Saturday, 8 June 2013

Two weeks in France - week one


Our journey down to our house in France was broken up today by a diversion into Brittany tovisit our friend Ellie.  In a dramatic move, she has got divorced, sold her house and used the proceeds to buy a house with attached Gites.  We get there late morning for a few hours visit.

The overwhelming impression is just how pleased and excited Ellie is by the developments.  She has only been in the house for two weeks and is working long hours getting everything sorted out.  She has even had her first guests staying.  She is so fired up about it all, though how things will seem in darkest February, who knows. 

We had a walk round the entire site - Ellie has quite a few acres of land, mostly meadows but also some woodland and what might be a bog.  It really is a stunning location.  We had a lovely lunch and a long chat about the various things we were up to, and how odd it is that we have both ended up doing something similar.  Interestingly, Ellie had a few thoughts about the painting holidays / brocante business which we should think about in detail

We left early afternoon for the four hour drive down to our house.  Hopefully we should see more of Ellie going forward which would be very nice.

We arrived at our house around 7:00pm - Wife's first visit since February.  There has been loads of work downe since then and I was pleased that Wife seems to like how it has all turned out.  This first week will give us time to review everything I've done and make a few changes to a few things - and I have some new work that I want to get done - painting the shutters for instance


First thing to review is the progress on our renovation project - Petit Chats.  Recently work has been focused on levelling the floor in the loft ready for new floorboards to go down and removing the old electricals, ready for a full re-wire

Lots of new joists in place, making a level surface for the new floorboards

Also there has been some work on the downstairs bedroom / bathroom.  The old shower has been removed and the prep work done for the cutting of two new doors and the closing of one existing door.  Some slight problems here caused by the existance of a sort of dummy wall.  To get a level wall, this will have to be covered over.

Amazing amounts of dust produced as the wall is prepped

The downstairs lounge remains the store room and is now very full

As is the kitchen

Our main concern is the conditionof the pool which is currently still a cloudy green colour as the chemical treatments slowly make progress against the winter algae.  The filter is also not working very well, but we should see some gains this week

Wednesday to Friday

Work continues on Petit Chats for much of the week.  The electricals are nearly done and while Steve works on this, Grant and his colleague are doing the downstairs doors. I have severeal trips out with them to buy materials. 

While this goes on, Wife and I make some small changes to various other things in the house and I worked on what will eventually be a painter's studio (and is now the garage)

Wife has also been quite tried this week and has had a few long lies-in.  She has also not wanted to do much going out - in fact we didn't manage to do any of the things I had wanted to.  But never mind, she has definitely perked up as the week has progressed


Out early this morning to visit a street Brocante at Arvert down near the coast at Oleron.  This is partly a test of whether we can acquire sufficient stock for our brocante business and generally the morning goes quite well.  Some real bargains, some more expensive things. I paid around E30 each for three pictures that might be a bit extravagent.  But actually a nice morning out.

Today's haul

In the afternoon, Wife and I travelled back down to the same area and visited Mornac, one of France's official "most beautiful villages".  This will be a perfect location for the painting holidays.

Then onto Royan for dinner out at the place we went to after we bought our house.  This does huge seafood platters for two to share and I am going to try and persuade my sister-in-law to have one with me, when they are down for our second week.

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