Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

Week 53

Day 347, Monday 11th April

It's a little warmer, but still cold enough to re-light the fire first thing in the morning. It's a while since we've done that. As we are out of purchased wood, to save money we're burning old floorboards and assorted wood from the barn. It burns down a lot quicker than logs so we get through it much more quickly.

Today its painting time. The Boss and I do the woodwork in bathroom two. The paint, is odour free but dries darker than the colour sample and darker than we wanted, but its too late to go back. As its all round toilets and sinks, and in the grooves of the fake tongue and groove, it takes quite a while.

In the afternoon, its back to the kitchen. I had a problem with the thermostat cable for the under-floor heating. We had left too much of the cable to lay neatly in the channel in the floor. You may be able to see the dilemma.

Not enough room to use a grinder to extend the channel, very difficult using a chisel in such a confined space. Eventually, the Boss provides the solution, and so simple, I'm sorry I did not think of it myself.

Drill a line of holes where the extended channel should go and then just use a chisel to connect them. I guess I'll have to make the tea when tea break time arrives.

A bit more plastering, the few final tiles and the day is gone. Except for one thing. To the barn, to cut up a few more boards to keep us warm.


Day 348, Tuesday 12th April

Tiling and grouting under the worktops, means being on my knees. They are now getting really sore. The tiling is completely done, but some areas are not grouted. Nothing for it but to don the knee pads and get on down.

The Boss is getting irritated with the fridge and a everything that would normally be under a worktop, randomly distributed around the kitchen floor. It also makes for a long and difficult walk to the fridge avoiding piles of tools.

The grout we used last time was a mixture of white and dark grey to get the colour we wanted. However, the white has been stored in the barn and has partially gone off. If only I could use the Boss's pestle and mortar without getting caught, I could eliminate all the lumps. But as they say, discretion is the better part of valour and I try and crush all the lumps with a trowel.

The bathroom woodwork also gets a second coat, of acrylic blue mixed with some white undercoat to try and get a lighter blue. Two completely different types of paint, and I'm not sure what the results will be, but it is lighter; a little. Too bad. Its not getting a third coat. And its looking good, even if I do say so myself.

But just as I'm applying the last of the grout, I find one sliver of a tile missing. Tomorrow.

Day 349, Wednesday 13th April

Well at least its not Friday the 13th.

Mix tile cement for the very, very last kitchen tile. Then a trip to the decheterrie; that's the rubbish dump; to get rid of all the off-cuts of plasterboard, broken tiles and the concrete with steel reinforcing from the cleared area of garden. I drop the broken tiles in a plastic bag into the skip and the official makes me go down and retrieve the plastic bag as this is "gravats" only.

The grouting is complete except for three tiles which I can't get to until the remaining grout is dried, but otherwise after cleaning, its finished. Yippee!

Its warmer again and the sun is trying to shine. I decide its necessary to try and keep the grass from taking over like day of the triffids. The strimmer is the lightest way, but it is slow. The time is coming when we will have to buy a ride on mower, but we will have to struggle for a while longer.

Then I start to clear away tools, cement, grout, and plaster accumulated in the hall, so the Boss can move around while I'm away. Two new internal bolts on the front door will make the Boss feel safer.

Then, pack my bags as I'm off for a few days