I whizzed over to St Martin on Tuesday to stay for a couple of days in the lovely Hotel Jetée. It is modern, clean and great value, I thoroughly recommend it. I arrived on the island at about 5.30pm, over excited with my house keys clutched in my hand. Of course the sun was shining, it was about 20 degrees and the island is beginning to wake up to spring. Unfortunately I couldn’t get in as the lock would not work so I had to wait until the following morning.

the newly constructed first floor hallway

Well, I was met first thing by the decorator. I could have laughed as I had managed to double lock all the artisans out! I couldn’t believe my eyes: my house is transforming from the ugly duckling into the very beautiful French white swan!

The electricians arrived and we went through various electrical queries which were all resolved. The only problem was that the front door needs repair and the Marie (French for Town Hall) is insistent we get a document to authorise the scaffolding. Anyway, we’re going to sort that out PDQ! The next morning was spent with the carpenter and then off to the DIY store to get curtain rails, plant pots, hooks etc. I also managed to buy a 7ft olive tree for €69 euros – the bargain of the century! All this packed into the car and a quick whizz to the airport at La Rochelle by the skin of our teeth!

There is something special about the Ile de Ré. I have written about the light being amazing before, but it is very restorative, you really feel cleansed by it. The French are so friendly and kind that every time I visit I fall in love just a little bit more. I even managed to have supper with my estate agent friend Anne and we spoke Franglais for 2.5 hours! In 6 weeks the house will be finished and I plan to have  a launch party with the help of Anne so please watch this space for further news!

à bientôt!

the main bedroom

the old butlers sink is in the newly formed utility room

first floor shower room

downstairs shower room

our courtyard with artisans in full swing

The shells are from Barbados!

New staircase

first floor shower room
first floor shower room

view back into house from main bedroom

view from second bedroom across rooftops