It’s all go at the château

It’s hard to believe we are into our seventh week of lockdown life here at Chateau de Jalesnes.

Spring at the château.

Time has flown by here in our little bubble away from the realities of the pandemic.

The back yard.

It’s been a productive time both in terms of the work we’ve done in and around the chateau but also on our respective little projects we have.  I’ve used this quiet time to squeeze out as much as I can from all the down time that we have.  Well, maybe not the blog as, once again, it’s gone by the wayside.  Keeping all the plates spinning isn’t really my forte especially when procrastination has an annoying tendency to play its part.


This will be my first update in about a month as the blog has been put off week after week.  But today I was determined to get a blog post out come hell or high water.  So, quoi de neuf?

Hand painted balloons brightening up the lift inside the château.

We’ve had a variety of things to do here most of which have been outside.  Normally the wedding season would be in full swing by now but unfortunately nearly all the weddings have been either cancelled or postponed until next year.  Most of the weddings that happen here are for couples and their respective family and friends arriving from overseas, mainly, the United States, Australia and the UK and with Macron declaring a firm ‘Non’ to opening up the French borders anytime soon postponements and cancellations have been trickling in. 


But the grounds still need looking after and with spring arriving with gusto combined with mixed weather for two weeks or so the gardens have been growing at an exponential rate.  It’s like the forth bridge.  We can’t keep up.  No sooner is the grass cut, the flower beds weeded and the paths cleared it all needs doing again.  It’s a beast but we’re not complaining.  It’s enjoyable work but you don’t get long to admire the fruits of your labour before it’s time to start again. 

img_20200421_090013666_hdrThe vegetable patch is starting to show signs of edible things although the lettuces suffered after Bella the puppy flattened most of them.  We sampled some of the first strawberries last night.  For some of the bigger jobs reinforcements have been comandeered in the form of ‘boys toys’ like the rotivator and the monster chipper machine. There’s enough woodchip now to last a year or two I would imagine. 

A busy few days preparing the wild flower garden.
Taking shape.
Viola!  The end result.
The hired chipper machine.
Happy as a pig in…….
Tea break.

We work hard but play hard too.  The owners, Jenny and David are the best. They’re easy going, let us get on with the tasks we’re best suited to and bake us biscuits, cakes and hot cross buns and invite us for dinner or a barbeque at least twice a week.  With the resident musician to entertain us occasionally it’s not too much of a hardship. 


So lockdown doesn’t really feel like lockdown for us and we’re extremely grateful for that.  Ironically the once a week trip to the supermarket is always a highlight and a welcome change of scene for an hour or so.   Fortunately at about midday on a Saturday it has always been really quiet so we haven’t needed to queue even for the checkout. 

img_20200503_142637536So going forward then, from today we have a little more freedom to get out and about here in France.  We’ll no longer need to take our ‘attestation’ form with us saying why we are out and at what time we left home.  We are free to roam up to one hundred kilometres from home.  We’d planned to get out on the bikes today but it’s pouring with rain so that’s been put on the back burner for now. 

Practice studio in the hallway of the château.

We’re still unclear on how long we will stay in France though.  Boris made his announcement last night on relaxing the rules of confinement in the UK but it’s still an unknown if any campsites are going to be opening up in the UK this summer.  Our job down at the campsite in Cornwall was due to start at the beginning of July so we still need to wait and see if that materialises. 

Last year at the campsite in Cornwall!

We still have our original ferry booking for 12th June to return to the UK but without knowing if we have a job to go back to we’re reluctant to return.  As much as we’d like to return to see family and friends we don’t want to be stranded in the UK and not be able to get back into France or Spain if their borders are still closed. 

Macron has intimated that French borders will be closed until at least September.  We’ll just have to wait and see. 

One thing is for sure though our winter plans for this year have now been curtailed. 

We’d planned on a backpacking trip to South East Asia but, for now, we’ll leave that in the ‘for sometime in the future’ pile. 

À plus tard!

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We are Jane and Tim and we recently gave up our jobs and rented out our house to persue a life of travel across Europe in our motorhome called Ollie.

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