Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

July 2007

Under pressure I've got back to writing a little more of the blog, rather than reading others and posting comments. As I have missed almost a year of writing, it seems a little disingenuous calling this week 93 as it is probably about week 144 so I've come clean with the date. Since the last writing, too much has happened for my limited memory to recall, so here are the bits I do remember.

All the floorboards over one side of the lounge have been lifted, and used for firewood or stacked in the barn for some future use. Plasterboard was then laid over the joists making a ceiling for the lounge. Laying the floorboards above the plasterboard is slow, and laborious. We're using unplaned oak, and the boards are not straight. So each one is laid, lifted, planed and then tried again. While doing this, one has to remember not to stand on the plasterboard as the back of this is almost the same colour as the floorboards and the floor of the lounge below is rather hard! Anyway, installing ceilings from above is a lot easier than doing it from below. I just wish I had thought of this before laying so many floorboards! If anyone wants to lend me a table saw, I'm not too proud to accept charity.

The major milestone; maybe I've already told you, is that we now have our own electrical supply having passed the final inspection. The overhead cable is down, the under-floor heating is on, and it's fantastic. It's not often I look forward to receiving bills, but this one will be a real revelation. And since writing that, we have our first years bill. It was bigger than we expected, but a lot lot smaller than they used to be and we were warm in the winter.

Steve came out twice from the UK and we spent some time working on the barn roof. On both occasions the weather was really kind to us. We have done about a third but the pictures tell a better story (pictures to be added soon). This time, after practising on the house, we now have some idea about what we are doing, which we didn't have when we did the house. We have used a different method of fixing the tiles. The insulation goes down first and is held in place by battens running down the roof slope. Then battens running across the roof are fixed on top of these. Unlike the roof on the house, all the tiles carrying water have been replaced. The replacements have a 'foot', that allows them to hook onto the cross battens, hence they do not gradually creep down the roof. The 'foot' also ensures they stay with the canal facing directly upwards. This is a much better method. All the top tiles are recovered from ones lifted off the roof, giving the random mix of colours and textures; which we like!

Another window in the third and final bedroom, some of the ceilings are up, and I seem to be getting lazier and lazier. Nothing changes. And a bottle of local Pineau goes to the first person to correctly name the owner of the blue shorts.

August 2007