Day Five

K – Today was ok. We saw a massive house in a horrible village then a horrible house in a nice village then a great house in a great village that we’re going to buy. Now we’re in a great B&B which has inspired us. Ask me later about mum’s new invention – a fabric wrap for the roof of a house to protect it from the wind. Night night.

P – OK, so that was Kev’s version of the day, he is very tired because he has driven all day. He has already decided which house we are going to try to buy – I say try because having bought and sold houses there is no definite guarantee you can get what you want, but he seems very determined.

Our day started with a 40 minute drive to Belveze du Razes, a nice–ish village in the Aude, then an interesting double property in another, much nicer village, Pech-Luna, again in the Aude – it’s a perfect location as it’s only an hour’s drive to the Mediterranean and to the Pyrenees and all the ski resorts, plus they will tell you that the weather is that much better. BUT as much as I would like to have liked the villages and the houses (we will be back, however, to explore Mirepoix – a medieval stunner), neither felt right nor ticked the boxes, and our thoughts keep gravitating back up to the Tarn or Tarn et Garonne. Both departments are lovely and quite similar, I could list a load of things we love about these departments; the undulating hills, the vineyards, the style of houses etc, but it’s not a singular thing – it’s a gut thing. In hindsight, they are the only departments where the agents haven’t actually tried to sell us the virtues of the area – they’ve sold themselves. We just love both departments and that has answered a big question which all the agents have asked us: where do you want to live? And now we know.

We have a short long list or a long short list which ever you think sounds better, and we started looking at the houses on that list today and will finish by 4pm tomorrow, then in good old X factor style we will sit with big glasses of wine in a smart Toulouse restaurant and go through the pros and cons of all of them and whittle them down until hopefully one rises to the surface. Kev’s has already risen, as you may have gathered.

So keep an eye on the blog on Sunday for news of which if any we have chosen as our front runner. And to see if Kev gets his way.

K – I’m on a weird sleeping pattern, but it’s fun, because I’m waking early. And this is giving me a little chance to edit all the blogs before Phill posts them! Mum’s classic line yesterday was a comment about all the little houses which had their own wind turbans. I’ve got the patent application in already, so all you entrepreneurs out there can just sit back down.

We started our re-visits this afternoon. Six in total. One is my favourite, another is Phill’s, and one’s a dud (just to keep mum and Ian on their toes). The one we saw today is my favourite, and here’s why. You look at the agent photos and it’s nothing special. But this place is going to keep us busy for 10 years – a magnificent garden to landscape, a 4 bedroom house to renovate, and 3 attached barns and stables to convert. It’s got a great view, on the edge of a little village on top of a hill, surrounded by vines (though, unfortunately, not in the direction this house looks), with a VERY trendy little cafe, and summer events, and smack bang in the middle of what is known as the Golden Triangle – the tourist destinations of Albi, Galliac, and Cordes sur Ciel, and 40 minutes away from another of our favourites, St Antonin Noble Val. And, a 55-minute drive for me from Toulouse airport. The price needs to be worked out, as it’s too expensive at the moment. But we have a persuasive agent on our side. We’ll fill you in tomorrow!

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