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Back to reality ???

November 18, 2012

We were pretty tired after the journey back from England but need to get on with the projects as it is going to get colder soon and there is work to be done in the sous-sol. So June got on with the housework and I started to sort out the garage and gardening equipment – man do we have some junk or what? Anyway we made a significant start so a quick break on Wednesday for a trip to the hairdressers and lunch was welcome. Our gardener had asked if he could come on Thursday this week so while he was sorting out the garden we continued with the garage. I had made some boards for hanging tools and spent a few happy moments making brackets for each item. This came to a stop when the power transformer let some smoke out and ceased to function. I stripped it down and discovered wires had burned on the outlet socket – very strange and not improved by the fact the replacement is discontinued – more research needed. I did complete the organising of the tools and Malcolm the gardener seemed well pleased to take all the old tools we no longer wanted. A bit more organising and I managed to get the car into the garage for the first time – then duly walked into the open tailgate and cut my head open!

Sunday dawned bright and clear, beautiful day and then I checked my email to find a note from Mme J asking if we had been invited to the meal in the village for the “Journée des Aines” or Day of the Seniors. She had noted our ages from the contract for the land boundaries, and one member of the household has to be over 70 to qualify. We had not been invited apparently because we are not on the electoral roll but she offered to get us invites and promptly called the deputy Maire (M Aubry) and got us two places. She then said she would pick us up at 11:20 as we were to meet at the war memorial at 11:30. This is at 10:00 – usual advance warning. So a quick shower and change, not forgetting to put our British Legion poppies on our jackets and off we went.

The ceremony at the war memorial was very simple, two children took a wreath to the Mayor and they jointly laid it down. He said a few words, one minute silence and then the children’s choir sang the Marseillaise. There were about  50 people there just standing in the square in front of the church in glorious sunshine, veterans all wearing their medals and our poppies were noted.

Then it was off to the school canteen where they had laid out tables for about 100 people. I’ve attached a picture of the menu – it was all delicious, beautifully presented and served with red & white wine after a couple of aperitifs (kir royale). We started at the tables at about 12:15 and we got home at 5:00pm after a thoroughly enjoyable day. June’s highlight was when M Aubry asked her to dance, he does speak some English and he also knows she doesn’t – very nice man.









We also joined in some of the dancing which by and large consisted of a number of people in a circle holding hand via the little fingers and making rhythmic movements alternately lifting arms to waist height then lowering to the side, all while rotating the circle – very simple but enjoyable. The conjurer was a tad amateurish but entertaining, the musician playing the accordion was very good and I’m sure this is how the French manage to eat so much rich food and not put on weight – all the exercise and breaks must help. We finished the day watching the BBC broadcast of the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph ceremonies – great job by the BBC and a far cry from the awful Diamond Jubilee River Pageant coverage.

Monday arrived and with it the guys from Profosse to investigate the seepage in the boiler room wall. It seems the main pipe they added was cracked but he had to chisel away a lot of the original fitting concrete to affect a repair. The job took about four hours and we could not use the toilets while he was working – very stressful! However, it has fixed the problem and we have no more seepage; he also checked the fosse and that is performing as planned.

Tuesday was a nice bright sunny day and I decided to finish painting in the garage. It was also the day the guy was coming for the annual boiler maintenance which all went fine until the oil supply line valve broke and of course was stuck shut. So no oil therefore no boiler therefore no hot water or heating. I called David our plumber and he talked with the maintenance engineer and said he would be around later to check. We’d almost give him up when he showed up at 7:20pm – checked the old valve and he promised to be back on Wednesday afternoon so we were in for a chilly night, thank heavens for the wood burner which we relit immediately on Wednesday morning.

Mme J has found another oil supplier for a very low price so we have placed an order for delivery on Wednesday afternoon. David came back as promised but the valve he brought would not fit – seems the thread sizes have changed over the past 40 years and he thought I’d fitted an American part! Off he went for more bits and duly reappeared about an hour later and finally all is well and we have heat. David also commented on the woodburner and we talked about the way the glass won’t stay clean. He knew of a special product and promised to bring some on Thursday. The oil delivery guy arrived at 5:55pm along with Mme J and her daughter – quite why we needed a family reunion is a bit beyond me but it was all very friendly. We had to turn the boiler off for two hours so that the fuel in the tank could settle but all was well after that.

For some reason we really could not get into the swing of things on Thursday and Friday and spent a very lazy couple of days just taking care of odd bits and pieces. David did deliver the cleaner for the woodburner and it worked like magic, messy job but we can the fire now. On Friday afternoon Mme J & her husband arrived to take us to the notaires office in Vannes to sign the final paperwork on the land boundary changes – pretty much a formality but apparently it will take eight months for the final recording and issuing of a new title document! We invited them in for an apero when we got back and we spent a pleasant hour or so discussing the history of the house, land values, previous owners and gardening. Pretty good for two people who don’t speak English only French; one who doesn’t speak French only English; and me doing my level best to keep up.

On Saturday I got stuck in again and decided I needed to complete the work in the upstairs bedrooms so we can get stuff out of the attic and start sorting it all out. I can get the office back into the end room and make the guest bedroom fit for use again. We also got started on the store room part of the sous-sol, sorted all the decorating tools and repacked them properly, tidied up all the boxes we hastily repacked ready for another major sorting and organized all the flat-packed cardboard boxes. We have way too much stuff!

Keep on keeping on

David & June

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 28, 2012 15:42

    Glad I found your blog! Looking forward to reading more 🙂

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

Home is where the heart is

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