10 days till we move to France

Our move to France is fast approaching! And after three months away from Maison Bernis, we are looking forward to being back and this time, to settling in. Since our last visit in June you might think that Bernis would have had a quiet summer, but there has been much activity with the arrival of the talented team of Gilbert and May.

Gilbert and May arrived at Bernis at the beginning of summer, a time when most French people (so we’ve heard) holiday, enjoy the summer sunshine and generally take it easy for a month or two. Gilbert and May are not French . . . over the last three months they have accomplished a monumental amount at Bernis.

What’s been happening at Bernis?

In the garden, Gilbert and May planted the all-important potager or vegetable garden and cleared many areas to create space and views. Griffon is most excited about building a fort on “Griffon’s island”, a small mound that he has claimed and is now perfectly primed for a fort! And I am very keen to have an alfresco lunch in the newly cleared open barn area.

And, the house itself has had a facelift. Gilbert and May prepared and repainted all the shutters, removing them from their windows, working on them and returning them to their original home. How, you ask, do two people remove and replace large shutters from windows two stories above the ground? Well, bring on an ingenious pulley system! Gilbert, we think you could trademark that one!

May has made the Juliette balcony, verandah railings and the front and kitchen doors look beautiful. We can’t wait to see the transformation after all the hours of painting – thank you!

The tour de France passes close to Bernis…

A summer highlight was the Tour de France which passed through the region with four stages within an hour and a half of Bernis. This was an opportunity too good to miss for James Cook and his other cycling-mad friends. They travelled down from London in a large van packed with their bicycles, based themselves at Bernis and tested the roads ahead of Wiggans!

While James and his bikers were enjoying Bernis, May and Gilbert camped in our neighbour Simone’s caravan – on holiday in theory but ended up painting shutters and doing dry walling instead!

We are so inspired by what Gilbert and May have achieved over the summer and can’t wait for the next chapter of the adventure. Thank you Gilbert and May the first recipients of the award “Friends of Bernis”.

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