Showing posts with label Calais. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Calais. Show all posts

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The first night at the House With No Name

I panicked for a moment when I woke up. The room was bare, with ancient wooden beams, white-washed walls and a low, terracotta-tiled ceiling. Instead of the familiar hum of Oxford traffic, it was deathly quiet outside. Where the hell was I?

Then the amazing truth dawned. Nearly six years after we first set eyes on the House With No Name, we'd just spent our first night there. After a ten-hour drive from Calais, we'd arrived the night before to find the tumbledown farmhouse we bought on a whim all that time ago utterly transformed. It now has a kitchen, bathroom with views over the rolling French countryside and a beautifully restored stone staircase. Er, and apart from two beds and some gorgeous Cologne and Cotton linen, no furniture.

But with the middle part of the house habitable, a removal van from the UK will shortly trundle up the overgrown track to deposit a table, chairs, two sofas and a stack of books. What Jamie Briggs and his no-nonsense removal team will make of the House With No Name is anyone's guess. That's if they can even find the place. We couldn't give them a proper address because there isn't one.

But for a few days we've simply enjoyed the space, the peace and the quiet. We've each got a mug, a plate and, very importantly in this part of the world, a corkscrew. The fields are full of sunflowers, the sun's come out after a few stormy days and we're playing Amy Winehouse's stunning Back to Black album on my son's speakers. Like so many people, I'd never realised quite how brilliant she was before.
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