Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

Week 33

Day 228, Monday 18th October

After my extended computer troubles, I am desperately trying to catch up with the missed weeks. So if the site looks a little unfinished, please show a little consideration for the old and slow and make allowances.

Today I went to Mick and Tracy's to use their Internet connection, so I could get my computer back on line. If you're reading this, it worked!

Day 229, Tuesday 19th October

It rained all night, and the indoor water feature had lovely cascades of water from the top of the stairs downwards. By morning its stopped raining, but its grey and damp. Could almost be England; except we'd have central heating.

I start work on the second bathroom so the next lot of visitors don't have to negotiate the route through our bedroom to the sink, shower and toilet. All bar one of the partitions walls were completed yesterday, at least to a standard making a little privacy possible.

I hope to have a toilet and sink connected by the time Steve arrives on Wednesday night. He might just have a little difficulty closing the door, as its on the wall that is not there yet.

During the day it has warmed up a little, and the Boss has cleared and cleaned as much as is possible, the vast open space we call bedrooms two and three. She lost count of the spiders that disappeared into the vacuum cleaner, along with their webs and many from years ago.

Day 230, Wednesday 20th October

We start the day by oversleeping. Several phone calls make us eventually get out of bed. I continue on the second bathroom, encountering the same problems as with the first bathroom, although of course I had forgotten them all.

The sink U-bend doesn't fit the waste pipe. And the toilet waste leaves the cistern leaning forward. I add another bit of pipe to the toilet waste. Then I pour a bucket of water down it to try it out. Only it leaks; all down into the false wall in the kitchen below. Oh well, a little more damp won't really be noticeable.

Back to the drawing board. In the afternoon, a trip to a larger DIY store to get all the plastic pipe fittings takes the first part of the afternoon. Its the first day for 10 days when I can remove layers of clothes and get down to a T-shirt. I buy loads of pipe fittings and a new U-bend, with a 1žinch entry pipe and a 32mm exit. All this European harmonisation is great isn't it?

I forgot that I had based all the waste pipe fittings on 40mm pipe so at 6:30 I dash to the local Brico's to buy some 32mm fittings.





Perhaps we could start something new with these plasterboard tunnels

Tomorrow, we'll have a usable sink and toilet in the second bathroom. Or that's the theory.

Day 231, Thursday 21st October

Two of us working today. A later start as the mornings are now darker, it means I sleep later.

Steve tiles and grouts the fireplace in the kitchen so that we can think about unloading the wood burners in the back of the van. He plasters the fireplace back and sides with a mix of sand, lime and white cement, which should dry to a light sandy colour.

The legs in the picture are Steve's, so pleased with his work he's just sitting admiring

Day 232, Friday 22nd October

The weather has improved, the sun is shining and that means its roof day. The first job is to move the scaffolding around to the back.

With only two of us we can't use the soft-shoe shuffle to carry it around still partially assembled. The only way it to take it apart, carry it around to the back and re-assemble. As the ground is very uneven, our motley collection of woodworm and damp infested boards comes in very handy; strictly against all the safety guidelines.

This time we are a little more disciplined about our approach. This is to ensure that at whatever stage we stop, we can make it watertight. How I'll miss the tunes played by drips in buckets of different sizes and depths of water!




Not exactly classic towel rails

Steve strips the old boards from the next section and I get new boards up onto the scaffold. He measures and nails boards, while I cut them to length; on the scaffold. I now also have a better understanding of how the insulation and tiles should be laid. I should really have done my learning on someone else's roof.

Come evening, the Boss has bought and put away enough food to feed at least a small army and we have completed one section of roof. However, we have not put the tiles back on yet.

Day 233, Saturday 23rd October

While I'm out all day, Steve gets caught for all the jobs I should have done. Replace the kitchen tap washer, clean the fireplace tiles, rush around the shops to find some angled stainless steel tube so the fire can be connected to the chimney.

Renting a House, Front Door Welcome

And not only does he do it all, but he's still smiling by the time dinner comes.

Day 234, Sunday 24th October

The Boss and Steve collect Maurice and Moira from Bergerac. They arrive about seven and get shown the "accommodation; not 5 star".

The unused area upstairs has been cleaned, suitcases placed along the edge of the area where there are no floorboards. Steve has erected a banister and balustrade out of rough wood, so its more difficult to fall down the stair well. The Boss has made "rooms" out of old blankets hung from the beams. All very cosy.

In the evening, although its quite warm, as the chimney liner is almost complete, the Boss insists we light the new fire. And does it give out some heat.

Tomorrow they'll get told what they have to do to earn their keep!