We moved here in May 2003. We have a small farmhouse with barn attached and a decent amount of land on which is a further property (an old forge and two chicken houses) which stands awaiting renovation. Our intention was to renovate the small farmhouse and to let it out as a gite and then move on to the barn to convert it into a house for ourselves. Well, the small house needed far more renovation than was initially thought and we are still working on it! Our plans have changed somewhat and, at this moment, we do not intend to convert the barn into a house for ourselves but to live in the small farmhouse and to provide a chambre d'hote facility (two ensuite rooms). This will be available within the next few weeks.
What a roller-coaster of emotions we have experienced since we've been here ..... when we first arrived we were unable to live in the house because of so many problems, but we gradually sorted them out with the help of all our wonderful neighbours, who came to lend helping hands whenever they thought we were struggling too much, and even when we weren't. We have to say that they have saved our sanity on many an occasion (when the water pipe burst and the kitchen became a swimming pool, when we were moving tons of earth and a neighbour rolled up in his tractor to help, when we were installing the new fosse septique and so on) and we don't know what we'd have done without them.
All our dealings with the Mairie, the Caisse Primaire, Bureau d'Impot, EDF and all other 'official' people and service-providers have been first class with them all being as helpful as possible and forgiving us our dreadful French, but the fact that we try seems to help and is appreciated. Back in April, Roger was admitted to St Junien hospital in an emergency and was there for five days. Again, everyone was so kind and helpful and the care was nothing short of superb.