Monday, 11 March 2013

Three weeks in France - Part 1


A fast trip from Caen and I was at the house by about 1:00.  First thing to look at is the state of the grenier after the splurge of work that Grant organised over the past couple of weeks.  The old floorboards and shelving units have gone, the windows are fitted, various roof supports have been replaced and the tiles checked, and the damp patch appears to be drying out well. 

The next job in this area will be to install the wiring though the joists, lay the new floorboards and remove the mortar covering the original stone walls.  This might take place late April

Bedrooms 1 and 2 in the grenier, with the damp patch drying well in the far corner

Looking towards the upstairs bathroom from what will be bedroom 3

Bedroom 3

Also included in the recent work was the removal of the downstairs bathroom to create a bigger lounge.  This bathroom will be relocated downstairs by the bedroom

Looking towards what used to be the bathroom and now the extended lounge

Grant came round for a visit late afternoon after I had finished unpacking.  I am really pleased with the work done and the project is, remarkably, about a fifth done now.


A surprise at 7:45 as IKEA arrive early with the delivery of three outdoor tables and 18 matching chairs. I have to put 2 tables and 10 chairs together this trip, the rest can wait.

I have decided to start on the downstairs shower room first.  The tiling is the first job, which takes about 8 hours as it is a very fiddly location.  Then a paint of at least a small patch of the walls.  By the end of the first day, I have done about one wall of painting and am pretty happy with the colour chosen.

Tomorrow should see the walls finished.  But one job that will be hard is the fitting of skirting boards.  Today's survey reveals that most of the walls are off plumb and so some tricky cutting is going to be required.

Dinner tonight after a 14 hour working day is chicken and new potatoes washed down with some merlot from the cave in St Jean


This morning's early morning visit is from the people who are fitting the new shutters over the french windows.  This is an insurance requirement given the long time each year that the house is not occupied.  They seemed to have them fitted by about lunchtime but then an afternoon of adjustment takes place for reasons I am not clear about.

While this is going on, I have a visit from Martin, our website designer.  He is actually writing a novel at the moment (which is why he is house sitting in France) and was off to visit a friend nearby.  We discussed our proposed painting course website in some detail, reviewing lots of other (mostly poorer) examples.

Shutters open and closed.  It requires two dry days to enable me to paint them.  The weather forecast is not good for the next week or so

For the remainder of the day, I concentrated on painting the shower room and paid a visit to the local Emmaus picking up about E10 of stuff - the sort we might try to sell back in the UK


Today is the first of two days when Grant will be working at the house with me.  We intended to focus first on the two doorways in Les Petits Chats and then move onto the boxing in of the VMC air extraction system

But some thought has been going into the downstairs doorway and I have decided to actually block in the doorway entirely.  This will leave the access between the two halves of the house just through the upstairs, but also opens up the opportunity to have a really nice sized bathroom downstairs in LPC.  So that's what we work on first today.

The doorway before and after the new wall

Also today is a visit from the person who is to empty our septic tank.  Technically this should have been done by the vendors before completion as it is not legal in France to sell someone your own merde!  The tanker only just fits in the street to the side of the house and has to run its pipes in through the side gate.

A talk with Daughter in Thailand (just starting her yoga course) and with Wife at home.

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