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Progress at last :)

March 25, 2012

We are making progress in several directions, garden, decoration, utilities etc.

 Our English gardener came for two days and made a magnificent job of trimming the large hedge at the front – looked amazing. Not improved by the farmer’s son driving a JCB into it while cleaning up the field the other side – I suppose it’ll grow back.







We are going to employ Malcolm the gardener regularly every two weeks, this means we are on his calendar and there will always be something to do – at least this summer. Which means we can get on with the internal decoration and make the rest of the house habitable as we now have the possibility of guests arriving this summer; much work to be done. However Marc is off on other projects, no new WC, no sign of the electrician and no word from the plumber. This could be a problem, I need to go artisan-hunting 😦

Work on the trees and the field is progressing, all the logs are now stacked and they have started the major levelling and clean-up. They have also started discussions on what we should do with the boundary and Mme J is going to send me an email and a plan so we can discuss it. This method of communication helps as I can translate it and read it at my leisure and not have to try to keep up with a stream of French while walking around the field. However, a big problem with Google translate is it assumes the writer is using correct spelling and grammar in the original document – not always true so I have to do some editing occasionally. Yesterday, the farmer’s son was driving around all day with a big tractor and trailer dumping several tons of earth – three loads in the field next door. When I queried this with Mme J she said they were building a new cow-shed and had to excavate loads of dirt – they are using some of it to level the field and our garden!








The fosse project is also progressing- the soil test guy arrived and spent all day measuring, examining, digging soil samples. He spoke excellent English and I was able to get a lot of questions answered and we discussed various options for the new system. We have to have a new system as the old one is not to code and no-one will work on a 40 year old septic system; can’t really blame them.  We are supposed to get a report this week and then can get estimates for doing the work. If we can get it done before mid-May the farmer says we can use the field for access which will be a big bonus as there will be some serious digging to be done. We have two companies recommended; one is English and was recommended by the soil test guy, the other was the original estimators that Marc found. We still don’t know the cost but the testing guy did give us a rough idea and I hope he’s right; it’s about what we originally budgeted.

 I’ve also managed to make contact with the consultant from EDF; they offer an energy audit on the house with complete specifications for insulation, heating, ventilation etc. They are coming on April 12th and I’m hoping Marc is going to be here as well. We need to get this sorted, we had the third load of heating oil delivered this week and even with a discount because we ordered it at the same time as all the neighbours, it still cost close to €1000 for 1,000 litres. This coming winter I hope to be using the log fire for main heating and the oil for background and hot water only. 

I managed to paint all the doors and door frames into the lobby and hallway, a tedious task as this French gloss paint does not seem to have any covering power at all. The last few frames needed two undercoats and two topcoats to get rid of the ‘orrible rose pink stuff that was there originally. I still have the French doors into the living room to do and, as they have 18 panes of glass each (each side), I reckon there is some serious work involved.  Finally finished the walls & ceiling in the hall and the transformation is great; we are really starting to feel that this is our house at last. The colour scheme is now much closer to our preferences over the years so our furniture is looking like it belongs.








We have even managed to enjoy a Sunday afternoon watching the new F1 season – albeit edited highlights only on BBC but still very enjoyable. Very different presentation than we were used to, Speed channel did most of the technical discussions during the race and rarely showed any interviews. BBC gives quite a lot of technical detail before the race and then afterwards spends a lot of time interviewing drivers, team managers etc. The only drawback so far is the main commentator thinks he’s watching a soccer match and will persist in getting over excited and using well-worn clichés like “at the end of the day”. I do miss David Hobbs and Steve Matchett though.

 The weather here for the past two weeks (and forecast to continue) is just downright pleasant. Warm sunny and dry – we really must get on and clean the patio and put some furniture on it. Now the clocks have gone forward it’ll be light well into the evening, probably close to 8:00pm tonight. Time to rescue the BBQ 🙂








The next couple of weeks should be interesting, time as always, will tell.

 Toodle pip

 David & June

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2012 16:32

    Starting to feel like home … that says much.
    Yes, spring is in the air and your place is looking wonderful.
    Votre horloge est une Becker? Nous avons la meme chose.!! Imagine!!
    We bought ours in Jax.
    Our bbq was built in so could not bring but wish we had the foresight to buy one b4 we left.
    Enjoy the light evenings. Did you have many mosquitoes last year. We didn’t seem to have many at all. Not like Fla.

  2. March 25, 2012 17:19

    The clock is of unknown origin – Junes father got it in pieces about 65 years ago and I had the mechanism restored in CA.

    No mozzies noticed last year but then we were living closer to the sea but even if we get some they won’t be those four-engined ones in FL 🙂



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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

Home is where the heart is

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