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.
Meanwhile downstairs the kitchen has had plasterboard & insulation put in place, the new window, door and a wall blocked up
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…
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!
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!
Mike, did you notice that stone cottage opposite the church in Sainte Marie du Mont for sale? I heard myself ask a couple of weeks ago
…funnily enough I did he replied, do you think we should look at it?
I’ll phone Stefan The Notary, I said…so I did and 2 weeks later we’re ready to complete the purchase!
56 Place de l’Eglise 50480 Sainte Marie du Mont
Now the bad news…no one has done any work inside since 1944!! The floor is a beautiful example of the floors laid just after the war in haste to get everyone back into the land of the living as it were! I don’t think it’s been decorated since then!! Holes in the roof and around the chimneys…well take a look and then tell us we’re mad!! We may give it a shot to be ready for the 6th June week – we’ll see, but certainly it will be ready for July this year – I think it will make a great vacation rental…you can’t beat the location and next door are fresh oysters straight from Utah Beach the other neighbours are 2 restaurants, a butchers across the road, 2 boulangeries and a mini supermarket, 2 museums, hairdresser, post office and 3 miles from Utah Beach!
We’re the one with the red sign in the window
The view from the master bedroom
Angoville au Plain window
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!!
1st Time back to Utah Beach all the way back from Utah State!
After our horrendous experience with Harriett and 5 days later loosing Monty the 20+ year old dog I found at the side of the road our heads really dropped. We also had a run of folk coming into the rentals that really shouldn’t have tried to ‘do’ Normandy in a day and a half we felt quite ineffective and at a very low ebb…then the day arrived for Jan to bring her Dad back to Utah Beach…90 in July a WW2 D Day +2 veteran…we weren’t sure what to expect but we went down to the station to collect them and this tall upright gentleman got off the train with a lady around the same age as me, it was them. Sam stood on the platform for a minute or two and then said ‘is that the road to Coutances & the harbour is down there…right?’. Absolutely spot on …I knew then we were in for an emotional time…he hasn’t been here for 69 years – born in Utah State & landed on Utah Beach aged 22.
We were delighted to make the acquaintance of Sam & Jan – that 1st afternoon we sat and had a cup of English tea along with a good chat we soon realized that he really did know his stuff and remembered well plus is quite remarkable for his age!
So DAY ONE…off we went to Utah Beach Museum – we had rung ahead to the Director Ingrid that we were bringing a veteran – so when we got there the red carpet was out! A guide was all organized for us Rodolphe who was just super… not a dry eye in the house when Sam saw the beach for the 1st, or should I say 2nd time…the Rodolphe took him to view a map of the actual invasion…after we were done looking at everything and admiring the museum (which is really fantastic) Ingrid came to see us and presented Sam with a medal and certificate, then the Mayor of Sainte Marie du Mont, the town of Utah Beach got involved…it was truly wonderful then folk who were visiting the museum realized Sam was a veteran and started to come up to shake his hand…Jan his daughter by this time was awash with tears!