Castlenaud and surrounding medieval village

We drove back to England yesterday, from the Dordogne, stopping off at Chartres Cathedral, en route to Calais.

It was a loooong drive.  But it was visually very arresting.

But what I want to just mention is the place we were staying.  This is Alex and Alison’s website.  We stayed for a week and they were gracious hosts.  We went to dinner with them on Friday evening and spent time with them on and off during the week.  We learned that they bought a new property to do up from scratch and we went along to go and see it.  Their enthusiasm is catching.

The property they own at the moment, the two gites and the farm house they restored and built themselves.  You may think that they were professional builders but no, Alex and Alison were bankers around ten years ago and decided to throw it all in and get out.  So they taught themselves traditional building methods.  They learned about plumbing, beams, how to make stairs, how to install electricity and a countless other amount of things.

Mark and I were in awe of them but also very excited on their behalf.  Their current property, where we stayed, was truly lovely.  The new property they bought is even bigger and is probably a bigger challenge but then they are full of confidence that this is something the two of them can get into again.  A new project.

At our dinner on Friday night we were chatting quite randomly about things and I mentioned that teachers at school are so quick to screw you up when it comes to doing projects such as woodwork etc.  And Alex got this really intense look in his eye and he said: no, you know, that is nonsense.  I believe you can do anything you set out to do.  If you learn the basics or you figure them out, even by googling it, you can do it.

I wanted to stand up and applaud Alex.  What an utterly epic thing to say.  It is just so hugely overall positive and encouraging.  I think I needed to hear that, right then. Which is why it made such an impact.

Anyway – random ramble.  And a bit of promo for Alex and Alison and their gites.