Thursday, 20 August 2015

Girl Work

The girls go to Le Buisson in late July. 

Operation Stack is on due to French strikes on the ferries.
We near the Eurotunnel turning off the motorway to be directed through Ashford.  How I feel for the poor folks of Ashford.  A journey which should have taken us 20 minutes took two hours.  Stop start. The sat nav kept telling us to turn left.  We debated for quite some time, should we? shouldn't we?  In the end we did turn left, went through an industrial estate and rejoined the queue further up.  When the sat nav told us to turn left again we did.  No debate.  We jumped the queue again.
We skirted the M20 and in the distance could see the lorries parked on it.  The news has only showed dramatic pictures of parked lorries, no mention of the the poor motorists in their cars.
The rest of the journey was uneventful and we arrived at the house at 2 am.  A quick look round at the boys' work and then into bed.

Our main aim this trip was to get the bathroom finished.  We had to fill all the gaps between the plasterboard sheets and paint.  We had already decided not to skim the plasterboard over just fill and paint.  This is long and tedious.  
The monotony was broken by the sight of a dog walking around the lane, nothing odd there.  He was followed by a donkey and then another donkey and a farmer.  He waved to us and we decided to down tools and go outside for a chat.  He told us he was bringing them down to the water trough in our hamlet as the water supply had dried up in their field.   One of the donkeys decided to go for a walk in a neighbour's garden.  We shooed him back.  They were reluctant to dip their heads in the water ~ you can take a horse to water............... so we got one of our buckets from the house and they had a drink from that.  He thanked us and then the odd procession walked slowly back to the field they had come from, stopping along the way to eat anything green.
Europe had been experiencing lots of hot, dry weather and Burgundy has been no exception.  The fields which were lush and green in May,
are now parched.
We were very excited to open two parcels that had arrived at our friend's J house.  We had looked at some fancy German taps for the bath that came in at an eyewatering 1000+ euros.  The Boss took to the internet and found some by Hudson Reed which were just the type we wanted for a fraction of the cost.   Hudson Reed also sell in France.  After a phone call she discovered they are despatched from the same factory in the UK by free courier to France for 50 euros less than they would cost in the UK.  Result.
Before the taps could get anywhere near the bath however, we needed to tile the false wall.  The plumber came and told us where the holes needed to go.  He also cut the shelf on top where he wanted us to tile onto a separate piece of plasterboard.  That way if he needs to get to the plumbing in the future he'll cut the grout and lift off the piece of plasterboard with the tiles attached.  The hole with the pipes in is hidden by the bath, again for maintenance in the future.

The Boss got to work tiling, and I cut the holes for the taps again using my patent cutting technique.
I don't need no fancy drill bit.
Of course, we always stop and make time for lunch, a cheese feast.
We carried on tiling, had a barbecue and watched the moon rise over Le Mont Saint Cyr.
Next day we took a trip to Macon.  We needed to buy a piece of a plasterboard with polystyrene backing to go around the kitchen window.  We went armed with the measurements it needed to be cut into and a saw.  A very helpful man in Brico Depot took over from us, used his forklift as a table and cut it for us.  Much easier to get in the car.
Having got the boring stuff done, we went for some more exciting shopping.  We bought the lampshade in the middle to go over our kitchen table.
And an outside light.
We then popped into the hypermarket to buy cakes as we were starving!  Two cakes later and we felt better.

Back to work and the bathroom ceiling is looking much better.
Behind the bath is tiled and grouted and the tap is held in place for effect.
Of course, we ate well, drank lots of Crement and had another raspberry tart because the other was so nice.
We had one eventful afternoon when a local vineyard owner popped by.  He kept producing wines from his van for us to try.  Five glasses later we bought copious amounts from him.  Not much work ensued.

The plumber will pop in to plumb in the bath and sink taps the following week.

Can't wait to return.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Boy work.

The boys ~ Smiley, Sarge and Chopper ~ return in June.

They have been building walls.  Firstly they filled in the hole in the bathroom above the stairs going up to the attic.
This was quite a tricky thing to do, the stair 'string' is banana shaped.  They taped and filled the joints too for painting later.
They also filled in around the top of the shower, as we had left it open.  There were difficult angles to deal with.

The plumber has been.  The toilet and shower now work!  What a massive step forward, this means our primary loo is no longer in the outhouse ~ fine in the day but a bit of nuisance at night.
Then they built walls in the living room.  
The old plaster was crumbling away, so we decided to cover it up completely.
Look, the same wall in 2012!
 Living up to his name, Chopper was set loose in the back garden and cut his way to the end.  
 The boys had lots of fun and lots of barbecues.  On the way back they took my car over 100000 miles. 
 I hope the driver didn't take the photo.
The girls will return in late July.