We just finished up a house sit in Lubersac, in the middle of France. This was definitely one of our favourites so far. It was a small farm (well, 11 hectares…) with 5 horses, about 30 chickens, 2 dogs, a cat, fish, and a couple of guinea pigs. We haven’t had a whole lot to do with horses before, but it was a pretty fun and interesting experience. It was amazing getting to know the horses over the couple of weeks we were there, and to understand their different personalities a little bit. We had never had enough experience with horses to know that they have their own little quirks and qualities. They were pretty easy to care for, and Elena and Kilian had a great time helping to brush them and give them carrot treats.
The farmhouse itself was really cool. Stepping out of the front door, I felt very much like Cinderella, with the old stone buildings, the chickens gathering around the door waiting for corn, and the horses in the fields by the garden. It was a great feeling to pull on our gumboots every morning to go out and get the jobs done. Elena was a great help with this. Her job was to feed the chickens, collect the eggs, and she would help me brush down one of the horse each morning. Mostly she just played in the dirt nearby, but she did enjoy ‘plaiting’ Failte’s tail sometimes. Both Elena and Kilian were obsessed with playing with the water trough. Elena played by herself for pretty much the first time ever. There were so many things we loved about this place. We had always toyed with the idea of having a little farm, but this stay has made us definitely keen…one day.
The area around Lubersac was great to explore as well. We visited the vibrant Objat market on a Sunday morning, which was more like a little fete, with so much food and local crafts to discover.
Segur le Chateau was a stunningly beautiful little village by a river that we explored and picniced at – it was so perfectly quiet that I couldn’t get the provincial life song from Beauty and the Beast out of my head.
We admired the Chateau de Pompadour – a beautiful fairy tale castle, gifted by King Louis XV to Madame de Pompadour (giving her the title). I made the mistake of paying to go in the castle, which was very very disapointing and bland from the inside. The most interesting part was the video about artifical insemination of horses (it used to be used as a National Stud)…. Pete made the better decision to sit at a bar with the kids eating ice cream, right opposite, with a great view of the chateau.
One hot day, we went to Vigeous Lake, a pretty, calm little lake that was perfect for splashing around in and playing in the sand. It even had a couple of jetty’s with diving boards. Kili watched some people jumping off and wanted a go too. He loves trying to jump at the moment, he stays mostly still but bends his legs really suddenly then bops back up.
We went to a very English tea room, recommended to us by our English hosts, and run by English people… I feel like we spoke to more English people this time in France than French people. It was a pretty nice café though and we had scones with clotted cream…yum.
Kilian had his first birthday last week. We went to a little zoo near Limoges, called Parc Zoo du Reynou. It was as interesting as zoos go, and I guess Kilian enjoyed it. The best part was this little goat pen that you could climb into and pat all the baby goats.
A year with Kilian – it’s pretty crazy to think that a whole year has passed since he joined us on the outside world. He started off as a pretty chilled out baby, but as soon as he got a bit more interactive, he has been a lot more demanding. He is a very active little boy, and often frustrated at his own limits. He likes to spend most of his time walking around holding our hands, back and forth, up and down stairs. He gets bored very easily, and can be pretty whingy. He loves being tickled on his upper thighs, and thinks full body peekaboo is hilarious. He loves to eat rice cakes and grapes, and pretty much anything sweet. If he is finished with something he will throw it at the floor in varying degrees of force. He loses his temper really easily. He hates sharing with his sister, but loves playing with her. He loves playing with water of any kind, and loves the bath and any pet water bowl he can reach. He has never slept very well, but he does have phases of sleeping well. We love him heaps, and are really keen to see what God will do with this complicated little kid.
Anyways, for his birthday he got chocolate cake and 2 small toys (that brings his toy count to like 4.. ha ha). We had fun celebrating his first year together but missed sharing it with his bigger circle of family and friends. Next year!
So, our time in Lubersac was pretty ace, and we kissed it goodbye sadly, as we also farewelled fresh warm croissants and pain au chocolats. Our next stop was the Netherlands…and we decided to make the journey in one trip. It was our original plan to break the NINE HOUR journey into two parts but that was not to be…. So we drove 9 & a half hours on Monday, and actually survived without any meltdowns. That was pretty crazy in itself. We have never driven more than 7 hours with the kids, and that journey nearly broke us… So if anyone wants any tips on long car journeys with kids, well I have to say we are pretty pro at it now!!
Anyways we made it to Renswoude, just outside of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and are pretty excited to explore. See you next post!