Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

Week 14

Day 92, Monday 31st May

As if to test our roofing skills, its still raining. There is no sign of a let up either, not good for renting.

The Boss is working on her real job this morning; that's the one she gets paid to do. I take the morning off as I'm still aching. In the afternoon, we go to site to find the rain coming in faster than ever before. Most of this is where we have lifted tiles, and done nothing else. Water is down the stairs and in a few pools where we have plastic down. Oh well!

We begin the task of cleaning up. A lot of dust, bits of wood and broken tiles are on the upstairs floor; the remnants of stripping the roofing boards.

The south west rain brings the benefit of not having to water the garden, but of course the grass will now grow even more quickly. When it stops, I'll have to get onto the roof and lay plastic sheet over the exposed parts, but not until it is dry.

To compound the challenges we face, my PC won't boot up. I'm sure its just the batteries, so we go to the local Internet cafe to use the one English keyboard. Except it won't work, so I move to another one, with a French keyboard. A little more taxing on the brain as typing requires real concentration. I order what I want and get them delivered to where we will be early next week.

But there is no sign of a let up in the rain

Day 93, Tuesday 1st June

 Getting close to one hundred days. In politics, there is an assessment of the parties and ministers performances. In France, I hope they don't asses me. It would probably read like an old school report. "Definitely has the potential to do better, but must apply himself more".

Its still raining and I don't feel like applying myself. On arrival at site, I am worried about getting the van stuck in the mud but the neighbour has parked so I can't use the made up road, so its mud tracks again.

Plumbing is really quite simple. Connect a few pipes together and hey presto. Except that the pipes that need to be connected, are always different sizes, and Bricomarche are always out of stock of the one adapter that I need. However, today, we can now use the toilet and as for those holes in the ground outside, ....

The toilet does not yet refill with water after flushing so the hose passed through a hole in the floor or a bucket fills the cistern just fine. But having a "modern" convenience on hand, is for me anyway, a milestone.

As you know, rank has its advantages. The Boss has the privilege of being the first to flush the loo. There are still only three walls, the sink is not connected, and the tiles aren't yet grouted, but now it is easier to be on site all day, if you know what I mean.

And it looks like the rain might clear

Day 93, Wednesday 2nd June

We wake to a partially sunny day. That means I have to sort the uncovered parts of the roof today.

I have lost faith in my plumbing ability. Despite many reels of PTFE tape and upper body exercise tightening joints, we still get leaks. I guess this is due to the higher water pressure, with the entire water system being pressurised, which we are unaccustomed to in the UK. This means two things. First, the Boss has to fill the loo after each flush, using the hose. Second, it means I have to find some jointing compound, in French, and re-make each joint.



"I don't care if the bathroom has only three walls, you are not taking a picture of me on the loo, to put on the Internet"

Of more importance, is the roof. I buy the plastic sheet and get up on the roof. However I need the Boss to hold the edges down, while I fix it in place. She has a bad knee and is not a great one for heights. But she gets to the top of the scaffold and does what is necessary. The only question is can she get down again?

Then its tea in the sun for the first time for a few days, followed by another trip to Brico. As the sun is shining and its getting hotter, every trip to town deserves a coffee, or on this occasion, a beer shandy, sitting outside.

In the afternoon, the Boss is preparing for a trip to England, which means several things. First, plenty of washing and ironing. I, like many of my male friends, would just throw a few things in a bag, but not when the Boss is around. Its lots of, "Where is my ....", "No you're not travelling in those", and, "You'll need something better than that to go out in". I lose interest in packing and go back to site. I have to start clearing up, again, as while we're away, I'm not leaving all my tools or at least the power tools in the house.

And by the end of the day, I'm not sure what I have achieved this week, but I know its still a long way to go.

Day 94, Thursday 3rd June

Its back to a clear and cloudless sky.

Today we go to England for a week, which means no diary for a while. It also means that my PC which died, has a chance of being restored to normality.

Also, this is a real test for us. Will we feel as if we are home when in England, or will we simply want to be back in France, slower, warmer, and in some ways more challenging?

So there is no diary for the next week.

Day 95, 96, & 97, Friday to Sunday 4th to 6th June

We're on holiday in England so no diary for a while. You don't think I'm really going to tell you what I got up to do you? Well, apart from looking at lots of houses to rent in south west France; all holiday homes.

On to week 15