It all began from an idea. A couple of years ago Gerry built a lovely little playhouse in the garden, which was well received not only by my grandsons (aged 4 & 5,) but also little visitors to Chez Mimi. However, at Christmas I looked at my boys and realised that they had become mini giants and that unless they took a shrinking pill the doorway may pose a problem.
I began a tentative conversation with Gerry along the lines of what if we took down this playhouse and built a bigger one. The idea was well received so many days of planning ensued and finally we had a more or less final version. The plan was to build two rooms, one as a summer house for the adults in need of a quiet peaceful place to sip their wine and the other as a play area with an upper floor. The play area would be designed as a ship, but each floor would be high enough for older children to stand up. An internal staircase leading up to the map room and bridge (poop deck) with slide (gang plank) as the exit.
We decided to use as much recycled material as possible and managed to find some excellent windows and doors from the site "Leboncoin" (highly recommended.) Additional windows were supplied by friends and with everything underway I duly departed for England as half term Granny.
On my return I was greeted with an amazing structure much bigger than I had anticipated but fabulous all the same. Unfortunately, this is where we fell foul of local planning regulations and we received a registered letter from the local Maire informing us that we should have applied for planning permission BEFORE starting any building work. We had not given that any thought as it was a wooden structure in the garden. PANIC ensued and we deciphered the forms and understood that we could put this right by asking for retrospective permission. The forms were filled in and taken to the Maire. One week later we received another registered letter saying we had omitted some information so we supplied that and took it for the official stamp. This week we have received a letter saying that the Mayor is happy with the paperwork and as long as we publicly display his permission alongside a planning board for two months and no-one objects we are ok. OH THE RELIEF (with fingers still crossed!)
When the boys were here for Easter they had a marvellous time helping with finishing off jobs - hammering, drilling and sawing. Daddy and Mummy were not with us due to work commitments so didn't need to be aware of any potential risk factors! During one lunch time we got around to the naming of the new playhouse. Of course it wasn't that simple as one said "Boathouse' and the other said 'Houseboat." So until a better suggestion comes along we have followed our esteemed boat namer and we have "BoatymacBoathouse."
There are still a few small finishing off jobs, but our current guests have two little ones, who have had great pleasure in running in, ascending the stairs and whooshing down the slide brandishing some very scary cutlasses!
My brother and his wife are arriving for a visit next week - we may have to have a launch party!!!!