Blossom and flower buds (newsletter)

Blossom and flower buds (newsletter)

The first blossoms are coming back to the trees, snow chains are no longer mandatory, the cows are back in the pasture and the grass is starting to grow; it’s spring! In this sunny newsletter you will read how we enjoyed the winter, how we are preparing for a second high season, how we are doing privately and developments since our return from the Netherlands.

Another winter

How different this winter was from last year’s. Instead of an emigration followed by a major renovation, we have taken our rest in recent months. The store has remained open 6 days a week and the bar on weekends, but both with limited hours. We were able to host several guests in the chalets and in the campground. Some who longed for snow, others just on their way back or through to Spain or Portugal. We ourselves used those free hours gratefully. So Dennis got his PS4 out from under the dust, Jelle finally read a book again and we wore out a lot of Yahtzee sheets together.

Big spring cleaning

With spring approaching, we have been focusing mainly on periodic maintenance in recent weeks. Cubic yards of leaves we raked and blew, but the grounds are once again ready for spring. The chalets have all been thoroughly cleaned, all kitchens and interior doors repainted and all patio furniture is in a new coat of stain. The washing machine at the campsite unfortunately broke down, so it too was replaced. All minor repairs have been made and this will allow our guests to experience the best possible vacation again this year. In the main house, we removed the paneling from the second half of the roof just to be sure. This was so we could see if the rafters behind them were in a similar condition as we found earlier. Fortunately, hardly any damage can be observed here, which gives us another bit of peace of mind.

Grants and administration

Meanwhile, we discovered the “comcom,” or communauté de communes. Not too far, in Riom-ès-Montagnes, we can go here for all kinds of administrative matters. Several government agencies have open consultation hours there once in a while, and so we were suddenly a child there last month. Emptying the glass container at the campground, taken care of in no time. An informational conversation regarding grants for home improvements – including the roof; ticked off. Then another morning in the waiting room to finally arrange Dennis’ Carte Vitale and then it was enough of visits to the old station building…

Collaboration

As described earlier, we simply have to do it together here in the countryside. So for the upcoming season, we have some great new collaborations lined up, in addition to existing partnerships. During the months of July and August, masseur Arno van Haren will be at our campsite every Tuesday to offer massages to our guests and other interested parties. So just that extra bit of relaxation on vacation! In addition, we recently started a collaboration with Lianne Hommel of
Parfumbijdewas.nl
. Together we ensure that our guests are introduced to their deliciously fragrant products. For example, you can unmistakably smell that the bedding and towels in our Chalets and Mobil Homes are washed with perfume at the wash, leaving the entire accommodation smelling wonderfully fresh!
We finally received approval to become resellers of the local newspaper, La Montagne, after repeated requests and much patience. Thus, from now on, locals will have their daily dose of news available directly from us. Then, after almost a year, we finally got in touch with a supplier of local souvenirs. So now magnets, key chains, mugs, books about the area and Cantal cutting boards are available in the store. In addition to an array of local postcards, a genuine “camping” postcard has now become a reality, secretly quite proud of our first own merchandise! Finally, since this week we also have several delicious organic specialty beers in the épicerie from
Brasserie des Estives
from nearby Allanche on sale. If desired, with glass and gift wrap, so not only delicious for the caravan, but also nice as a gift for those back home.

Dutch Pearls of the Auvergne

Meanwhile, we have had several enthusiastic Dutch visitors who stopped by as a result of our Ik Vertrek broadcast. It is still special to experience people calling you by first name as soon as they walk into the reception, but also fun! In fact, at some point the interest was so great that we have already had to sell “no” for the first time this year. So those who want to drop by would be wise to make reservations 😉
We also met journalist and writer Imco Lanting last month. He has lived in Clermont-Ferrand since 2017 and manages, among other things, the Facebook page
Pearls of the Auvergne
. As part of a triptych he is writing for that purpose, he also visited us. On the page you will find posts about the Puy Mary and its natural beauty, our
top 10 things to do here in the area
and a nice description of Imco’s tourist route from Clermont-Ferrand to us.

Time has not stood still here, it still does!

All in all, it appears that the picture as we envisioned it when we embarked on this adventure has taken shape very nicely. The Dutch watch their eyes as the French run the bar, and vice versa there is also a healthy interest. The whole thing, with a local wine, beer and a frikandel or bitterball here and there, gives a wonderful relaxed and convivial atmosphere. This is exactly how we wanted it, so bring on that high season!

Hope to see you soon,

Much love dès la douce France!

Dennis & Jelle

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