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Mixed blessings

November 13, 2011

The week began well with the final removal of all the old wallpaper and carpet, the end of a long, dirty and very tiring job. The plumber came again and completed the work on the preparation for the laundry room, nice guy but he is a bit slow. Marc has finished the walls in the bathroom and added some electrics for us. Then he began tiling – man is this guy something else, with smallish tiles it’s relatively easy to work around doorways etc. The new tiles are18”square and there has been some very creative cutting to avoid seams across doorways.








We had planned to pack up all the foodstuff in the apartment and store it in the fridge in the house pending the move to the gite – so we cleaned the fridge and turned it on. Twenty minutes later all the electrics in the house went out!  After some investigation it turns out the fridge is the culprit – Marc removed it and discovered the main contactor was badly burned. The cabinet was filthy and the fridge covered in grease & spiders. Then we discovered that the electrics are so suspect the circuit involved was marked “Television” and there are eight outlets on one fuse! This was not a good day and coupled with fact we had both been feeling unwell, it was a real downer. I don’t think I have ever felt so low or depressed, and it took a couple of days to get over the worst of it. There was quite a bit of soul-searching and a few WTF’s but we decided to carry on and really make this place ours – it will take time. We ordered a new fridge which should be delivered in a few days, repairing the old one was just not an option.









We did a couple of carloads of stuff from the apartment to the house, it’s amazing what we have acquired over six months with nowhere to store anything! Friday dawned and we loaded all the remaining stuff (food, bedding, clothes) into the car and cleaned the apartment from one end to the other – which isn’t very far. Final goodbye to the landlord and his kids and we were off. Of course it is a public holiday so everything is closed, finding lunch was a challenge but we did it in the end in a small bar in St. Nolff. Then we went to the house and unloaded everything, spend some time in sorting bags out then took off for the hotel in Elven. Very old building, quaint with winding wooden staircases, dimly lit and of course no real conveniences, like heating! There was a small electric fan radiator which took the chill off the place, amazing how the French put up with quite low temperatures with windows & doors open. Twenty years inCaliforniaconditioned us to thinking anything below65Fis chilly!  Dinner was excellent and we spent a comfortable evening, slept well and woke to the greyest, foggiest November morning I can ever recall. 

We arrived at the farmers house at about 12:00 as arranged but the gite was not ready – the people moving out appeared to be less organized than us and the farmers wife and her friend were going frantic to get the place ready. There was also a plumbing problem – no hot water!  We took off to do some shopping and get lunch, returning at about 2:30. Farmers wife and friend still going frantic with final cleaning, other had left and there is definitely no hot water – a plumbing leak earlier hadn’t been fixed. When I asked her if the plumber was coming she said she was waiting for Marc who had helped stop the leak earlier. When I told her Marc & Sylvie had taken off for the weekend she was a bit upset but they have made alternate arrangements so a plumber should be arriving on Monday morning, in the meantime we boil kettles and take cold showers! Or go to our house across the road and deal with the unfinished bathroom. We’ll manage – the gite is huge, it has three double bedrooms, two bathrooms a big living room, a huge dining room and a tiny kitchen. What is it with the nation so famous for its food building these miniscule cooking facilities?

However, it ended on a high; the living room has a couch and two large armchairs – for the first time in six months we have a comfy chair to sit in in the evening. No internet, only French TV but comfy!

Monday, we start anew.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2011 16:14

    OMG!! What an ordeal – my heart goes out to you……no heat, now no hot water….Yup 65F is the point before freezing. LOL! We have changed tactics and will now concentrate on houses which need a little fixing up!(?) as we can’t find anything already renovated/converted” we like (in our price range) so we will put our mark on it. That’s the plan anyway.
    Bon chance

  2. November 14, 2011 09:18

    Hi Jo,

    Well last night we really relaxed, the gite is quite comfortable and we are getting our sanity back.

    Be careful with “need a little fixing up” – hidden disasters lurk in unexpected places as we have found

    Bon chance


  3. November 20, 2011 15:05

    November 20 – we have changed our minds again and we have seen a place already converted and have offered on it…………should know by tomorrow!


  4. November 20, 2011 15:14

    Great news Jo, keep in touch

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