Phew! That was a Busy Day!

To steal a line from the ‘Tractor Ted” Dvds, “Phew! That was a busy day!”. Well, five days actually!

This visit has been hard work! Mainly because of laying and grouting seventeen square metres of Terracotta tiles, but made worse by the sap sucking cold. The only respite being my newly installed heated towel rail!…..and of course the fabulous shower!

 

Kitchen nearly done

Kitchen nearly done

Gary has painted the salon, but even this was made hard by the cold as the oil based primer needed to seal in the tannin and stop it bleeding through, took two days to dry! Thus slowing the process.

 

Stairs and salon painted

Stairs and salon painted

On the only sunny and warmer day, I managed to replace the failed Mulberry with a new specimen and replant the old rootstock in a corner of the garden and to plant twenty five hazels (they do particular well here and will screen our view of the cattle shed!)

Le lave-linge

Le lave-linge

Other jobs completed included oiling the oak kitchen doors, installing a washing machine in the cupboard that used to be the toilet, decorating the kitchen (it was already half done) and sealing the newly laid floors. My extra large van has also had its cargo furniture for the salon and kitchen unloaded and placed in the relevant rooms ready for arranging and dressing on our family visit at Easter.

 

kitchen units almost complete

kitchen units almost complete

When we return in April, we will have a new front door and shutters (fitted by a French Joiner in our absence) and we will be ready to put the finishing touches to the nearly completed interior………..Hopefully it will be a bit warmer then!

Madame (the chicken) and a new chair

Madame (the chicken) and a new chair

 

You know its cold when….

….you eat a toffee crisp biscuit and the caramel snaps as you bite it!

….you can’t stand on the wet room floor in bare feet!

….a beer is perfect at room temperature!

All of these things and more have happened on this visit to a very cold south western France.

Arriving at a house that has been empty since early November, you expect it to be a little cold. But a house made of one metre thick walls of chalk and stone takes some time to warm up!

Big van, big tolls!

Big van, big tolls!

I woke up on the first morning and thought ‘I cannot possibly stay in this cold house for a week’ then I stepped outside at 7.00am to find it was actually warmer outside than in!

Bleak!

Bleak!

Two days in and it (the house) is gradually warming up. I have had a fire and fitted a heated towel rail and today the sun came out, so hopefully this will continue.

New Fire! Still a bit smokey but warm!

New Fire! Still a bit smokey but warm!

The purpose of this visit is to try and complete the downstairs, this includes tiling the kitchen in terracotta tiles and painting the salon. All this needs to done as outside I have large hire van full of furniture and all the family are expecting a completed house for the Easter holiday.

Furniture unloaded and stored upstairs

Furniture unloaded and stored upstairs

Unfortunately, on this visit Sam is back in the UK, so I have another helper, Gary, who has spent today painting the salon ceiling whilst I have been tilling the kitchen. Not wanting to ‘paint myself into a corner’, I stopped tiling the floor mid afternoon, with three quarters done and went out side and removed a dead Mulberry (planted last February, but unfortunately died) with a replacement to match the other two.

Tiling Started

Tiling Started

This evening I have oiled the oak kitchen doors and am now writing this ready to post at my visit to Café des Colonnes tomorrow.

Cafe des Colonnes closed for a Refit!

Cafe des Colonnes closed for a Refit!

As I write, it must be getting warmer in here as this evening I cannot see my breath!

'Painting myself into a corner!'

‘Painting myself into a corner!’

Painting the Salon

Painting the Salon