I took advantage of the extra hour in bedthis morning to finish Richard Wiles tale of renovating a barn or grange in the Limousin region. I'm glad we didn't take on such a lengthy project, although I admire his energy; the house we are renovating is enough work, considering it is a holiday home, not a permanent residence here in France. It's also a house, and had water and electricity already available when we aquired it. It could be a permanent home, as it's large enough, but I think I'm a city girl at heart and would miss not being able to hop on a bus for a ten minute trip into townfor a bit of shopping. The nearest town is about a 25minute drive away(though a very pretty drive), and has only limited shopping facilities. This area is also very cold in winter, and the heating in the house would have to be improved somewhat to spend winters here in comfort. The nearest large town or city, Clermont-Ferrand is a couple of hours drive away - not exactly local. The times we spend here are usually divided between working on the house and occasionally going out for a walk or swim (this last in the summer only) or visiting some of the other local towns and villages. Today the weather was beautiful, sunny and warm, much needed after yesterday's rain and mist.
Richard Wiles book is a lesson for all those who dream of a place in rural France - be prepared for a lot of hard work and also to learn to speak French, as otherwise communication is very difficult.