Renovating In France – What We Bought

Chataigne Farmhouse in France, before renovation
Chataigne Farmhouse in France, before renovation

The decision to buy a property in France was a complex one, kind of made following a series of events including illness and redundancy. For a while, we even contemplated moving our family out to France, but as my job offer there was based on ‘commission only’, we decided it was too high risk in the end.

The France bug had bitten however! It is so tempting once you see how much your money can buy out there, and you imaging the idyllic scene of children running in fields and playing outside in the fresh air, cycling down country lanes and eating fresh fruit straight off the trees. We imagined sitting outside on the warm balmy evenings, sipping our wine, watching the stars and listening to the crickets chirp. Oh, yes, we’re dreamers alright!

Playing in Fields in the French Countryside
Playing in Fields in the French Countryside

We decided to look for a property with a gite, so that as well as giving us the chance to enjoy family holidays every year, we could have a modest income to help the property pay its way.

Imagine our delight when we found a place (almost) in budget, with not one, but three gites! Of course it needed work (don’t they all?), but we convinced ourselves that, even though it had been standing empty for several years, the work was manageable and we could have it up and running in no time!

Swimming Pool Area at Chataigne House before renovation
Swimming Pool Area at Chataigne House before renovation
Chataigne House Pool Garden/Picnic area before renovation
Chataigne House Pool Garden/Picnic area before renovation
Debris in the pool and picnic area when we viewed it
Debris in the pool and picnic area when we viewed it

Standing empty for a while might have been the least of our worries, as we found that the property had actually suffered from neglect or lack of investment for a considerable number of years.

And so begins our story…..

How To Make A Roman Shield

Ready to make our Roman Shield Homework Project
Ready to make our Roman Shield Homework Project

Last half term, H came home with a great piece of homework. I thought it was great anyway! It was to design and make a Roman Shield, recording the process in drawings or photos.

I thought this was going to be such an exciting project. I love a good craft challenge, and as my boys are getting older, the opportunity for crafts (or the willingness, should I say), is getting less. There had been so many craft challenges in school recently in the other year groups, I was so pleased it was our turn.

Not so my eldest son, it seemed. He was indignant that his ‘own time’ during the holidays was being interrupted with such menial tasks as school work! Even the very interesting subject of the Romans, and the very cool task of making your own Roman Shield to use in a future battle reenactment at school couldn’t motivate him.

Hard to motivate a child to do his homework
Hard to motivate a child to do his homework

What to do with such attitude? Well, my solution was to offer to help him make a ‘how to’ video to put on YouTube. Lo and behold, it did the trick! It was a first for both of us, so please excuse the poor production quality, but it did encourage a lot of independence as well as creativity, and made me tackle the technology which will help us continue to blog our way into the future!

So here it is, without further ado, Hugo’s first ‘How To’ video:

He is so pleased with the number of views so far, please leave a comment if you can (all encouragement for future homework greatly appreciated!)

Very pleased with his Roman Shield and the 'How To' video
Very pleased with his Roman Shield and the ‘How To’ video

Pin this post for later. Your homework will thank you!

How To Make A Roman Shield - step by step with video instruction. Child-friendly help with your homework from Family Makes
Pin for later – How To Make A Roman Shield

 

Proud to be linking up with:
Monkey and Mousewww.mrscraftyb.co.uk

 

 

 

Joe Danger by Toby

Today I’m playing Joe Danger.

I first discovered this game when I was flicking through the Xbox menu, and I thought it looked cool. I was dead right!

So, I downloaded it, and here I am playing it now. I think it is the best bike game ever!

There are a few sound issues which we’ll fix, but the game is awesome so I hope you enjoy it anyway. Take a look at our other YouTube games tutorials there too – we love Minecraft and Terraria especially.