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Tempus fugit!

April 21, 2012

However, I think they really said “Tempus – fuggit!”

Easter came & went celebrated by copious amounts of chocolate and a rabbit casserole for dinner. The chocolate attack continued as Mme J brought us a chocolate ladybird from the patisserie – it was delicious! Monday was also a lazy day and I really didn’t get back into working until Tuesday and then not very enthusiastically. Wednesday came and with it the gardener – he spent the day removing loads of ivy from the wall at the front – he still has the other side to do when he comes again on the 25th. However, he is making a difference to the garden and the overall appearance to the place – if it would stop raining for a day or two I might even get the grass cut.







Thursday is the day June has her hair done and I needed a haircut too, then we went to lunch at the bar in St. Nolff and then back at the house for the EDF guy to do the energy audit. Marc was there as well and the whole exercise was very useful. I have just received the report but haven’t translated it all yet and I need to discuss the project with Marc but he’s on vacation this week. It seems the big issues are insulation and ventilation plus there are some improvements we can make to the heating & hot water as well. We will see when we get some estimates for the various aspects of this. 

We did manage to spend a day in the garden planting, grass cutting etc after another expensive trip to the garden centre and are about done apart from maintenance until we finish the decorating. Speaking of which, I needed to buy the paint and wallpaper for the decorator who is coming on the 24th. We decided we did want coving on the landing and the lobby area so a trip to Leroy Merlin and we bought a load and some glue – the cost of all this including the wallpaper and paint for both the interior and exterior was over €1000! Paint is expensive inFrance.

 A relaxing Sunday watching the Chinese GP and enjoying a pleasant roast dinner and then we suddenly realized that we only had a few days before the decorator showed up. Monday was busy; I put up all the coving on the landing and lobby – about 30 metres in all – but it was fairly simple. The polystyrene stuff is really light weight and easy to cut, the mitre block was simple to use and the job went smoothly even if my shoulder did ache afterwards. Tuesday was consumed up by all the filling of the coving, preparation of door frames upstairs and general tidying around and looking for missed bits – there were several!







At this point we realize we are out of food, drink and other essentials plus low on June’s prescriptions so off we went. Just recently a particular tooth I have had issues with in the past decided to start playing up and really giving me some pain whenever any pressure was put on it. This tooth is actually a baby (milk) tooth and every so often a dentist says it must come out – however this has been going on for 20+ years. Anyway, while we are in the pharmacy getting Junes stuff I asked if they had a pain killing gel for toothache – non, but there is a dentist about 200 metres away! We walked round the corner, found the dental office, sounded the bell and walked in. A very pleasant lady appeared and asked if we had an appointment – we didn’t. No problem, what’s the trouble? I explained the situation and she asked if I would like her to examine it right there and then. I get the full works, complete check around, x-ray on the offending tooth which shows a small abscess and then a prescription for an antibiotic and a mouthwash. €21 please! Man, do certain countries need to examine their health care systems! I will be making an appointment with this dentist in the near future for all the regular cleaning and stuff. Back to the pharmacy and fill the prescription and back home in time for lunch.

 Next up a friend of Marcs arrives to fit the skirting boards upstairs and a really good job he made of it too. After he had done, I got set to and filled all the joints. It amazes me that modern paints (or maybe just French ones) do not have any covering power – two undercoats and two topcoats are only just enough to cover the underlying (horrible pinks and creams) colour and that after careful sanding and filling. Consequently this job is taking way longer than I would have expected and I’m running out of time.

 The plumber I found came on Thursday afternoon and removed the radiator in the bathroom and fitted the new heated towel rail. He also removed the radiator on the landing so can decorate behind it – he’ll come and put it back in a week or so; thank heavens the weather is a bit warmer. The bathroom is a bit of a mess; Marc did some weird stuff when he wallpapered it presumably to make it easier to decorate in future – big failure. French plumbers don’t seem to have heard of solder – they braze the pipes permanently and the resulting amount of heat means I now have some significant repair work to do. At least I can remove the towel rail without shutting the whole system down. The plumber also has a solution for the radiator valves – he says we can keep the existing radiators and just change the valves. OK, estimate to follow.







By late Saturday I have managed to paint all the door frames upstairs and all the outside of the doors themselves. While I had the doors off the bathroom and WC I foolishly decided to paint the insides of those two as well. More time consumption rapidly followed by even more when we decided to attack the woodwork around the stairwell. I should know better, every time I start something I uncover problems which then demand I fix them so now I have to repair, stain and varnish the trim on the staircase as well.

 But, at least we are ready for the decorator……………..

David & June

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2012 17:09

    I’m exhausted just from reading about your projects! You have been busy. The garden looks lovely and the plants will grow big and fill in the ground. I see we have the same lights (lol)! Never fails does it – one little thing leads to several big things. I had heard from folks here that dentistry was expensive ?? Maybe not….. Today we visited Leroy Merlin for the first time – impressed by the inventory but not the prices but, then again, this is France. It is the best DIY store we have been to but it is 50km away. Had lunch at a Chinese buffet – wow was it good and only €10.80 for lunch.
    Looks like you are making head way and if/when it warms up here we will too. Bon chance with the rest.
    Cheers – Jo

    • April 21, 2012 17:23

      Hi Jo,

      Leroy Merlin isn’t the cheapest but it is the best. Castorama is cheaper but not helpful, Bricocash even cheaper but no selection and not so many brand names. DIY is expensive, especially after using Home Depot for 20 years 🙂



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