Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

 

Week 71

Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October

There is nothing for me to focus on except the roof. Every day, while the weather allows, all I do is move tiles up and down, often with the help of the Boss. More stripping old tiles and saving the better ones, scrapping the others and then replace the roof boards.

I have also replaced several joists or "chevrons" as they are known here. These are the big thick ones that carry a lot of the weight of the tiles and wood above them. They are heavy oak beams, that have to be lifted into place usually single-handed. And there's no point showing pictures, as I can't get high enough at the side or rear of the house to show the roof properly and I'm sure you're all bored of pictures of the front; even if they do show progress.

The work is so hard, that I've stopped going out on my bike in the morning in order to save my legs for standing on the slope, climbing up and down the scaffold, carrying buckets of cement up the ladder and moving tiles around while trying hard not to lose your balance. Despite regular cakes, croissants, biscuits and tea breaks, I'm losing weight doing this, which is good.

But the fun has gone. After a summer of five months without rain, it now rains every couple of days. Of course, the rain comes at the most inconvenient times and putting the tarpaulin over all the exposed bits of roof is difficult enough, but weighting it down so it does not get moved by the wind is even more difficult.

But with the weather getting cooler in the mornings and evenings, and more frequent rain, I have only got a few more weeks and then I can get on and do something different.

Something different, that sounds good