbye!

Renovation Project - Time to say goodbye!

We are now on to our last few days in France and it is starting to tell on us, we have so many friends here how are we ever going to get round to them all to say good bye?

We have a night out everyday until we leave, this is a double edged sword, it is so nice to see everyone but we know that this is also the last time we will see some of them, we all say we will visit each other, but it is unlikely we will get the opportunity to visit Brittany again in the near future, yet this has been our home for the last 3 years.

I am so looking forward to our next adventure in Spain, but leaving Huelgoat is going to be so difficult to do.

In some ways it is more difficult than leaving the UK, after all we choose to come here and after everything we have achieved we are leaving it all behind.

When I think back to when we arrived and lived in that leaking tent, moving into that leaking house, which we transformed into a lovely B&B, we met so many nice people and made some friends for life.

How many people can say they followed a dream with no idea what the outcome would be? And succeed!

Will we have the same opportunities in Spain, will I get too write for Spanish magazines? Are we making the wrong decision?

These are all questions that go through my mind.

But it is time to move on, we are not getting any younger and the up side of Spain is that it is so easy too get too, we have already arranged to meet my daughter there and arranged for her to c0me and visit us.

Our final few days go so quickly and we get to say goodbyes and thank you to so many people who have made our time here so special.

We say goodbye to our neighbours, Laurence the little old French lady, who unfortunately I think no longer remembers that we have said goodbye and will be leaving, we still chat every time we see each other and I have so many happy memories of our trying to converse in the beginning and giving up and just singing and dancing together, she is the most wonderful sweet old lady I have ever met.
Didier, out other French neighbour, who could never understand my accent and who would help anybody with anything and who is so sad too see us leave.

Edith and Emilie the wonderful sheep, and all of the wild cats who never really forgave us for taking over their derelict house.

Thank you and goodbye too Sheila and Brian, Gerda and Andy, Sue and Pete, Suzy and Simon, Laurence and Didier, Dave and Jane, Theresa and Craig and everybody else who has been such a big part of our lives, we will miss you and hopefully see you soon.

It's also time to say goodbye to dinner parties with far too much good french wine.

John Kelly and Andy BoltonJenny Lovett and Suzie Crystal

Gerda Bolton, Andy Bolton, Jenny Lovett, John Kelly - Huelgoat B&B opening night

The tears are flowing now, so it is time to go, I hope you all stay with us in Spain

Monday, 7 September 2015

Renovation Project - The little house is finished

Renovation Project - The little house is finished

The little house is finished, the chimney has been repainted, the baby bird is safe.

It's time to pack up.

But here are the pictures from the little house, we didn't spend long there and would've loved to have this as our next full project but time is sparse.

Hopefully you will agree that a little bit of quality work can make a big difference

The living room

The Kitchen

The bathroom