Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

Week 78

Monday 2nd January to Sunday 8th January

We actually got back from England just before the New Year, and what fun that was It started snowing as we reached Paris and the snow was freezing as it hit the ground. All lorries were stopped from using the motorways, snow ploughs were clearing and gritting and gendarmes were everywhere. The next 130km on motorway, took us three hours. The only consolation is that it's probably faster than the M25.

When we got to the town we were stopping in overnight, we couldn't find the hotel, so we went to the first one we found. A slick automated system told us they had available rooms, of which we took one. Well, the slick system was really impressive and in English, until it said "card gardde", and that was that. It didn't like our credit cards; any of them.

We just missed the really cold weather by being away. They had a week of -9 to -10°C, but with beautiful frosts (pictures courtesy of Moira). For once I was glad to be back in England. The ground at our house was completely waterlogged and the inside was freezing. In fact it was warmer outside. You can guess what the very first job was. Fortunately I had stacked up cut logs before we went holiday house france


Now that is what I call a frost! Lucky we missed it.


On New Years day we went to a friends for lunch, with about thirty people there, half French. By the time eating was over, the French had all migrated to the dining room and the English to the living room! However a French woman decided that would not do and got everyone together for a sing song. One in English and then one in French. The French won hands down, knowing more songs and continuing to sing, long after the English had drifted away.

What with odd jobs and some paperwork to catch up on, building work did not seem to start for real until Thursday. The priority now is to get the wiring ready for inspection; a job I'm really not looking forward to but cannot prevaricate on.

First, sort out the "consumer unit", where all circuits start and stop. As you probably know, the Boss says I'm a messy worker, but I really don't know why she says that.



However, after three days, the result is this.

Louis, our neighbour who is now 84, brought us over a box of chocolates and bottle of wine for Christmas and of course we had to speak just French for an hour. I never knew just how much French I had learned until now, and of course, I have forgotten it all. But then we have to go over to his for an aperitif in the evening. Another hour of Pineau and snacks.

A tough job but someone has to do it.