Trouble was, halfway through her break, a chum and his gang were due to drop in for an overnight stay on their way back to England (chum had extremely kindly made a big detour to drop off my Greeves mudguards that had been festering in his loft for years). This, of course, threw Georgie into a panic so we spent three stressful days tidying up and preparing beds etc. In the civilised world, tidying up means a bit of hoovering and a quick spray of polish. But out here, in the humble abode of a bohemian hermit recluse, it means shovelling up dirt, painting walls (yes, really), rearranging furniture (moved hefty settee from kitchen to indoor shed/lounge, assisted by two big, strong neighbours), digging out a rug for the kitchen floor, a few trips to the tip, unblocking a wheezy Dyson about half a dozen times, setting mousetraps and demolishing the dusty living quarters of some very big spiders. Kept telling Georgie there's no way we'll get this place looking spick and span and they'd just have to take us as they find us, and besides, I'd emailed photos of the interior so they'd know what to expect. Far from reducing stress levels, this merely threw her into greater despair.
Anyway..., then our guests arrived. All a bit embarrassing but after the initial shock of stepping into an unmodernised tip, the weary travellers slowly regained their composure and a good time was had by all (I think, but I could be wrong - the two girls, Polly and Lucy, seemed a bit wary of visiting the spider-infested loo - I was like that myself when I first arrived here). Had an evening trip to the new local creperie (damn, should have offered to pay the full bill instead of just our bit), followed by a good kip (guests miraculously survived a night in the loft), then boiled eggs and croissants for breakfast. An hour later, they were back on the road heading for Amboise and a few days in a rented chalet.
Having rearranged the kitchen prior to our chums' arrival, we rearranged it further by moving an old cupboardy-wardrobey thingy from the back of the utility area into the kitchen. Then moved the fridge. Gave us more storage in the kitchen and more space 'out back'. Amazing transformation. Well worth the effort.
Lucky it didn't pour with rain when our visitors were here. Kitchen floor would have flooded. Haven't had time to fix that leak in the loo. Been that way since May when the water board lads drilled a hole in the wall for the new water supply. Bit of a gap between pipe and wall. Fine when it's sunny but not when it's raining. Local mayor suggested cementing the hole. But it's behind some pipes. All very fiddly. Can't get at it properly. So Georgie had a go with her tiny hands. Reported a hole above and below the pipe. Visited the local hardware shop and asked advice. Ended up buying some expanding filler aerosol stuff. And that's as far as we got before being diverted by gardening and log stacking.
Then, amazingly, our time was up. Ten days (and a birthday) had flashed by in the wink of an eye. On our last evening we were quite looking forward to a quiet night in, recovering from all our exertions. But the phone rang. Isabelle. Kindly asked us round for a special supper on Georgie's last night. Fresh chicken in the oven, roasting. Ready in half an hour. Come round now. So we did. Had a great meal and a good old natter. Returned home slightly wobbly. Georgie rarely drinks. Goes straight to her head. But, as I've remarked so many times before, when Christian waves an opened bottle of plonk at you, it's impossible to say 'no'. Well, it is possible, but pointless.
Woke up Tuesday morning a wee bit fuzzy. Walked the dogs up the granite cross and back, checked the oil in the camper while Georgie finished packing and weighing her case and saying goodbye to the dogs, then loaded up and headed for Limoges airport.
Returned home, threw an old towel on the loo floor and attacked the leaky hole with that expanding filler aerosol stuff (forgot to wet the wall first). Then walked the dogs again (they'd been locked up indoors for six hours). Came back and checked the filler. It certainly had expanded. Looked like a yellow football. Hopefully it expanded inwards down the hole as well as outwards. Shall no doubt find out when it rains next.