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Plumbing the depths :)

November 20, 2011

Washing, washing up, shaving using a kettle to boil water gets old really quick but we had been assured the plumber would arrive on Monday. Guess again, he wasn’t even answering the phone!  On Tuesday he arrived at midday to survey the situation and we were told he’d be back at 4:00pm to fix the leaks. This was revised (after 5:00pm) to 9:00am Wednesday as the work was more than just leak fixing. They arrived on Wednesday as promised – chaos reigned and we left to go to our house where Marc was progressing well with the tiling. We have ordered a new hood extractor as well as the new cooker, fridge, microwave, sink etc. and that should arrive this week; it’s starting to look like we are making progress.

 We returned to the Gite about 3:30, plumbers are still in full swing – typical workers from the 1950’s with tools in canvas bags and buckets, complete disorganization and mess everywhere. They have decided to bypass the sub-floor plumbing and run new pipes from the external boiler in the farm building to the upstairs bathroom, WC etc – unbelievable mess and big holes in the wall and bath surround. In the kitchen they have to replace the pipes under the floor – no direct route from the external pipes. Madame J. and her husband are supervising, she is cleaning up after them as best she can, paddling about the place in bare feet washing and sweeping. We all sit down and discuss things as the plumbers are still working in the kitchen at 5:00pm. Suddenly, Mme jumps up, rushes outside and comes back with her T-shirt rolled up exposing large areas of bits I don’t want to think about. She has been across the yard and brought us back six very large and very fresh eggs – magnifique!

 Eventually the plumbers turn the water back on and WHOOSH! a new leak under the floor! Big panic, turn it all off and re-assess the pipe work. This involves evacuating all the water, achieved by one of them blowing into the kitchen tap, the other one mopping up. They replace the offending bit of pipe and try again – it works. More cleaning up, Madame going nuts with mops & brooms, Monsieur trying to replace the fridge; BANG! the lights all go out, June and I just look at each other with that “oh no, not again” look. They disconnect the fridge, reset the fuse and after mounting the fridge in the case, switch it back on. No problems. M et Mme leave at about 6:15 and we settle down with a G&T. Hot showers are resumed and we sort of return to normal on Thursday.








The gite is actually quite comfortable and equipped with some fairly impressive pieces of furniture. We have comfy armchairs, dining room table to eat from and a comfortable bed to sleep on. My cell-phone won’t pick up a signal in the building and the Internet is via a wireless box next door; the signal is really low and intermittent but it is good enough to check email and bank stuff. Trying to get a wire transfer payment fromFranceto theUSAto pay a credit card was a challenge – had to go to the bank in person and provide all the details we could. It did work in time.










We went shopping on Thursday for curtains, tracks, hooks, plugs and other stuff and plan on a big clean-up on Saturday. Friday was strange, neither of us felt very well and hadn’t slept properly either so we took it easy. Just as we are finishing lunch Mme shows up with two complementary tickets to the big local home expo and a box of gourmet chocolates; she’s also bought herself an English/French dictionary exactly the same as ours. I’m really beginning to like this woman and her husband is a complete character – he’s had me laughing out loud and he doesn’t speak a word of English!

Marc has finished the kitchen tile and skirting boards and done the skirting in the living room – it’s all coming together. We spend Saturday all day and Sunday morning cleaning all the kitchen cupboards, drawers, doors etc. A major task as, like everything else in this house, it is filthy, grease stained and needs much minor repair work. I had to repair hinges, reverse a door, fix catches and generally make it all work. The only supply of hot water is the upstairs bathroom so frequent trips are necessary carrying buckets of hot soapy water and clean water, then reversing the process to empty and refill. A tiring couple of days but now it’s done and the kitchen is ready for the worktop and appliances. No, we haven’t done the wallpaper yet, too much work in the timescales available.








This next week should see similar progress in the bathroom, WC and hallways – we may even get to unpack some stuff!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2011 14:59

    Coming along – love seeing your house pics. Gite looks comfortable.
    Unpacking will be like an early Christmas.
    Bon chance on the rest of the reno.

  2. dorothy permalink
    November 22, 2011 15:00

    Love the kitchen cabinets. Dreading the thought if it all ahead of us!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!


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