When I last left you I was just about to take some much-needed time out for me at a yoga retreat in Chamonix. Could not have picked a more beautiful setting – the photos show the view from my bedroom window and the hot tub. It was a very special week with lots of yummy yoga, some very special people, walking in the mountains, nourishing food, and a day at a spa where I found an outdoor pool that when you put your head under the water you could hear music playing.
I arrived back on a Saturday and was straight back to work on the Monday with Builder Dave. Yep that’s right, the girl who moved to France for a quiet life of painting, reading and yoga is now working full time with Builder Dave 6 days a week plus teaching 3 yoga classes a week (2 vinyasa style classes and one chair yoga class). I’m working more hours than I ever did in London and for a lot less money (where did I go wrong?!) but I absolutely love it and wouldn’t swap back for a second.
The good news is that not long after I got back from Chamonix, we were joined by Builder Dave Junior (Dave’s son Shaun) and the 3 of us now all work together. There is a rumour is that we might actually get to spend some days working at my house soon!!! Seriously, although it might not look like much on the surface and in the photos there has been an awful lot done and during the first week January the floors will finally be going down and I will at long last start to move upstairs. My bathroom won’t be finished until the end of March (more on the reason for this later), as Builder Dave won’t do it without me being here. I’m not a difficult customer just very particular about things!
Firstly a quick update on what has actually been done at my house; I now have window sills, some lights, door handles, the first coat of paint has gone on the walls in my bedroom (the colour is a lot nicer than the photo below would have you believe!) and the wardrobe room and cupboard above are now completed (the actual cupboards to go in the wardrobe room are still to be built and I will be having an IKEA build day between now and the new year).
Every now I then I do have a moment, usually when I’m up a ladder wiring in a junction box or connecting up sockets and actually know what I’m doing (!) when I think how did this happen?!
Here are just some of the things that I have been doing over the past few months: A new roof on a house, a new roof on a shed, chipping out the remains of broken paving and cutting new slabs to be laid, a huge 5 week repointing job consisting of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a corridor and a dining room, prepping for and pouring a concrete floor, laying some insulation and more prep work ready for repointing which revealed more than we bargained for when underneath all the plasterboard, wallpaper, battening, and cement we found 2 chimneys we hadn’t expected.
My mask after 2 days!!
And just when I thought I could take a rest my wood for the winter was delivered and then had to be stacked.
I’ve also had a few admin things to do too; my car went for it’s first CT (MOT) and thankfully passed with no problems. I had a bit of a moment when I realised that I hadn’t received my Taxe Fonciere (Council Tax equivalent) and that I was now late in paying and subject to a fine. Quick trip, well an hours round trip really as nothing is a quick trip here (!) to the local tax office was in order. Isn’t amazing how very helpful everyone can be when you want to pay them money? Although I’d Iike to think it was my perfect (ahem) French that did the trick.
And you will be pleased to know that despite everything I’ve been doing above I have found some time to paint.
And if you are still with me after all those photos I wish you a very merry Christmas and a successful and peaceful new year. See you all on the other side!