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and off we go!

It has been a while since the last blog was written. It has therefore been a busy period in which a lot has happened.

Therefore now a catch-up layer and in short a long story ...

The day approached when we would welcome our first guests to the gite.

The last work still had to be completed on the site, such as placing a children's swing and of course the swimming pool.

On the day that Erik was clearing the ground for the pool, I heard calls to our house downstairs. If I could come for a moment because there were cows on our land ...

Wherever I looked, brown cows were everywhere. The calves were not missing and the bull was immense.

They really walked all the fields, even where I had so carefully mowed the paths for the walking garden.

I kept at an appropriate distance, but the group really went everywhere.

In the meantime, Erik continued to work the ground where the swimming pool should be.

Because I didn't know exactly who the cows belonged to, I decided to text the neighbor. She is English and also knows the French language. Moreover, they knew which farmer it likely was.

She called the farmer a few times but without result. The cows continued to graze.

Small trees were demolished, cow flats were dumped everywhere. (good fertilizer right away on the ground, but it doesn't smell like roses)

After a few minutes I started to see the humor in it, especially when I started taking pictures and 1 cow remained very photogenic every time I took a picture.

She always looked into the camera at the right time with big brown eyes and long lashes.

She also decided to take the path of the gite.I just closed the door just to be sure. You don't want Bertha the Cow inside.

After a few attempts by the neighbor to reach the farmer, we heard calls and whistles on the other side of the fields.

The farmer!

All cows ran in the same direction in one go to where the calling came from.

And in the blink of an eye, the whole herd of cows, including the calves and the bull, had disappeared into the adjacent field where they belonged.

From now on we saw Bertha from the field where she should be. She always looks back when we pass by.

Whether it's the same Bertha, I don't know.But it is fun.

Her picture will definitely be in the gite someday. If only for the story ...

It is also very busy in the hedge at our own house.

A thrush flies of and on and the hedge keeps going dangerously back and forth.

Definitely not a Bertha who lives there, but on the corner I see a nest with just hatched young birds.

My 'mother's heart' opens because it reminds me of the young blackbird that I raised from the nest for more than 5 years and which I had as best buddy at home.

Contrary to 'my' Polleke, the baby birds in the nest in the hedge develop very quickly.

The mother bird flies off a lot, although I thought at first that she was quite lazy with feeding. She turns out to be a 'mother-alone' because there is nowhere to be found a male thrush that helps.

And the squeaks and chirps from the hedge are increasing.

After 10 days, I notice a really bigger young in the nest, already hopping through the branches and trying to make a big bird sound.

And suddenly, early in the morning, the whole nest has flown out (hopped out). Luckily, they weren't caught by a wild cat or anything like that. Because they are now all chirping in our 3 century old cherry tree.

And then, finally: our first guests are coming! Off we go!

A very exciting moment, because, after so long working on the gite, with all our heart and soul, we have to hand over the key to people who come to spend their holiday in our gite.

What kind of people are they?

Will they like it? Appreciate what we have done?

Everything that remains to be done, would that be a downside?

And above all: how will it go when you have guests?

It was a week to remember.

If you can speak of a 'trial' then this was it for sure.

After a few days the first hurdle came: the toilet was clogged!

We never thought of this happening. We also immediately thought of the septic tank, was it perhaps full? By suddenly being used by 4 people again?

Too little was said with a blockage. The toilet was overflowing. I will leave out details here.

Erik scooped the whole thing out and then removed the toilet from the floor.

Very strange: the passage to the septic tank was clean and open. The blockage was in the toilet itself. There appeared to be a very old toilet block stuck in the toilet. Probably an inheritance from the previous owner.

After this was resolved everything was working again and I was able to give the bathroom a thorough clean.

Because there was also a malfunction in the dishwasher, we decided to replace it with a new one at the next guests.

Anyway: we had a delicious wine on the terrace with our very first guests and we laughed a lot about everything.

Our very first guests, never to be forgotten. Their message in our guestbook was heartwarming!

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