Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

Week 57

Day 369, Monday 9th May

 The day starts with cleaning off the excess cement from those tiles not yet grouted. As with much of this, its slow and boring.

Fortunately the weather is warm and  we agreed that after lunch we would do some outside work. After lunch I need to get to the post office and of course the Boss decides while I'm there, she'll take a quick look in Brico's for some particular plants.

The gendarmes are at the main round about, stopping cars leaving town and no doubt checking for all sorts of things. As we have two dodgy tyres on the front, we take a different route home. Its much longer, but more scenic, and of course, no gendarmes. They've already had enough money off me (see week 13).

Then it's time to get Tonka toy out. I cut some more of the grass, while the Boss goes round to a friends house as they are away and the plants need watering. In some places, I have to stop, collect the piles of rocks hidden in the grass and move them to the central pile of rocks.

Gradually, the garden is starting to look like a real garden, not a field, and each time we get some new tools, it gives us less room for excuses.

Day 370, Tuesday 10th May

Although the night was cool; the Boss would say cold, the sun is shining and only a few whisper like clouds.

I have a haircut at 10, and to make use of the trip, load up several weeks worth of empty tile boxes, cement and grout bags and the container for the lawn mower. At the dechetterie; the council dump, I do the right thing. First, greet the attendant. Then ask him about the cardboard from the lawn mower, which has wooden batons attached.

They have to go in the miscellaneous skip as do cement bags. But cardboard must go in the "cartons" skip. And then he's happy. And he no longer bothers to ask us which commune we're from, but basic formalities is as far as we get.

While I'm out, I stop at the supermarket to buy some milk. Although they have introduced an express checkout, it's just as slow.

What's left of the morning is taken up with a bit more grouting in the lounge. The Boss puts the grout down and fills the gaps, and I smooth it off. By lunch time, our knees have had enough. But it still has to be cleaned! And that's left for last thing in the evening. Can't wait.




Maybe we'll start a design trend with the wall paint design; the renovators look!

In the afternoon, while its not hot, the sunshine is lovely. We go back to working on the vegetable patch. The farmer has said we can help ourselves to his cow manure, but apart from one wheelbarrow load, its not right. We have now planted tomatoes of various types, broccoli, peppers, and raspberries. But I'll wait until its dark to water them because of the hosepipe ban, which we are not sure has yet been lifted.

Day 371, Wednesday 11th May

Early start as the Boss is out this morning. After she's gone, I get back to the final tiles in the lounge. All the remaining tiles are ones that need to be cut. But by lunchtime, its done, hallelujah.

After lunch the Boss, who says she does not get enough credit and too much abuse, prepares one of those evening meals that most people pay good money for. I'm lucky enough to eat them every night. Is that enough exposure?

I forgot the highlight of the morning. Our farmer neighbour received a delivery of his brand spanking new tractor. Just when I get one, he goes and gets one too, except much bigger. Show off!

Out in the garden, I cut back some of the remaining long grass where the mower won't go and the Boss plants a few more flowers. The usual trip to Brico's for a hose connection and a quick supermarket visit and the day is done.

Nothing to do tomorrow, except sit in the sun

Day 372, Thursday 12th May

Another early start. When the Boss goes out early, we wake up to the alarm. It's a hangover from earlier times, which we are definitely no longer used to, so it's a bit of a shock to the system.

Once she's (the cat's mother) gone I can't face too much hands and knees work today and it looks like rain, so the lounge gets some old paint scraped off and then a coat of plaster to continue the process of smoothing the walls.

Before lunch time comes around, I have done enough plastering, so it's back to grouting. However, having learnt from past mistakes, I only mix a small amount of grout. When the Boss gets back, We have lunch, do our homework and then go off to French.

Its drizzling, but once we're back, the amount of water, is not even enough to to wet the surface. That means after cleaning the grout, I guess I'll have to go out and water the vegetables.

As we are trying to grow them organically, we have grapefruit skins turned upside down on the patch and will be planting some flowers in between. The neighbours must think I'm mad.

However, Portuguese Pete has a large bandage on his arm. I did the neighbourly thing and went over to talk to him. He has cut it badly at work, so badly it is splinted. I told him if he needs any help, just ask. He commented on the new look garden; meaning the grass being cut.

And tomorrow, who knows, but friends are coming so no work in the afternoon.

Day 373, Friday 13th May



Friday 13th? Must be ready for a bad day.

We have some friends coming, who are on holiday in France, and they are looking for a house to buy. That means get the place tidy, and no work today.

In the afternoon, a good downpour saves us having to water the vegetables and flowers. And before the sun goes down, I decide to take a picture of the view. Much like those during last year, except no sign of sunflowers. And like all bad photographers, I manage to get my shadow into the picture.

And tomorrow is croissant day. It's a great life if you don't weaken. 

Day 374, Saturday 14th May

Can't remember what you did yesterday? Then you must be as senile as me.

I had to go and pay some cash into a friends account so they would not go overdrawn. This is frowned on here, whereas we used to live on our overdraft in England. Too bad we all now have to now balance the books, but the bank is close to the croissant shop, so its croissant day!

The Boss has told me she only wants one. As I always do what I'm told, she gets one. I'm just eating my second, when half of it seems to disappear from my plate. The mice must be getting bigger and faster.

More grouting, cleaning of tiles and the day has almost gone. Before knocking off, I clean the paint off the stone work above the fireplace. Then its the magic PVA on the remaining large wall cracks that need cement rather than plaster. This will ensure the cement sticks.




I'm not sure you can see the joins clearly, but this stone was probably cut by hand

While I'm scraping walls, the Boss has managed to catch up with ironing, mostly that I have just unpacked from the suitcase used several weeks ago. 

And tomorrow is rest day. I can hear you now, saying but you just had a rest day ...

Day 375, Sunday 15th May

Some sunshine and some cloud today. I decide to go jogging; well walking and jogging. In 30 minutes on the roads and a few soft grass verges, I have seen one car and one person. As one of my friends says, "This is what it's all about"!

After lunch we go to a floral exhibition nearby, and of course the Boss is biologically programmed to buy at least one plant whenever we go somewhere they are for sale. When we get back, we plant the plants bought, a few shrubs we already had and the acacia tree we pulled up from the doublet forest last week. The acacia can't be seen as it's surrounded by long grass, but one day ...

Well that's my second work out for today. So it must be time for a vin rouge while sitting outside in the evening sun.

This is what it's all about