Monday, 11 March 2013

Three weeks in France - part 2


Grant is back for another day.  This morning we visited Saintes to choose a door for the upstairs connection into Les Petits Chats.  And buy lots more plaster board and associated stuff.

As I have been preparing the occasional IKEA chair and sorting out other stuff, a huge pile of rubbish has begun to build up by the garage.  I have christened it "cardboard mountain" and am keen to see how high I can grow it. 

Meanwhile Grant worked on the door upstairs - a slightly fiddly job as the door has to be cut down to fit and is unusually fitted together.  But as always, Grant does a fine job.  With this now done, I can start work on the decoration of the boy's room - my principal weekend job

Late afternoon, we met in the Gitem store in St Jean where I bought a TV and a washing machine and Grant helps me organise the installation of Freeview on Satellite.  This will be done next week, hopefully in time for the deciding matches in the rugby and the first Grand Prix of the year.

So four full days have gone.  I have done about 50 hours so far, long days that start about 5:30 and end mid-evening, driven on by listening to some downloaded radio shows by Gideon Coe and Marc Riley. 

Too tired most evenings to watch any TV or bother too much with elaborate food - mainly eating chicken with new potatoes, or pasta, wasshed down with merlot from the cave.  I usually manage an episode of Star Trek before bed at about 9:00pm


A slight change of plan and the decision to spend the day on some smaller jobs - the sort when I can get a few ticked off quickly.

First up was painting the ceiling in the kitchen to cover over the slightly greasy stains.  This is actually a tough job, requiring lots of odd neck positions.

I have noticed that the dining room has become base camp for the trip so far. 

Late afternoon I went briefly into St Jean calling in the cave for more merlot (2 litres for E4) and a quick visit into the brocante.  There I found 6 really beautiful linen covered chairs for just E120.  It will take three trips to get these home.

This is followed by a re-stock for food at Leclerc. 


There was a "vide grenier" in St Jean this morning and despite the poor weather, I have ventured out, in part to review what I could buy at such an event if Jerome and I were doing the brocante business we are discussing.  Overall, there would definitely have been a few boxes of stuff we could have acquired.  For the house, I bought some more bedside lights and a couple of earthware pots for the shower room.  One stand had about a dozen pots for about E3 each.  If we were buying for the business, I would have bought them all.

Next week there is the first of this year's main brocantes nearby at Le Gicq.  That will perhaps be the first real test of our buying possibilities - hopefully it will be like Loulay last year when I could have easily spent E500.

Back home and I am focused initially on getting at least one room near completion.  That room is the "poppy room" which now just needs a further spotlight attached to the main beam, which will be done when the electrician visits next week.  

More prep work on the back bedroom while listening to downloaded radio shows.  There is certainly a decent amount of good music about at the moment.


So it is time for the first paint of the back bedroom today - the first coat of Farrow and Ball's oddly named "Elephant's breath".  I have also brought the furniture in for a first look at what it could bem like.  The room will actually be better when the corridor is in place through to Petit Chats and then the room will be less long and narrow.  But I was pretty happy with the first layout.

Another 12 hours day today - calls to Jerome in the UK, Wife and Daughter.  Odd to be on my own for days at a time.

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