Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

Week 48

Day 316, Monday 7th March

Although I wake up to brilliant sunshine, the ground is frozen hard. As it's sunny I decide to clear some of the stones from around the trees, so we will be able to use a mower. However, even the surface rocks are frozen to the ground. Each rock has to loosened with a pick and I soon lose interest.

After breakfast, back to the bathroom. I'm working on the hardest part of the woodwork. We have to be able to easily remove the tongue and groove, in case of a leak; not that there's much chance of that! Without leaving exposed screws, the only option is that all bits must slot together, and it must all be self supporting. That's a real test of both my design and woodworking skills.

All the tools are so cold, it's almost impossible to work with anything metal. Chisels, hammers, and my rebater, all need to be placed in front of the fire for a while before they can be used. Eventually I move the workbench outside as it is now warmer outside than in. Or at least warmer than the unheated areas of the house.

In the afternoon, our bi-weekly (or is it tri-weekly) trip to Brico's. After seeing the price of the special hollow wall fixings I wanted, I decide to make do with what I've got. That's a decision I will regret later in the day.

But it is still coming on nicely.

Day 317, Tuesday 8th March

Its a really hard frost and the ground is solid again. In the morning we go to see a local Welshman we have been told wants some concrete laid. It's quite a big slab and although I've been told he is really mean, I will quote him a realistic price. And that's the morning gone.

In the afternoon, it's our daily trip to Brico's as I need a special long wood drill to complete another part of the bathroom. We also take a look at the raspberry and blackberry plants they have advertised. A bit more work on the bathroom and home.

It's almost dry enough to dig the vegetable patch over again. With the rotovator, I go over the same ground again, removing more stones. The ground is still a little too wet and the earth clogs, but eventually it's done. And that's another day gone.

Except Manchester United is on TV tonight playing in the European Champions League. Mick comes over to watch. AC Milan are a really good team and Man U lose 2-0 on aggregate.

For with those who support the underdog, a great result, but the over dogs strike back with Chelsea who make it through to the next round.

Day 318, Wednesday 9th March

It's warmer today, but not much. The bathroom is now in a state where although the trim has still to be fitted, the lights hang from loose wires and the ceiling is not in, its usable, and respectable. Except if you like your privacy, I haven't made the door yet.

In the afternoon, we travel a little further afield to see two things. First, we go to a large heavy machinery hire firm. Of course, no English spoken, but the proprietor clearly is used to dealing with English speakers. He understands everything we say, and his diction is good, making it easy for us to understand him.

Now I know where we can get a powered lifter for roof tiles and a mini-bulldozer. They will deliver and collect as well. We then head off to a large garden centre, and even if it is getting colder again, the Boss manages to spend a while looking around.

She buys 20 small lavender plants for a bit more of the landscaping. Then back into town for a coffee. On the way home, we go past our local Brico's and buy the raspberry and blackberry plants. That will keep me busy for another day or two.





Its small, but from little acorns (and pines), ...

Tomorrow, we are off to the UK by train. A day travelling there, two days there and a day travelling back.

So no more diary until next week