Sunday, February 4, 2007

We Looked all Over and it Was Just Down the Street

The day we backed out of the house in Magrie, the weather turned nasty---cold and misty. Maybe we had offended the gods. Our hearts were glum for a few days, but then something quite ironic happened. We happened upon a house about 10 doors down from where we are staying now on Rue du Four in Leran. It is an old village house, date unknown as yet, and has been refurbished by a local teacher/handyman. He's selling because he's bought a house in the country where he can keep his horses. Two of these pictures show the second floor, and the third picture shows the back door out onto the unfinished courtyard. A far cry from the cramped feeling of many of the village houses, this village house has open space, lots of original stonework, original beams, georgous plastering and limewash. We were smitten by the craftsmanship, taste in furniture, and ultimately the fact that it was staring us in the face all along.

Our budget, however, is not without obvious disadvantages. We cannot have everything, and must make choices. We put having a boulangerie, a bar, an epicerie, an outdoor seating area and Internet access at the top of the list. Outdoor seating seems to be the biggest "if" in the equation in France and at a dear price. This house at 14 Rue du Four has a petite cour (small courtyard) out back, but from an American perspective that would be generous description. With vision and sweat and potted plants and vines, I know we can make it a welcome outdoor retreat, but it won't ever be like sitting on our deck up at our cabin on O'Rea Creek Road. There will be tradeoffs wherever you are.

On the plus side: the kitchen/living room are quite beautiful and open and uncluttered; it now has three floors and if we wanted we could add a fourth, or possibly a roof top terrace; the entire third floor is unfinshed and we would be able to do with it as we please; it is in Leran which we have grown to appreciate; we know some people in the village already and the Simmons' are just down the Rue.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them and read the post below for more information.


Julianne said...

Doug and Nancy:
What a great house, and what an interesting chapter in your adventures. Look at the outdoor thing this way: it's a welcome change from the outdoor living of Moab, a cocoon perhaps.

amy said...

Hi Guys-
I still had to sign up with google to comment, hopefully you'll see this. The house looks great! Maybe you can add a roof terrace later-do you know if that is possible? It looks like a really nice house, have you made an offer?

amy said...

We are trying to see if we can add our comments-not sure if this will work.

Doug said...

A neighbor has a roof terrace so we are pretty sure we can do one too. But every change to the exterior of a house in France has to be approved by the local mairie, or mayor's office. This is their way of keeping France from looking the outskirts of Moab.
(Not that there is anything wrong with the outskirts of Moab.)

Judy said...

Hey from cold Nebraska;

The house looks has some features like the house where we lived in Church Hanborough, England in 1972...Stone walls, timbers, small courtyard. Your blog is really entertaining us these cold winter days.
I call it armchair traveling.

Anna said...

I second Amy, have you placed an offer on this one? It looks like a beautiful place.