Well we did it… we survived and finished our project. It dawned on me watching Grand Designs the other evening that we have actually done our very own mini version. Wow, how cool is that? And totally unplanned!
Galathée, Saint Martin de Ré is ready to be rented after painstakingly turning it back into what it was; a beautiful Georgian Town House full of original character and charm. We have created a Facebook page for the house and it is now listed on Owners Direct and Holiday Lettings. We survived the very tricky renovation process – some artisans were good and some not so – and when things got really tough we brought Darren our trusty friend over from the UK to finish the job of decorating for us and completing various DIY jobs which he is so good at.
We have fantastic neighbours, a mix of French and English, and have been to various drinks parties in their houses and hosted some in ours! It has been one whole year in St Martin which we shall never forget. The best evening was when I cooked for 5 of my French girlfriends and we ate and laughed until late into the evening sitting around the wooden table in the courtyard lit by candles. I served a very English Victoria Sponge which they loved and the most scrumptious squid I’ve ever eaten in my life.
I now have a home in France which is very dear to my heart. Our special friend Brittany is expecting her first baby in February and her mum is coming over from Canada to stay in Galathée so she can be on hand 24/7! For that, I get to stay in her holiday home in Barbados – wow, what a trade! It is amazing how you meet the most wonderful people along a journey which we had no idea we were to take!
My daughter Bells is chasing her dream of living and working in NYC because of a contact made through our love of St Martin – it really is a serendipitous story! So on reflection I think that we did the right thing, bonkers as it was. We hope now that it will work as a holiday rental and that Galathée will earn her keep. Fingers crossed!