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Unpacking continues

December 4, 2011

The unpacking continues not helped at all by the packers “grasshopper” mode. You would think that they would go to a cupboard and pack its contents into a box, label it and move on. Well our lot decided to go to a cupboard, put a few things in the box, go to another cupboard and get a few more things; then a third and fourth cupboard until the box is full. They label it “Kitchen Stuff” – mega confusing as we have found the contents of one cupboard in four different boxes – we have to unpack everything.

A by-product of all this unpacking is the huge quantity of wrapping, packing paper and cardboard that needs to be disposed of. We will keep some handy in case we ever need to move again(!) but most of it needs to go. In the US just putting it out for recycling would have been easy, especially with cooperative neighbors – here the dump (dechetterie) wouldn’t take it and said we had to put each piece separately into the recycling bins. We have (so far) six 120-litre sacks and a couple of boxes full of packing paper – this is going to get very old. I have written to the waste disposal organization and am still waiting for a response.

We have some wall-mounted furniture and getting it put up requires some special wooden battens – nowhere to be found! Eventually a hunch led me to examine the “mirror packs” (or mirer as they spelled it) and I found one completely unmarked – the inventory revealed it contained glass doors. There is only one piece with glass doors so we opened it and they had packed the battens with the doors. OK, now I need a hammer drill, some screws (they didn’t pack them) and wall plugs. Trip to a couple of hardware store and suffered severe sticker shock, what would have cost $150 in the US was €300 or more. Eventually I found a domestic-use Makita which uses the same batteries as my US model so I gained a European charger and it also came with three batteries. BONUS – store had a sale on and was giving away a 150-piece drills, screwdriver bits and other goodies package free!  It took me about a day to get the furniture mounted but even now I’m not convinced the layout is correct, time will tell.








Marc spent the week tiling in the hallway, bathroom, wc and lobby and has just about finished. However, he was doing the tile cutting with an angle grinder right outside the front door and left the door open. The dust was incredible – and it took all day Saturday to clean it up, vacuuming washing and dusting all the newly unpacked furniture. June was very unimpressed and had a coughing fit during the clean-up. A low point in the experience with a few “what were we thinking” type questions popping up. We vacuumed the rest of the house as well, cleaned the kitchen again and it does feel better.








The kitchen is just about unpacked, there are two boxes labeled “plastic containers” but we still haven’t found the toaster or some cutlery so who knows what’s in them? We’ve repacked four boxes so far and I can easily see it becoming six – there will be a real garage sale next yearJ As we have to wash all the crockery at some point, we decided to give the dishwasher a trial run – guess what? It leaked! Big surprise – not really ready to spend any more money this year and then lo & behold an offer from CdDiscount  where we got the hood extractor – up to 60% off dishwashers for Christmas! We’re still not biting.

The current landlords are being amazingly helpful and have told us we can use the gite for as long as we need to but we really do want to live in one house and get our lives back. Christmas is looking like a fantasy, we’ll never have time to prepare all the things we used to do, we haven’t baked the cake, got a Xmas pudding, sausage meat, turkey, tree or lights. We did think about invading friends in theUKbut decided we needed to be home, Spartan though it might be. There will be work going on and we also need to relax a bit in our own arm chairs.

Hopefully this coming week will see progress on completing the bathroom and the bedroom, then we can unpack all the linen and clothes. The weather is getting colder and wetter and we need some more warm clothes. And the heating system is playing up – appears to be overheating the water and shutting itself off. I’m really glad we paid for an annual contract – I’ll call them on Monday and see what the problem is as the manual is not very helpful. It doesn’t provide a list of error codes so goodness knows what E60 is telling me.

It’s amazing how much supermarkets vary, when we lived inBadenwe had a SuperU in Arradon which was excellent and a Carrefour In Baden which was very useful and had a small English section. There were two great boulangeries as well. The nearest SuperU to Trefflean is a good 20 minutes drive and is really a HyperU, good store but not local. There is a Carrefour in Theix (pronouncedTex) which is awful, freezing cold unhelpful staff and poor quality groceries. This morning we found the Intermarche in Sulniac which is six minutes away and it was surprisingly good, little more expensive but good selections. We’ll be going there again.

Well, we are getting closer but oh so slowly, it’s taking much longer than any of us expected but then we have found a few surprises along the way.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2011 13:50

    Light at the end of the tunnel! Oui?
    It will be worth it. Ya, on the sticker shock at Mr. Bricolage, etc.
    Our closest store will be a Super-U. We shopped once at a Carrefour and it was absolutely awful – no wonder they are in financial trouble. I always wear coat, scarf and gloves in LeClerc as no matter what time of year it is just above freezing. I thought Floridian stores were bad for A/C abuse. I think the open style frozen food cabinets add to the Arctic feeling.
    Good luck on the rest of your unpacking. We’d invite you to have Christmas with us but we are in the same “gite” as you! Next year will be full splash for you and for us.
    Keep the faith

  2. December 4, 2011 13:58

    Nope – CA stores could be just as bad 🙂

    Peter Mayle was right – the Pompiers just showed up for their calendar money.

    Holidays 2012 will be great!



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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

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