Look:

After only several trips to furniture stores and garden centres (all valuable research, mind), we bought this excellent metal garden table and chairs.

It’s our first purchase – and a major step up from this uncomfortable arrangement:

On Friday, we also found a wooden bed at a nearby Brocante (the French equivalent of an antique shop). Didn’t even need to make an appointment – they were open!

It’s taken ages to find something with the right look. All the modern stuff is too new, too expensive and very un-eco. So it was heartening to find exactly the right thing at a very good price.

We didn’t buy it, though.

Because a few days ago, I said what we really needed to find was a hotel or restaurant that was closing down, so we could buy the furniture from them. Very reasonably, Clare said she didn’t think that would be so easy. What with being new to the area. And English.

We’ve also been on the look-out for dog(s) and cats, with chickens and maybe pigs to follow. The excellent thing about having very specific needs (I hate that word – it’s so… needy) is that you can manifest them quite quickly. It’s something that some people like to call coincidence (more on that, later).

At the market on Thursday, we saw a couple with a lovely dog and asked what breed it was. They looked at us blankly and I suspected I’d chosen the wrong word, but actually their chosen language is English. The Dartmouth Yachting Club T-Shirt was a bit of a giveaway, but you can’t be too careful. The dog was a lurcher cross whippet, I think. Very sweet.

However, they told us about some kittens that were going free from their local café in a village a couple of miles up river. On Saturday we went to their house with a stout cardboard box. It’s a big house.

Used to be a hotel.

With a restaurant.

We’re going back soon to look at all the furniture they don’t need any more.

Here’s a picture of our two very happy cats, Snuggly and Feisty:

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