So after packing up the chalet, loading up Billy (the newer VW van) with more stuff we headed south to the barn. Had a stopover on the way south to break the journey from Chamonix, which was great made things very easy.
After not getting here at all last year we thought we had better stay with Anouk and Rene at the Auberge for a couple of nights as we had no idea what state the barn would be in. That was great to be able to crack on with cleaning up the place and sorting before having to move back in for 10 days. Also meant we got to catch up with Alison and Peter for dinner one night too.
Lovely to be back at the barn especially as the weather was so great too.
A quick resume of what we did in our short time there…..
Pleasantly surprised that it was in a pretty reasonable state, a bit of mouse action but generally all OK.
Clive had been up and sorted out the gutter for us out the back of the main barn.
The gutter plus, toilet flu and outbuilding flu had all come down in a storm last year so that will be on the list to do first when we get back.
Main problem was that the solar battery was totally dead so it was candlelight suppers and bed early. Al did manage to get the fridge going with just enough power which made life a great deal easier. We managed to use the outbuilding battery for internet access.
One of the main jobs we wanted to do was sort out the garden and plant as many things as possible for our return end of June. We got some lovely rhubarb out of the garden and made some jam with that too whilst we were there. Fruit bushes all looking very healthy, loads of red and black currants on their way, goosegogs looking healthy, alpine strawbs galore in the wall and hopefully some rasps later on.
Planted lots of things in the garden, broccoli, spinach, beetroot, courgettes, onions, beans, peas, salad, herbs and even some carrots! why I am not so sure!!!!! Hoping when we get back that some will have taken. So a little bit of digging and planting daily made sure it was all sorted by the time we left. Hot sunshine made it great to be out in the garden.
Generator also not working so that curtailed a few things. That has gone to St G to get fixed so hoping again when we get back that we can pick it up and that it works we will see!!!!
Used up some old varnishes and got the outbuilding terrace re varnished much needed. The other 3 terraces also need doing.
Steps built from old staircase salvaged from Chamonix so now we can get from the main barn to front terrace easily.
Strimmed all the pathways and back terrace gradually so that will not be totally wild on our return. We are still expecting it to be quite wild though!
Roses have survived well and hoping the clematis also comes back to life so a few hours sorting those flower beds out.
Assembled a wardrobe which came from Cham to fit in the red room which is now nearly ready for action.
Made some more battens for the compost heap from old forklift pallets.
Caught up with lots of folk, Alison and Peter for dinner. Up to Clive and Giselles for dinner one night, drinks at the bar and saw lots of the locals, had a catch up with Henri the Mayor. Coffee with Ian and Nina, a visit from Hans as he was walking his dog up to the cascades. Great to have a walk with Anouk as well as some chit chat time before their season goes crazy busy.
Managed to get some good walks in too.
Cascade D’Ars with Anouk, really stunning with all the snowmelt at this time of year. Cirque D’Anglade looked great too plus a walk up to the Cascade Bege to see the huge avalanche up there.
Lots of good food, drinks and cards on the terrace before candlelit dinners and early to bed perfecto!
So we got quite a lot done in the 10 days we were there and now will look forward to getting back come end of June so we can hopefully finish downstairs this year…..we will see.
In the meantime we have 2.5 weeks in Mallorca, a wedding in the UK and 3 weeks in the UK to catch up with friends and family all good fun.