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  • Writer's picturePaula Dalton-Kirby

Welcome to August

Updated: Aug 8, 2021

Hello and welcome to our August Blog.

We made it. August is here and what a season so far. Finders Keepers France continues to grow in strength and plans continue to develop. We are very thankful for how this year has turned out and for the guests we have had the privilege to meet. Like most Gite owners we opened the season with many doubts. Would we get guests? How many cancellations would we receive? Would we all be safe?

We opened in May and instantly watched the bookings come in thick and fast. Phew. Due to the interest received, we had to open a reserve list. With each cancellation came an instant booking. Currently we are booked until September and I have no doubt it will continue until November.

Let me start my blog by discussing the subject on most peoples lips, the weather. What is happening? The weather here in France has been all over the place. One minute sunshine, the next rain, then worst of all, the wind. The wind this year was the worst we have ever seen. Seeing our new gazebo take off and break into a thousand pieces was heart-breaking, however we feel that we may have got off lightly. Areas were hit with hailstones the size of golf balls, shattering windows and ruining cars. Thankfully we only lost a few trees and the gazebo so we were very lucky. It came and it went in a flash, literally.

The sun and rain has certainly helped the gardens. Mowing continues every 2 days, which is unreal for this time of year. Darren has had to purchase a new sit on mower due to his old one not being able to stand up to the lawns demand. Seeing a lush green lawn at this time of year is very unusual but fabulous to see, especially for our August returners. The bushes have almost doubled in size and the flowers are beautiful. Take a look at our latest video.

This year Darren has found a new love, the cactus. He always had a soft spot for succulents however recently has fell in love with these new rather spiky creatures. Slowly cactuses and succulents are moving in. They have taken over the gite garden and now 'sunset view' garden. Even the old boat has undergone a full transformation and is the home to the cactus/succulent boat display. I must admit, initially I wasn't so sure. However after seeing the large selection of cactus on sale and the beauty they bring when they flower I have been transformed. The boat is now a hit with all of our guests and it sits pride of place in the garden behind 'shady rest'

Its also that time of year for cuttings, and this year Darren has gone mad. 250 cuttings so far and counting.

Planning is underway for the 2022 Season and we are very excited to be opening 'Walnut Grove' Glamping and also Le Campeur (Camping tent). Within Walnut Grove there with be 4 luxury glamping tents - 5m Walnut Tipi (King size bed), 5m Hazel Belle (Double bed), 4m Oak Tipi (2 single beds) and 3m Cherry Belle (1 single bed) all with fabulous views and use of the communal kitchen, shower block, luxury green compost toilet, mains toilet and retreat facilities. Plus there will be La Campeur which is a campers tent for 2 with many camping accessories set within its own gardens with a fabulous view. Further details and prices can be found on our website

and will be updated as it develops. We are hoping to open for bookings from January 2022 with an opening date 1 June 2022. We are very excited to share with you the developments as they progress.

Marcadis Gite - In 2022 Marcadis Gite will see an upgrade to its bed. It will go from a double to a luxury King Size, plus it will see the development of the rear courtyard garden. No more early morning wake up calls from the chickens tapping on the window for breakfast.

Are you having breakfast?

Chickens - Sadly Mr Fox has made a visit to Finders Keepers France and helped himself to the ladies. Despite many sleepless nights and work trying to secure their old home, we had to accept defeat and had no option but to purchase a cage to keep the remaining ladies safe. Despite their traumatic ordeal, the safety of their new cage hasn't gone down well with the remaining ladies. Since arriving with us from the battery farm they have been spoilt with a chateau style coop, receive regular treats from guests, plus have the the freedom of 13 acre gardens. To them, going back into a cage, no matter how big it was, was like returning to where they had come from. This has been very difficult for us as we want the chickens to enjoy their freedom but at the same time we don't want to see them killed. Seeing them unhappy within their new home has pulled on Darren heartstrings. So, they have been allowed to roam free through the day but have been ordered to be back inside the safety of their cage before dusk hits. Seeing them run free from the cage every morning with their wings flapping in excitement is perfect.

We are very excited to be completing another rescue in September where we will see 10 new ladies join the freedom here at Finders Keepers. Fingers crossed they have a long and happy life of freedom.

Alfie - Approaching 18 we have seen a huge change in our little dog Alfie. We rescued him from a shelter back in the UK 17 years ago and he has certainly kept us on our toes with his naughty ways. However, due to a loss in his hearing and sight he now spends his days relaxing in the comfort of the main house on the sofa. Every couple of days he may find a spurt of energy and want to go on a walk, which in turn leads to him relaxing for a few days after due to exhaustion. He is still the man of the house in our eyes and despite his old man ways we love him more than ever.

Cats -We have had a new joiner to the cat family. A young male cat who we think may be approximately 6 months old. He is very feral yet very friendly with Sunflower, ginger and dumpy. In fact we think he may be Dumpys boyfriend as he spends most of his time following her everywhere, We are unable to catch him as yet to take a visit to the Sssssshhhhh Vet, for the removal of his you know what, however we continue to feed him and gain his trust. We have named him Frank.

Well, I think that brings up up to date with this years updates.

Thank you once again for joining us and supporting us through our journey.

We will be back in a few months as we start to prepare for the arrival of Autumn.

Take care and stay safe.

On se revoit tous dans quelques mois.

Darren and Paula

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