Bonjour mes amis!
How is it the end of September already? Seems like only yesterday I sat down to write my last blog way back in June. Or maybe that’s because to look at the house it really doesn’t look that much different!???
First up and quick roof update. Well short story is I’m still waiting for it to be done but it’s not for the want of trying. Scaffolding was erected, extra manpower brought over from the UK and the weather gods were on our side. The only thing we forgot was the complete and utter shut down of France in August. So off we go to book the tile lifter to do the job only to find out the hire shop was on holiday for 3 weeks…….. So rather than waste the manpower I got them to hack off the ugly render on the front of the house. ‘All’ I need to do now is re-point it all before winter sets in. The first picture on the left is when I first got the keys in October 2016.
And yes that is a new car. A little early birthday present to myself. After temps of 45o, enough was enough air con became a necessity. I said a sad farewell to my little loyal Tonka toy (Citroen C1) and traded it in for Renault captur, which has the added bonus of a being able to open the passenger window and boot I can fit more than a pint of milk in.
Unfortunately, the lack of a new roof meant that this happened the other night and I woke up being rained on. Thankfully not too much damage but I will need to do a bit of filling and repainting to cover the stain. Of course it would happen in the only room that is almost finished, whereas the barn that has more holes than I can count was bone dry.
While I was getting frustrating at not really being able to do much while the render came off and floors were being leveled in the yoga room I decided to sort out the wall around the back gate. But of course you know I’m going to tell you this wasn’t a straight -forward job don’t you? Needless to say the ivy had done so much damage to the wall that as I took the render off the whole wall crumbled; cue emergency help needed from builder Dave to re-build the wall before the lintel came crashing down. Of course, it does now show up how bad the condition of the gates are but they will have to hang on in there for a couple more years yet.
And the yoga room? Well all the electrics are in, the floor is insulated and it’s now ready for the plasterer to do the ceilings, which will hopefully be done in the next few weeks. Then the floor can go down, and I will at long last have a clean proper dedicated space to practice and classes can start.
As part of the yoga room work I have finally got rid of the, ahem, lovely glass bricks in the living room too – I was so very sad to see those come out……. I hope to be able to show you that finished in the next blog.
In an attempt to try and get some of the messiest work done I’ve also started sandblasting the beams and fireplace in what will be the kitchen. 2 days of noise and dust and hard work. While Builder Dave had the harder job of being in the suit with the sand gun I had the fun job of loading 700 kgs of sand into the hopper. At the moment the sand is all still in the room as round 2 of sandblasting is scheduled for 2 weeks time so I will clear up then – pics to follow in the next blog.
It looks from above that I’ve not been doing much and very little progress has been made but believe me those photos represent weeks and weeks of work.
I, and Builder Dave both took some time out, which also slowed things down. First up was a whistle stop trip back to the UK for Builder Dave Junior’s (Shaun) 40thbirthday that passed in a blur of driving, ferry crossings, trains, food, celebrations and lots of banter.
I took a day out and went to Cognac just to get away from the mess and dust. Such a beautiful town and I’m so lucky to be only a short drive away.
I took a few more days out and drove up to Brittany to stay with lovely friends who look after me very well. Whilst there I went up to the Buddhist centre to meditate – I know, who would guess in the middle of nowhere in Brittany there would be the most beautiful temple.
On my way back from Brittany I picked up a friend from the airport who as usual worked her socks off in my allotment and made some headway into cleaning up some of the dust. We also went to Ile de Ré for a couple of days. Such a beautiful place that I will definitely go back to but never again in August. There were just so many people, far too busy for me. How can I call myself a Londoner?
I’m still dancing once a week and I am pleased to say that the numbers have gone up and it is a very enjoyable evening. Just need to find a few social dances that get advertised sooner that the day it happens or as seems to be normal here after the event! It’s not a short drive to dancing but it is a very beautiful one.
I haven’t found much time to paint – I know, I know I need to make it more of a priority but I did manage to fit this butterfly in while in the UK and I have been up cycling furniture ready for the gite. The chandelier was a project for a customer. I’ll leave you to decide which are before and after photos.
My last trip, which ended on Friday, was 3 nights in Spain to visit friends who live completely off grid deep in the campo amongst the olive groves. And on Monday I really must get back to work!
Until next time xx