Making do and making arrangements

So we arrived at our house in France to find it was not cleared out and had no services connected…

Water was the most immediate concern – so we were very grateful for a downpour of rain, a bucket, and an overflowing drain pipe across the road. At least we could flush the toilet!

Within 2 days we had water (helps if you turn it on at the mains!), electricity, our first lot of furniture and appliances, and shortly after the gas came on.

Walking to the large Carrefour supermarket in Pechereau just outside Argenton-sur-Creuse (a lovely walk alongside the river which we still like to do on a regular basis) …

…we stocked up on food, basic household supplies and cleaning equipment.

After a second trip to Conforama in Chateauroux, we had enough furniture to make ourselves, and our first guest (a builder friend who was stopping by on his own travels to lend us a hand) quite comfortable. Mind you, we were literally still making our bed when he arrived, so we put him straight to work.

In fact we were doing so much assembly with an allen-key that Tony adapted one to fit into his cordless drill. Brilliant!

Getting in touch with the English bloke who owned the “gite” (pronounced zheet – a self-contained holiday accommodation) where we stayed close-by on our first trip to France, who did some handyman work on the side and owned a trailer, meant that we could get rid of some of the random stuff left in the house (by this stage, all piled up in the garage) at the tip. It would have been handy if he had forewarned us that the rubbish needed to be separated into wood, construction materials, cardboard, metal, etc.

Organising an internet/TV/phone package with Orange was rather daunting and confusing and I really didn’t understand why we had to get a second line put in, though later it became clear that one is the normal landline and the other the internet line. (The theory being, that if the internet is down you still have a phone, but in normal circumstances we make all outgoing calls via the internet line.) It was helpful to discover the phone number for the English-speaking customer service centre (tel 09 69 36 39 00 – notice how French phone numbers are said in pairs as in zero-nine sixty-nine thirty-six thirty-nine double-zero), and later on we added unlimited VOIP calls to Australia for 7 extra euros a month.

In general, things seemed to take quite a while to organise but Argenton is in the country after all (about 300km south of Paris) and why be in such a rush? The slower pace is all part of the charm of the place.

The best thing of all was that, with patience, effort and cautious expenditure, day by day, something new came together and we were extremely appreciative of every little thing.


About frenchfry36

South African by birth, British by right, Australian by oath, French by choice.
This entry was posted in France, Living in France, Renovating in France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Making do and making arrangements

  1. Jim says:

    Love your blog… we purchased a home in Argenton sur Creuse last year and found your blog after. I just read your post on getting internet/tv/phone package from Orange and I will be heading there in a week and one of my chores is to get WiFi in our home… any advise you could pass along would be great. My french language skills are basic at best. Thanks… maybe I will see you one day in our lovely little town.

    • frenchfry36 says:

      Well hello there neighbour! Best thing to do is call Orange on their English speaking line 001133969363900 (if calling from Australia) but be prepared for a long wait. Have all your questions noted down because you won’t want to call back! You could check out their website first at although it is in French. There is also an Orange shop in town so you can ask for any equipment to be delivered there if that suits you. I hope that helps! Bonne chance 🙂

      • Jim says:

        Bonjour voisin. We are from the US so I will look online for the English speaking line for the US and give that a try. I did see the Orange shop in town last time I was there and there was always a long line with people with very unhappy faces…ha-ha. Much thanks.

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