Our Second Week Working In Camping Le Moulin In Chef-Boutonne

We’re still getting used to our routine and what needs doing on our second week of work at Camping Le Moulin. Some of the work this week included resurfacing the campers’ parking area, planting a cherry tree, make the ground sticks/branches-free, cleaning the toilets, sorting bins, greeting customers and weeding around the main toilets/shower blocks to get it ready to be opened for the season.

Jamie's getting the hang of the strimmer.

Jamie's looking at what we've worked on; resurfacing the campers' parking area. Weed-free and dug out, it looks much neater. 

The last part will consist in laying some calcaire along the edge, crushing it down and adding some blue stones on top.
For the moment, campers and ourselves use the toilets blocks attached to the restaurant (Restaurant Des Canards) – they have two entrances one from the outside and one inside. These fairly new heated-floor toilet block (they’re only a year old) have one big toilet/shower room with disabled access and a toilet. There’s also one main sink with mirror by the entrance. One shower was fine... Until Thursday, when a small wave of campers arrived in the pouring rain.

We noticed then that people had been waiting in the morning to get in the showers – a physical queue hadn’t formed, but it was certainly a virtual one as we could see some walking back and forth to check if the shower was available. As part of the greeting, we explain that the main blocks are still shut for the Winter (low overnight temperatures are still forecast for next week risking freezing pipes). We still apologised to most about the lack of facilities.

Planting our first cherry tree!
One of the ladies we’d spoken to complained to me later on. It wasn’t an official complaint, far from it, but it was my first encounter with a not-so-happy-kind-of-customer. She went in the shower whilst I was cleaning them. Five minutes later, coming out of the shower with her robe and hair still wet, she told me there really weren’t enough showers for everybody. I apologised profusely and explained the situation. Although disgruntled, she told me just before leaving that it wasn’t my fault. It could have been worse, couldn’t it? I just hope she wasn’t completely put off by the campsite because of it.

We’re still loving working in Camping Le Moulin, there’s no question about it, but we’re realising how physically demanding the job is. We’re both tired early on in the evening. We haven’t even started early yet! Part of me has wondered how we will do in July and August... Ooh dear. I don’t think it’s that bad really. We still need to find our feet and a routine that works for us.

The main showers/toilets block still shut for the Winter. Part of getting it ready for the season is to clear all the weeds around it... Here's Before...

.... Here's After!




Plus it’s also been mentally difficult. Working together is good, but hard at the same time. Although travelling in our campervan meant that we were spending most of our time next to each other, working together, in the van, in one place is a whole new balance. Somehow it feels more on top of each other. I also tend to compare ourselves. Jamie’s a lot more confident and able with the tools we use from shovelling mud in the back of Stuart’s pick up to using the fast sit down mower or even the strimmer. It all seems quite second nature to him whereas I sometimes struggle a little.

Trying to look confident for the picture!
Came Thursday and it all became a little too much. We call it our “Cabin Fever” moment. We were off due to non-stop-downpour-rain. Stuck in the van, I worked all day on an album I was doing for my sister whilst Jamie was reading different things on the internet and listening to music. I don’t actually recall how it started, but Jamie was annoyed by the end of the day that he hadn’t done anything and that I’d been glued to the computer.  He just needed space. And I think that’s what I needed too. That’s exactly what I did at the end of the week and went on a four-hour long bike ride on Sunday, cycling 51km from the campsite to Melle and looping back through small rural villages.

Thursday, the dark rainy "Cabin Fever" day.

Cycling to Melle through beautiful scenery.

Melle's old Art Deco band stand on the main square.

12th Century Church of St Savinien in the centre of Melle.

The Church of St Hilaire, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on the outskirts of Melle.

My last stop, Périgné.

Sat on a bench by the church small car park, I notice the tableau on the right hand side. It seems to be a mosaic...

Taking a closer look, it doesn't seem to be a normal mosaic.

Indeed, it's a mosaic of the people of Périgné, it's called "Les voisins" (The neighbours)!

Note for self: We have to set aside some “me –time”! And I need to stop comparing ourselves and just be happy to work in such a nice small campsite.

Next week we'll hopefully be able to show you more pictures of the main showers/toilets block grand opening, and maybe even some of the  swimming pool!


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