My packing is weirder than your packing!

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Hello Dear Reader,

If and when you go somewhere, you pack clean clothes, food, books, amusement, a coat, umbrella and maybe even sunblock. It’s way different for us. When you’re renovating a house on a tiny budget then the roof of my car feels as if it’s loaded like Buckaroo! On the roof of the car this time will be a room size rug we bought for £42 and an oil filled electric radiator we got cheap from freeads for £10 as we work towards every room having a rug and a radiator.

Inside the car will be paint as French paint is five times the price and it’s like painting with skimmed milk so we take at least two pots every time we go. There will also be sand paper, sugar soap, paint brushes and rollers as we move into the next stage of renovation of one of the rooms. Our aim is to get our bedroom finished in a few days, move the furniture and move in to it. I have furniture to paint whilst DB has the walls and door to finish as well as changing the British plugs to French plugs on some lamps we bought ages ago, again really cheaply, from TK Max with a gift voucher. We are still a way off hanging curtains and I don’t think we’ll get to the finished stage until next year. When you work to a budget and stick to it, you  have to be patient and work slowly.

Every time I go, I take something else I’ve found cheap, in a charity shop or totally free and donated or given away. I’m never going to buy new if I can get it ‘recycled as I can’t stand waste, hate the thought of good stuff going to landfill and want to make every pound do the work of a fiver! Yes, I’m tightfisted and proud of it! If I can do my bit to stop waste then I certainly will even if it means my packing is weirder than your packing.

In my defence, I’m not the only one. I really should take photographs of the weird things in the backs of cars, in trailers and on the roof embarking the ferry. I’ve seen trailers full of fruit trees in pots, sewerage systems, hot water tanks, wood stoves, garden fence and double glazed windows. I can also spot the renovators as we’re in our ‘holiday’ clothes of paint spattered jeans and with grout under our fingernails as we’ve worked right up to departure time and worked on the basis of ‘there’s a shower in my cabin and we’ve turned the water off in the house’. Obviously, there are people who might get someone else to do all the work, but they are in disguise are regular tourists.

I’ll keep you up to date with the renovations, the dog walks, the mini week long adventure and my little French village as it warms up in the bank holiday sunshine. We’re aiming to scout round for some second hand furniture to fill up some of the empty rooms and I’ll share some of our forays into charity shops and ‘le bon coin’ as we start making the house more homely.

Who knows, in time, it might be you renting it for one of your holidays.


Until Saturday,

Love Froogs xxxx


12 thoughts on “My packing is weirder than your packing!

  1. What a hoot, I love reading about this wonderful adventure of yours and I am sure you will have people lined up to take a little holiday in your piece of paradise. I love that you’ve done it yourselves and on the cheap, showing it can be done. When do you go next ! Whenever you go have a great time, I know it will be hard work but it will also be a lovely time. Have a lovely day.


  2. We’ve been in Cornwall on hols for the last 2 weeks – we’ve got some strange stuff to take home!! For the first rainy week we trawled the charity shops – vinyl LPs, work boots, summer clothes, Portmerion egg/chicken thing, a Joules skirt from Liskeard (what a lovely little place btw). Thankfully we’ve had a gorgeous second week weather wise so the beach has won. Enjoy your break in France.


  3. I always enjoy hearing about your adventures, and we are like minded. I am getting ready to go and visit my brand new granddaughter, and luckily I can take two suitcases. One of them is full of quilts, crafts and fun stuff for the kids…They have bought a new house, so I imagine we will be trawling thrift stores and I already have an agenda to create curb appeal (put in a front path), make a cover for the couch from drop cloths, and install a veggie patch. I would love to see a post on what you have finished in the house and what is still left to do – I get a little lost. You are such an inspiration, thank you for your blog.


  4. I can see the from the picture paint and from personal experience. My great aunt had a holiday home at a beautiful place and my father maintained it. It was an old hut that had been transported from the bush to the beach and it was tiny. friends used to visit and sometimes we hauled a caravan but more often than not it was a trailer filled with supplies such as a hot water system. an indoor toilet (the luxury) and roofing supplies.

    Enjoy your break and one day I would love to stay in your part of France.


  5. Was the photo taken in Indonesia? Couldn’t help but notice the yellow bucket which had originally held exterior paint. It was used by the German company who built our house eight years ago. They very kindly left us some of the very useful buckets! Helen in France


  6. I remember being stopped at Caen to have the contents of my van checked – they hadn’t quite got the idea then on freedom of movement of goods etc in the 1990s. Will it come to that again with banned items and dues payable on importing goods to France?


  7. Hope you had a good trip over on the boat, was thinking of you in the middle of the night with the thunder roaring and lightning flashing and lighting up our bedroom.(Mid Cornwall) Enjoy your week, like you I am never happier than when I am doing something for our home.


  8. We can relate since we have a vacation house on a lake 2 hours away. We always have a mental list when we are there of what needs to be packed for the next trip. Thankfully we have the same stores and prices there as at home so we can always just go to town. I love that picture at the top!


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