Sunday, 25 November 2012

France 4 - Sunday to Monday


Up at 7:00 this morning doing some filing of the plaster after my epic wallpaper removal of yesterday.  Then off to Loulay, a small village the other side of St Jean for a brocante market that I'd found details of on the internet last week.

Basically the whole of the east side of the village has been set aside for the market and there were maybe 300 stands in total.  I had a budget of 200 euros for the trip and a decent enough list of things I wanted to buy if I saw them.

After two hours browsing, my main pruchases were two bar stools for the kitchen, 10 volumes of Asterix the Gaul (in French of course), three or four other books on the local area, half a dozen jugs, some glass things, two paintings, and so on.

One item on my list is to buy a set of "statement" doors to seperate the main house from the refurbishment project.  I want these to be two doors that than lock in the middle.  One guy had exactly what I wanted but they had already been sold.  They would have been perfect (though I have no idea if they would have fitted or not).  They do look really nice

So here is my booty from Loulay brocante market.  I am very pleased with this indeed.

And below are the two stools in their new location at the bar by the kitchen

After lunch I went for a quick walk round our little hamlet.  People were out doing gardening jobs mainly - burning leaves, etc.  In the field opposite, there is a donkey who has been occasionally braying the last couple of days - surprisingly loudly it must be said.  She is rather cute though.

The nearest vines have been picked of course and are now looking very autumnal.  It won't be long before these are cut back I expect.

The view below shows our house, partially hidden by the trees in the foreground with St Hilaire church in the distance to the left.

Some nice piles of wood outside the neighbours' houses

By the early evening I had finished removing the wallpaper from the bedroom upstairs.  Another 6 hours of work, but very satisfying.  Tomorrow afternoon I should be able to sand it all down and then do the white emulsion coat that I want to act as the base for the top coat.


At 8:00 I am in St Jean only to discover that the Leclerc actually opens at 9:00.  So I have time for a drink at Ellis Park and a read of The Sunday Times international edition.

At 9:30 I am at Gill's where I meet Richard and we move the other stuff I bought from Gill.  Two mattresses for the single beds, a double bed headboard, a large white kitchen table and the dark cupboard.  Then off back to the house for a long meeting about the various projects we have in mind for this winter (and the next)

First up, the downstairs bathroom.  That is now just a plumbing and electrics job now I am going to do the decorating and should only be a day or twos work.  We have tentatively planned to meet again on Thursday and go to Saintes to buy the stuff for this.  Tomorrow I have to go down and select it all.

Then we have a look at some other small jobs - the lock on the main door, the tap in the bathroom upstairs, one electrical thing.  All fairly straight forward.

Then onto the big project - the grenier conversion.  I have a new plan that Richard hasn't seen yet and we go round the loft working out what I now have in mind.  He seems happy it is all very possible.  He also suggests that we get rid of the bathroom downstairs entirely and make the lounge bigger instead - that could work very well.

His survey of the loft is largely the same as mine.  But he surprises me by removing the velux roof unit and climbing out onto the roof proper to have a good look at where the water is coming in.  Overall this doesn't seem to be too bad and at least I now know that the roof is solid if Richard is prepared to trust it.

Outside, we have a look at the idea of a new terrace at the far end of the garden, we discuss the pool shutdown and also the removal of various plants, including a tree that might be damaging the pool. 

In all, we spend about 4 hours on it and make some very good progress I think.

After lunch, I take some more photos of the house

These are the little cats that "Les petits chats" is named after.  £20 from a reclamation yard near Burford.

The Clementes left us a large knife sharpening stone - should be useful

Then it is back to work on the bedroom upstairs.  All the prep has now been done and the room can be painted white tomorrow

I have also set up the kitchen to look far more like it will do going forward.  The glass-fronted cupboards have been filled with glass stuff and some plates, etc, and look really nice.  The herb picture that I paid 2 euros for at Loulay looks good as well.  And I now have a complete set of matching chairs to go round the table (another thing the Clementes decided to leave)

Finally, I have set up another of the bedrooms into something like the trim we want it in and it looks pretty good.  I will repaint this room eventually but perhaps not till next winter.

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