HOORAY! Although it was dusk , we could see a Pickfords lorry trundling up the drive. The driver jumped out , looked up at the building and cussed - obviously realising the enormity of his work tomorrow. He explained that the other two trucks had bedded down for the night en route as it was so late ,and that they would be arriving the next day. We were so thankful when he said his lorry had the beds and kitchen equipment on board . Alex sped off in the car to the nearest telephone box and rang EDF emergency number and they promised that they would send someone to turn us on ' toute suite' ! Our spirits lifted and we wandered through the ground floor of this vast building trying to locate a suitable ' smallish' area where we could set up a temporary nest. Mum was tired and we needed to eat and she needed to rest. Lo and behold the EDF were true to their word and a technician soon arrived and within half an hour we had some form of lighting on the ground floor. The problem we hadnt considered was the lack of light bulbs, but we made do.
Trying to ignore the dead flies and what looked suspiciously like mouse droppings we chose to set up in what must have been the guardians appartment located in the east wing on the ground floor of the chateau. It had a toilet ,which was in reasonable condition, and two rooms, one which could be a kitchen , then there was a wooden staircase which led up to a mezzanine to three rooms which could be bedrooms. The Pickfords man carried in some hard chairs and a table, so we sat Mum down and hunted for a broom. The dogs meanwhile had been going bonkers in the grounds, so we had to rake them in. Surprisingly they did as they were told and settled into their boxes, obviously glad to be finished with car travelling. So that was all good news! The bad news was, the beds were right at the back of the lorry, and so was the cooker!!! Then good news again, a microwave oven was reachable, and sleeping bags, also one put-u-up for Mum. I had been prepared for an emergency dinner, so we microwaved some jacket potatoes, heated up some tinned vegetables opened a tin of ham, and the most important of all, cracked open a bottle of good red! Here we were now all of us , including the Pickfords man, seated around this little table and dining ( we felt) like - Kings!
Time for bed, and we were so tired and warm with wine that we didn't notice how hard the floor felt beneath the sleeping bags. Mum was comfortable and thought she was ' camping'. The P man was totally spooked though and he decided he would sleep in his lorry. When he said that, it occurred to us that we hadn't even thought of the possibility of GHOSTS ? Now that was on our minds as we turned off the lights and noticed all the sounds that a huge house makes as it settles down for the night, that and the odd mouse scurrying. Did we care? NOT A BIT ! Come hell or high water we were going to enjoy this experience!