A year ago this week.

Hello Dear Reader,

We slept under our own roof a year ago and in that time: demolished the faux fireplace and had a working wood stove installed. 


We had the garden cleared. Previously, it was completely over grown with shrubbery as high as the house with a leylandi hedge that overshadowed the street and our garden.

DB built and installed a kitchen.

He built and installed stairs to the third floor after cutting a hole between the floor boards. The gap wasn’t standard and the stair kit was so he had to cut down each stair and riser to fit.

I painted every shutter and window frame.

We painted almost every wall twice.

I learned that French hardwood windows are really heavy but they lift out easily to paint. 

We furnished the downstairs of the house. It still only has just enough furniture to get by but it’s fine for us.

We had fun getting there. We spent lovely days in the sun.


For the first three visits, we camped in the top floor apartment which is now part of the house. We had two double glazed back doors supplied. We went fully glazed, as like most Breton houses, there’s no windows at the back of the house.

We had no kitchen for a while and used an old sideboard as a kitchen unit and we did just fine.

I think it was ok and great fun.

I shlepped four cubic metres of logs from one end of the garden to log shed behind the house.

I’ve eaten my body weight in radishes.

Everything gets cleaned with vinegar in France.

I spent a lot of time sanding and was filthy most days.

There were also wet days when the garden, without a path, we trampled over mud 

It seems like yesterday when DB, myself and Sylvie the estate agent squelched our way through an overgrown garden, climbed through brambles, pushed open the rotten back door and used our imagination to think what it could be like if we brought it back to life.

The house had been uninhabited since the 1980s and no one had turned on a light or a tap for over thirty years. It was cheap, if you’re asking, €44k, £31884, including legal and estate agent fees and we exchanged when a £ would buy you €1.38, we also filled up our French bank account with the renovation funds at the same rate. If you’re here for the first time today, we’ve bought it to be our retirement home and we’ll rent out our Cornish home to supplement our pensions. 

That’s all nine years away, until then we’ll enjoy holidays there.

Come back on Saturday and we’ll share the next stage of our thrifty DIY renovation, French home cooking, little villages and countryside. 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

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18 thoughts on “A year ago this week.

  1. Really fantastic to read. Made me smile as I read my way through and looked again at the photos. Well done to both of you x
    PS You see my name on here, well the chickens arrive over Easter after ages spent saving and preparing and building. I’ve wanted them since I was a little girl x

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  2. You got a bargain! You’d struggle to buy a static holiday caravan in the UK for that amount – especially Cornwall.
    I wonder why it was left for so long?

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  3. Looks great and cosy! Amazing. Thank you so (so, so) much for your dedication in sending us all such motivating posts every week. DH and I are looking around in the Finistere as well. Beautiful and some bargains. We’re bretons living near Cambridge with our 2 children 8 and 11 (15 years since we left France) . I will come and say hello if I see you in the Huelgoat Forest one of these days as we go back to the area several times a year. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

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  4. I have loved reading of your Breton adventure. The house is back to life, how wonderful. You have both worked so hard and deserve many happy days in your lovely French home.

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  5. You have achieved much together with like minds and a shared aim for a quiet, fulfilling retirement. Well done. As I’ve mentioned before, my similar hopes were torn apart when I lost my like minded husband to a hateful condition. But your writings inspire me and keep me on track. Thank you. We holidayed in Brittany but I admit to being just a tad worried about driving on the right. So me and the girls keep to Scotland! X

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  6. What a find. I love the look of the outside, it will be so wonderful when you get it all shined up and painted.
    Love the front walkway up to the house also,I’ll be back to see more work bering done

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