Tag Archives: D Day

The unveiling…


And here we are 4 months after starting our project it’s FINISHED!!!

Back at the end of June Mike decided I should start marketing without any photos with availability from 1st August…not shying from a challenge I went for it using our other properties as a touch stone and a follow up telephone call to reassure folk we were not talking nonsense! Our 1st guests arrived on the 2nd for 1 week…apart from sewing curtains until 11.30 pm the night before we were pretty well on track.

Our date to be able to say finished for fixtures and fittings was agreed as 30th July for us to stay and try the house out…thus the reason for late night curtain making – street light actually attached to our house between the bedroom windows…we never noticed it until we went to bed (the bed a super kingsize & possibly the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on),turned out the light and then asked Mike to turn his light out as it was light enough still to read…a dash up to Cherbourg the next morning to buy blackout material…but for one reason or another I bought 5 meters forgetting there were 2 windows – I needed 10 meters – so a 2nd trip was needed!!!!!!

So here we go – I’ll try to line up the before’s & afters!! The main bedroom started as 2 rooms.

St Marie du Mont 15 (1 of 1)

St Marie du Mont 14 (1 of 1)

main double bedroom

main double bedroom half way

bedroom armoire

bedroom space

armoire bedroom

The bedroom at the back was in a dreadful state, broken windows, holes in ceiling and water penetration destroying all the plaster

 

St Marie du Mont 12 (1 of 1)

bed2

The bathroom was a kitchen…holes in ceiling.

St Marie du Mont 13 (1 of 1)

shower 1

shower2double sink

Downstairs

Kitchen – oh dear, basically falling down! New roof, walls etc.

St Marie du Mont 17 (1 of 1)

kitchen

Lounge

St Marie du Mont 11 (1 of 1)

lounge

lounge 3lounge 2

St Marie du Mont 16 (1 of 1)

hallway

St Marie du Mont 18 (1 of 1)

dining

unveiling BoB House  More pictures here

I’ve embroidered all the towels, put in as many little thoughtful things folk would enjoy – I just hope everyone that comes to stay with us enjoys the house as much as we really did renovating it!

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

keep turning the handle!


That’s what it feels like now…keep turning the handle, don’t let go now!

In actual fact everything is going really well, but we are tiring slightly…Mike is on a mission saving the original fireplace in the main bedroom…so kind soul has slapped on 2 or 3 coats of what is called ‘crepe’ almost like artex but harder!! 2 electric sanders so far have been burnt out…but as you can see he is half way, when we paint it and get it looking something it will set off the room.Image

Meanwhile downstairs the kitchen has had plasterboard & insulation put in place, the new window, door and a wall blocked up

Image

Image

 

We had to lose a window on the left as I want to put in an American Fridge so there is on tap filtered water & ice, no need to buy bottled water!

The electrician plumber is back next week to do 2nd fix, the shower tray is in place, take no notice of the toilet placing here…it’s just out the way!! But between us we’ve designed a great big Italian shower…

 

 

twon house phase 2    a (1 of 1)

So tomorrow, off to choose tiles for the bathroom & kitchen plus the kitchen units, I’ve already bought the cooker which I’m thrilled with!

May is wonderful in Normandy this year the blossom is unreal…the scent is heady – just to give you an idea here is the view from the bedroom now the trees have opened up a bit more … the candles on the chestnut tree are huge!

twon house phase 2   c (1 of 1)

 

We’re also starting to see the folk arrive for the 70th anniversary…look what was parked outside the house yesterday! Jeeps all sorts are starting to congregate!

twon house phase 2  g (1 of 1)

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Remembering why we are here…day 2


Angoville au Plain window

Angoville au Plain window

sam 22 (1 of 1)The next day we are due to visit another Mayor…this time the Mayor of Angoville au Plain which is just 2 miles up the road from us & where we have field. 56 inhabitants here, that’s all, but the church was used a field hospital June 6th with 80 wounded soldiers & 1 local child…the blood stains are still visible on the pews to this day, also shell damage inside the church, along with a great story of 2 German snipers up in the tower with no ammunition, no one was aware of them whilst the church became a hospital, eventually came down the spiral stairs, opened the door with their hands up.

This Mayor single handed has raised almost 42,000€ to repair the bell tower which is really in great need of repair, plus beautiful stained glass windows already installed, but he is now 8,000€ short to be able to get the contract in place to save the church…so guess who will be fund raising soon!

The really sad part of all of this is that the doors are left open for folk to visit& now statues etc. are being stolen…why are the generations so very different now?

After we left the church we went on a great trip around looking for the 1st foxhole Sam dug around Pouppeville 2 or 3 kms from Utah Beach- regrettably we didn’t find it! But his memory is so strong…he tells us when a house/field/whatever has been changed and he hasn’t been here for 69 years!!

Image

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

6th June d- day celebrations in Normandy


I know it is the 13th June but we have only just started to recover… so goodness knows how the stars are – the veterans! I have heard all the serving parachutists and Army boys were complaining of being tired too!

What a week we’ve had!

Muir, Harry & Harry2

Harry Kulkowitz came and stayed with us in our home for the 7th year… he landed on Utah Beach 6th June 1944 and went right through to the Battle of the Bulge, lied about his age and joined up with a whole host of other New York Jews who all joined up enmasse. Harry was a radio interceptor, trained in England and came across the channel by boat.

We were asked by our Mayor when we first bought our house in this village if we would take a veteran in as English speakers so obviously we were delighted – Harry was billeted with us and as we tease him we can’t get rid of him! I think over the 7 visits we’ve had all 3 grand children, his sister, his 2 daughters and each time his son Mark who owns and runs the Mad Batter & Carroll Villa in Cape May NJ. see this link http://www.philly.com/philly/green/96201444.html

He came this year with his son Mark and his youngest daughter Tessa.

Harry is rather frail now – he’s having memory problems but quite frankly when he is stimulated he is a lot better, but there were a couple of occasions when he was completely exhausted so we had to help him stand on parade and one time in a wheelchair… but take into account jet lag as well he did remarkably well!

For this post I’m mainly going to add photos so you can all see for yourselves the respect and the love that is shown to the veterans. This year we had 600 paratroopers come down over Ste Mere Eglise – French, German, US, British, Belgium and Canadian. 10 planes. The men all here for a week to see for themselves the 6th June celebrations… it was just wonderful to sit on a table with Americans and Germans side by side bantering and showing huge respect to the old boys.

Our weeks was as follows:

Harry arrived 3rd June – slept 15 hours and then on the 4th June it all kicked off…

4 p.m. ceremony in Carentan to be awarded the Order of the Senate – effectively as he is already a knight of France holding The Legion d’Honneur this senate is equivalent to being made a Lord!

6 p.m. Houesville for ceremony to mark the passing of Reg Alexander a Screaming Eagle that came to Houesville for over 25 years died in January. followed by Vin du honneur in the Salle du Fete

8 p.m. Banquet with 2 star general and 200 or so serving soldiers – we left around 1 a.m.

5th June the 600 parachutists, big event in La Fiere followed by a birthday celebration here for a little boy born on 6th June (cake & champagne) followed by another banquet this time in Ste Mere Eglise – 600+ people to include soldiers and local people – huge firework display at the end – got home around 1 a.m. again.

6th June we tried to keep it calm – so it was just a visit to Utah Beach and the museum there – dinner at The Mayors house, 5 course meal – home for around 2 a.m.

7th June Went to Grandcamp Maisy for lunch and met the 2 star General in the same restaurant then on to Coleville sur Mer where Harry was invited to fold the flag at taps. Got home for 7 p.m. and straight out to dinner with a local French Army Officer – another 2 a.m.

8th June party for Harry at our house 35 for 4 course dinner – very late night – 2 a.m. with Harry, Mark & Tessa due to leave at 6 a.m. – luckily Mike woke up!! They got off OK we’re left with a mountain of washing up!

We also had a British Veteran staying at our Utah Beach house – he was a Scots Guard and came through Normandy in a Churchill Tank… delightful chap and with his son researched one of the battles he was in – traced a house that he almost demolished, returned to the spot and apologized to the owners… still the same family to this day!

We met another British Veteran – another Harry – Royal Navy his job during the invasion was dropping off the lads as close to the land as could get… he was escorted by 3 ex Royal Marines that all served together one of whom was the first 4 British Legion chaps to pay respects to the fallen coming through Wootton Bassett from Afghanistan. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/5771032/Wootton-Bassett-A-very-British-way-of-mourning.html

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

photographs © Mike Forster

1 Comment

Filed under 6th June, D Day, France, gites, holiday rental, Holiday rentals, Invasion BeachesWW2, liberation, Llama, Normandy, rural, Uncategorized