“Cirque des Cercles”–stage 9

Time to show you an update of “Cirque des Cercles” by Ink Circles, a design I am stitching along with Avis of Sewing Beside the Sea.

stage 9Photo makes the bottom look wider than the top, but I assure you, it’s not ^^

You may also want to check out the following blogs, of ladies who are stitching along with us, but on different projects.  Ours is a very laid back SAL, just aimed at motivating us to keep stitching.

There is Gun, who is completing a set of flowers, Jule who is working on some butterflies . . . and Kate who is finishing off a sampler.

the suspense is killing me!

I’m not sure if I’ve given the wrong impression in previous articles, since some readers seem to have understood that everything is steaming along on the house front and that we’re already settled in our new home.  This, sadly couldn’t be farther from the truth.

For the moment, we are still completely in limbo.

The sale of our house is due for completion on 4th August . . . and latest news from our buyers doesn’t look very promising.  They have approval for their loans (since yesterday) but don’t seem to think money will be available to transfer before 4th.  In the legal contract, signed with sollicitor – it stipulates that if the sale is not completed on 4th, then the contract become null and void.

We, in the meantime, have an appointment to do first signings for the house we want to buy on 30th July . . . but that could all go completely down the drain if our buyers can’t complete the following week.

As you can imagine, it’s quite stressful, not knowing if the sale will happen or not.  So, the photos I showed you the other day, may only be a dream . . . if our sale doesn’t complete, we will lose the house we fell in love with and it will be back to visiting more houses.

Blackjack has been feeling the tension, and is back to his foot-eating habit.  Here is he sporting a snazzy black sports sock, to keep his bandages in place

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and with his new best friend ^^  They get on like a house on fire . . . always following each other around, and playing in the garden.  You’d think that with a best friend to keep him company, Blackjack would be more relaxed . . . but no, he can sense our stress and he reacts to it.

I mentioned in a previous post that we’re temporarily at my sister-in-law’s, looking after the animals . . . you’ve already seen the hens, now you’ve seen their dog . . . there is also a cat.

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It took a while for Blackjack to stop chasing him around . . . now he seems to have understood that this cat belongs in the garden/house . . . and Blackjack has accepted him with no problem.

Meanwhile, our cats are all living in close quarters in the little bedsit that we have on loan (during the transition period of selling and buying).

They’re coping quite well, I have to say but I’m going to have to reduce food rations slightly, as they’re all eating as normal, but not getting any exercise since they can’t go outside.

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I was alerted to the weight issue the other day. Le Bleu had a trip to the vet’s for his annual jabs (along with Blackjack for his foot) and had put on 400g.  For a cat, 400g is a lot . . . and that made me realise if he has put on weight, then the others probably have too.

Quick snaps to show you they’re all well

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and yes, it looks like they could all do with losing a few hundred grams each ^^

latest news

Hello everyone!  I’ve been a bit quiet but that’s because it’s all been happening in this part of the world. House-hunting has been pretty intensive.  Driving round the area, getting a better idea of the location of all the little villages and making appointments with estate agents for viewings.  Latest news is that we’ve made an offer on a house and it’s been accepted – yay!

It was the fourth house (in a relatively short list of nine) that we visited but the first time we saw it, it just felt right.  Walked through the front door, and it felt like home.  We hesitated at first, as it’s a lot bigger and farther out in the sticks than we had envisioned . . . but once we’d seen it, everything else just paled by comparison.

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It’s in a small village, in a little cluster of houses just behind the local church and bordering a woodland with little stream.

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That’s the church, seen from one of the bedrooms.

There are 3 bedrooms, huge attic, veranda, garage/workshop . . . garden just behind the house

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and we have 250m2 of vegetable garden on a separate plot AND 400m2 of orchard!  There are pear trees, apple trees, plum trees and a cherry tree in the orchard. In the garden just behind the house there is a fig tree, vines and a kiwi tree/bush!  So guess who’ll be stuffing herself with kiwis ^^

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A view from inside of the front door . . . and of the stairs

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As you walk in the front door, you can see through to the living/dining room, and through to the veranda.  House is wonderfully bright. We’ve visited on a sunny day, on an overcast day and on a rainy day . . . it’s lovely no matter what the weather lol.

Anyway – first part of paperwork has begun. We’re now waiting for the sale of our house to conclude (which should happen early August).  All being well, we’ll be moving to our new home sometime in October.

In the meantime – I’m not very present on the internet because we’re still in charge of everything while sister-in-law is away.  Weather has been wet & miserable but that doesn’t stop the figs from ripening ^^

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almost back on line

Hello folks!

Well, the move went smoothly on 23rd and 24th.  A very efficient team of four men for the loading of lorry – in just over 2 hours, they had loaded our 58m3 which meant we were able to leave shortly after and do the drive south.  Cats were very stressed by the journey – 6 hours in a travel box – they’re not used to that. However for Blackjack, Rio and the budgies, the journey was more comfortable.

Delivery happened the next day – slight problem in that our storage room wasn’t big enough to hold everything we wanted to store in there, so we have some extra furniture in our little bedsit that wasn’t planned for. Makes space in the bedsit a little tight, but it’s only temporary.  Photos look a bit dismal (because I hadn’t opened shutters), but the bedsit will be more than big enough for us and our menagerie, while we look for a new house.

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We have room in there for a sofa bed, our bed, 2 computer desks, TV unit, my armchair . . . and the cats have approx 8m2 of mezzanine if they choose to stay upstairs.

We have a few minor things to sort out : internet connection, buy an oven, and replace a door . . . but in the meantime, the cats seem perfectly happy. They have furniture they recognise, lots of places to sleep and we pop in and see them a couple of times each day.

Because we are not actually living IN the bedsit yet. We are living next door while family is away, and looking after my mother-in-law. 

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This means that Blackjack is able to enjoy the freedom of a large garden, and we are making the most of the swimming pool. 

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I’m also in charge of an even bigger menagerie than before, since family have a dog, a cat, a caged bird and three hens ^^  I’ve already decided that I’d like a few hens once we get our next house.  Am really enjoying spending time with “the girls” and it’s ever so exciting to open the coop and find freshly laid eggs.  We’ve had two so far – not sure which of the hens is laying, or whether they take it in turns. 

Anyway, here are “the girls”.

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I haven’t had time for any crafting since we moved.  I’m finding the change of air, environment and routine quite tiring.  Have to keep an eye on the clock so that meals are served at set times because of medication . . . and also fitting life around various medical appointments . . . but I’ll become more organised as we progress.

On the house front . . . no news from our buyers regarding their bank loan, so we still don’t know if the sale will be finalised early August.  We have begun visiting houses in the area here – but plan on taking our time to find “the one”.

Everyone (including the dogs) is having an after lunch nap here, except for me.  I’m going to go sit out in the shade and do my first bit of stitching in weeks.

“Cirque des Cercles”–stage 8

Hello everyone, the only project I’ve been stitching on these past weeks, making sure I keep up the pace, is “Cirque des Cercles” by Ink Circles.  As you know, I’m stitching this along with Avis of Sewing Beside the Sea.

Here’s my update for this stage.

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We are also joined by three other ladies, who are stitching completely different projects, but using our SAL as a way of keeping motivated.  You can admire their projects on the various links.  There’s Gun, who is stitching a set of flowers Rutigt:  Jule who is working on some very realistic butterflies, From the Boudoir; and Kate of talltalesfromchiconia.

less than 48 hours

Less than 48 hours now and we’ll be standing around watching that lorry being loaded up.  Life seems to revolve around boxes and cleaning with very little time for much else.  However, I did have the occasional break from packing because I gave last English lessons this week, with nibbles and soft drinks.

Very sad to say goodbye to my students, some of whom have been with me for 8 – 10 years. And also very touched by all the thoughtful gifts bestowed upon me.

My Monday morning group (some of whom also attend a second class with me in the evening) had organised a surprise with an early brunch:  homemade quiche, homemade apricot tart, coffee and juice.  Not only was there food aplenty, there were gifts too . . .

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This cute little kitty was made for me by Ghislaine.  I always talk about Le Bleu . . . and students even had to admire my scarf knitting this winter ^^ . . . so this gift was spot-on!  The knitting needles are wooden tooth picks ^^And Le Bleu has whiskers and everything!

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These matching mugs were from Valérie, who knows how much my husband and I like our coffee . . . and the black cat is so that we think of Valérie and her cat, while drinking our beverage.

In my Thursday group, I had two lovely surprise gifts to open.  From Eng, a very light summer scarf

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She was worried that it wasn’t the right colour, but it’s perfect!  My summer coat and winter anorak are both “Blackjack” beige – so this will go with both.

And Dominique wants to keep my brain active . . . and had a wonderful idea of giving me two “puzzle” books with enigmas, logic problems, sudoku etc and a pen set.

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On Friday . . . one group had clubbed together (with some of the Monday people) and, knowing that I already had so much to pack, decided to give me something that wouldn’t take up much room.  So a big thank you to Jean-Luc, Jacky, Annie, Bona, Naïma, Louisa and Ivelyne

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A gift voucher for amazon ^^  A brilliant idea!  I’ve promised to let them know what I spend it on.

Also lots of chocolates . . . because everyone knows how much I love my chocolate.

From Ivelyne

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From Stéphane, Béa and Isabelle

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AND Isabelle brought along a homemade cake decorated exactly like the Union Jack!!!!  I don’t have a photo to show you yet, as my mobile phone doesn’t have a camera, but Isabelle has promised to send me a photo she took before we all dug in ^^

My computer will be boxed up tomorrow, so I’ll be off-line for I don’t know how long.  Next time I post will be from our “cosy” little flat ^^  I will be scheduling an article, however, for 29th June, and my CdesC update, just in case we don’t have internet by then.

Have fun, be good, and I’ll be back on-line as soon as I can.

one week left and counting

Title says it all.  We have one week left before the move, and have been very busy these past few days with more packing and boxing.  I won’t bore you with all the details, because it’s not the most exciting occupation in the world ^^

Am just writing a post to let you know I’m still alive . . . and to share a few non-crafting photos.  I received some more lovely bookmarks from Les Passions de Criquette

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Le Bleu has given up waiting for me to sit in my comfy chair to stitch. The only time I sit down is for the odd half an hour in front of my computer, so he’s making do with that for cuddle time

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Not the most comfortable of places, wedged under the keyboard flap, but it’s better than no lap-time at all.

And a few photos of the garden.  I’m not really a gardening person, but I do like to sit outside and watch my other half slave away.  This year, for the first time ever, we actually have cherries on our tree !!!!  Not many, and the birds will probably have a nice feast because it doesn’t look like they’ll be ready to pick before we leave.

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Same goes for the blackberry bush.  There is going to be loads of fruit this year . . . but it won’t be for us.

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However, I have been able to enjoy some of the flowers. 

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Right, time to get back to the grindstone.  No more packing for today, but I have to keep up to date with laundry, so that’s what I’m going to do.