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Looking back on 2023

The year is coming to an end which seems like a good time to look back on this special year in our lives. It has been a year with mostly beautiful but unfortunately also some sad events.

The holidays are coming and we are celebrating with the grandchildren, and their parents of course, at our fairytale place in winter style. A lot of hard work has gone into the past few weeks to get the 'spa resort' finished. It's pretty much done, except for the finishing touches, so we will be able to enjoy the sauna and hot tub and the cold pool with the family.

However, we are now in the Netherlands for a few days due to the death of Johannetta's mother. That, together with the death of her father last June, are the sad events of 2023. This is a time that you realize that it can be difficult to live so far away. Fortunately, it is possible to travel to the Netherlands and Johannetta was able to prepare the farewell of both parents with her sisters. All in all, a dignified farewell to the dearest parents in the world.

All in all, 2023 was a very full year with the start of another great adventure, moving to France, lots of gardening and chores and wonderful new encounters. This time last year, we had only just heard that we could buy Moulin de Chez Joyeux, sold our house and started preparations for the move. Herman in particular was quite busy with this and Johannetta continued in her job to the last moment before leaving.

After a farewell party in No Going Back style, we headed to the Haute Vienne and began our new life in good spirits.

The garden was tackled, we brewed our first Moulin beers and practised four-course menus, the chambres d'hôtes were prepared and the living room in our house was given a new look and feel. And far too soon, it was June and the party could begin.

Busy times followed with lovely, happy guests. For three months, we were busy almost every day preparing the rooms, cooking, shopping, welcoming guests, setting the table, eating with the guests, and so on. We enjoyed it but were also a bit happy when we finally had some time off. Although Herman said, after just a few days, that he missed receiving guests.

This only lasted a short while, as we were soon busy again with the painting the shutters project, air ventilation in the old miller's houses and the swimming pool project. The latter won't be completely finished until March, which is when the new liner and cover will be installed, but the decking is already in place with sauna, hot tub and pergola. So when all is finished, we will have extra entertainment for the guests when there is the occasional rainy day next season. And we can already enjoy it ourselves in the winter months, of course.

What else to was quite exciting at times with rain causing the river to almost flood and the occasional tree falling over in the garden. Herman had an accident while driving to the Netherlands, but we won't talk about that any more....

We often hear owls in the forest at night and enjoy their concert under the stars. And most of all, we look forward to the time when the weather turns warm again and we can walk naked in the garden all day, watch the flowers bud and listen to the golden oriole.

For now, happy days to all readers of our blog and thank you to all the people who made this first year possible, our handyman friends and our lovely guests. We hope to see you again in 2024 at Moulin de Chez Joyeux!

And for those booking their summer holiday in the last week of the year 2023, you will receive our holiday gift: a free Spa package during your stay.


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