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So, the day of departure arrived and I packed all my remaining belongings in the car and headed for Portsmouth. Three hours bouncing across the channel on a sea-cat and an hour and a half on the road; here I am, Granville, Normandy, ready to start my writing year.

I had been to the house in March to open it up and deal with any obvious problems, or so I thought. I clearly missed the beetles in the beams which were now chirping away merrily and falling out of the woodwork, presumably after mating. Solution: a trip to the hardware store for a heavy duty sprayer and a can of highly toxic gloopy stuff. Beetles now gone (I hope for good).

Rue du Nord

My new home

Second problem: the water heater, which has always given great service has suddenly decided to spring a leak. Now this one is a bit more disruptive and expensive than the beetles. Chap is coming on Wednesday to replace, hopefully without causing more problems.

But, the important thing is I AM HERE, and I am writing. Thirty thousand words since I arrived and now getting into a routine. I have already met some new neighbours, been invited out for dinner, and joined an art class. Everyone seems very happy that I am here for the summer but doubt that I will last longer than November. I have been warned that ‘the winters are cruel’ here. We shall see.

Last week the internet arrived, ahead of schedule thanks to incredibly helpful staff at SFR who even lent me a mobile phone (free of charge) so they could update me on the progress of the order. Now I can phone folk in England for free (VOIP), catch up on my emails and, of course start this blog.

Next step is to get the loft room ready for visitors and get people booked in.

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