THEN THE PHONE RANG!
"Hello-- is it true you have really bought a Chateau? Is it alright if we come over to visit you?"
Obviously our daughters had been to see our new home, and we got excited then at the prospect of welcoming other family and friends to see how we were adapting to this new life-- but -- from June that first year we had someone staying every month! I do remember us being tired, as we hadn't set up any extra bedrooms, also my daughters boyfriend was still busy constructing a new kitchen for me. But we were happy and proud to show people around. The wow factor was always the staircase hall with its magnificent white stone winding staircase in the style of Louis Xlll
these pictures are by courtesy of Karel and Marja, who currently own one of the appartments
All the in between times we were working out how we could set up our business and what facilities we could provide. The first thing was, obviously, to sort out the accommodation. Alex contacted a builder and asked him round to give an estimate for changing the current rooms on the first and second floors into 15 luxury self-catering apartments. He duly arrived and we took him up to the two floors which he inspected at length. In typical french manner, he stroked his chin , he shook his head, pondered more , then looked at us both and said one word --"Impossible!" . Not to be outdone Alex took him down one end of the first floor to a huge room and asked him if he could turn that into a one bedroomed apartment. " Oui! ", he said-- " Great " said Alex with a grin, " then just do that 15 times !" pause " Impossible !" said the builder. Typical. to cap that he wanted the equivalent of £15 per hour per workman-- which at that time was HUGE. So it was a good job he wouldn't tackle it!
We sat down that night with a good bottle of red, and put our heads around working out a plan 2.