We had such high hopes for this year, but already January has gone anything but to plan. The kids went back to school and we were all set to go back to work. 3 days they lasted and then the dreaded sickness bug swept its way through the family. Unfortunately Andrew and I were hit the same day making parenting near impossible. It's times like these that we thoroughly miss having close family around.
We optimistically started the following week but then emails and notes in school books informed us of a strike and so the schools were closed for a day. This was followed by a heavy night of snow. For some reason we decided to try the school bus in the morning as no messages had been sent and we failed to check the school transport website. We wondered why no other kids were waiting and once we realised that the bus was indeed not on its way we made our attempt back home.
We didn't get very far. We had to abandon our car by our neighbours house as the wheels were skidding on the snow trying to get up the hill. We left Andrew to go and rescue it as I called the schools to say no...we would not be making it in today. So the kids enjoyed a long weekend. We made giant snowmen and footprints in the snow, huddled by the fire and dug out the hot chocolate from the back of the cupboard.
But our most crushing blow was yet to come. Andrew and I went to speak to the mairie about our camping plans for the summer. We wanted to set paperwork in motion so we didn't get any last minute surprises. We were not expecting what was to come. Since out initial meeting with the mairie, where everyone was enthusiastic and excited about our bell tent plans, it seems all rules and regulations have recently changed. We are on what is officially classed as agricultural land and so because of this we are not allowed to welcome campers on site as this is a tourist, not a farming, activity. Ironically, if we were a farm we could offer 'camping a la ferme' (an option we may genuinly look into.)
We then thought ok...well at least we have the barn. Nope, this is also a no go. The applications for converting buildings into dwellings apparantly closed last year, and there is no future set date as to when applications might reopen again. (It was hinted it could be years down the line.) So although we could continue work on the barn, we would not be allowed to welcome paying guests.
We are DEVASTATED. We have been planning our bell tent camping ever since we moved here and to receive this news has been crushing. We so desperately wanted to share our beautiful space with you but, for now at least, it's not going to be possible. So...we've started to develop Plan B. We'll keep you updated. We're trying to stay optimistic! It obviously wasn't meant to be, but we're not giving up just yet!
We truly hope you've had a better start to the year! Do let us know what you've been up to.