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Finishing touches

December 14, 2012

Having spent the best part of a year being forced into various works I am finding that drumming up the enthusiasm for more projects is getting tougher. However, I convinced myself that putting up the coving in our bedroom could not wait any longer so on Saturday we got stuck in. June removed ornaments and other breakables, laid out dust sheets and I started measuring and cutting. Each piece was cut in the basement, taken upstairs, glued and mounted. The first bits were easy as they were only short around the doorway; the longer bits needed June’s help while I positioned them. The back corner was a real pain as the wall and ceiling are not straight and trying to adjust the angles was a bit of a challenge but after that the job went quickly. After lunch I went round with the caulking gun and tidied it all up and on Sunday I put a couple of coats of paint on. It has finished the room and it looks about 1000% better now the ragged edges left by Marc have been covered.


On Monday the fireplace guy was supposed to arrive to check out the door sooting up but he did not appear until 5:30 by which time we had lit the fire and it was almost impossible for him to work on it. He did adjust the glass but this just made matters worse – now we have a howling wind noise as well as the soot encrustation. He went away with a message from me to get his boss to explain in detail (via email) what is going on, which I followed up by an email from me saying the same thing. The following morning I decided to clean the fireplace out and clean the glass completely. I then figured out what he had been trying to adjust and did it myself. The result was a nice warm fire that evening with no wind noise and much reduced soot and it has stayed that way. I guess I’ll be managing this myself from now on.

Christmas 001

There is a big pile of stone slabs in the back garden from an old terrace and we decided they needed to be moved but neither June or I could manage even the small bits. So when Malcolm arrived I asked him if he could do it and lay them as a walkway along the side of the house. With his usual “no problem” attitude he set to and at the end of that day’s work (only four hours due to reduced daylight) he had managed to lay about ¾ of the walkway and it looks really good. One more session and that will be done.

The skirting board saga finally got silly – I had arranged with our friends Peter & Jenny to collect a piece for me if it didn’t arrive and spent most of the previous week trying to contact the company to fix this. When I did make contact they said they had shipped yet another piece and then an email arrived from Peter letting me know he would have to collect it by Friday 7th. We waited until Wednesday and it had not arrived so I asked Peter to get the piece from them direct. I called them and gave them the plan and gave Peter all the contact details. Peter called them to let them know he was coming but it still wasn’t ready when he got there! Anyway, he did get it for me so sometime soon I’ll finish the office, after we have our next get together with Peter & Jenny – hopefully over Christmas.

Our artificial tree arrived but I have to say I wasn’t over-impressed. We did order the more expensive high quality version, so goodness only knows what the cheap one looks like. However, a few lights and baubles and it is more than presentable and June dug out all her favourite ornaments, flowers etc and had a right good time decorating the place. We didn’t bother last year so all our decorations have been boxed up for almost two years – seemed to have survived the ordeal though.

Christmas 002

Christmas 003








We were anticipating the arrival of the English sausages and bacon on Thursday, this being our normal day out we had to make alternate arrangements and make sure we were here for the delivery. Nothing had arrived by 12:30 so a phone call to the supplier revealed that the Chronopost had struck again and sent the package to Bordeaux – exactly the same happened last year, goodness why. Anyway, they are going to ship another load on Monday so it should arrive Tuesday – fingers crossed.

I have wanted to ‘correct’ a couple of electrical anomalies and add some extra lighting in the sous-sol but when I investigated the existing wiring I decided to get a professional. The light switch (two-way) had three wires in the box, blue, brown and yellow/green. If the light was on, all three were hot! Turns out they had bootlegged the second switch in using normal household mains cable and hadn’t run a neutral. I recalled that the English guy who installed our satellite dish was also an electrician so we had him come over on Friday to carry out all the extra bits and check the system out.

Geoff the decorator is also coming on Monday to paint the walls of the sous-sol stairway and generally tidy that area which has always looked bad. We are also discussing repairing the front door which has been ravaged by the elements and is not very pretty at all. The kitchen really needs re-decorating but I reckon it can wait until after Christmas and I might also get around to repainting the bedroom shutters as the hinges and catches have got rusty and stained.

Anyway, time for a bit of a rest and enjoy the Christmas festivities – speaking of which I ordered the turkey from the local supermarket. Last year no-one had a clue where to get one from and we finally had Mme J source it for us. It was enjoyable but much too big (6.6 kg) and much too expensive (€50) so this year I went on a hunt. I have ordered a 4.5 kg and the price looks to be about €20, I collect it fresh & oven-ready on Dec 23rd.

Happy Holidays

David & June

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jo Bingham permalink
    December 14, 2012 16:05

    HAHAHAA!! About your Christmas tree! Yup, me too I wonder what the cheap one would be like if it anything like ours. I scoured the Internet for one and would have bought the more expensive one but then decided to buy one at Intermarche. I have to say it is the biggest “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree I ever did seen! I always prided my self on my tree and decorations, but not so much this year LOL. You sound as if you have most projects under control. Relax, put your feet and enjoy you wood burner – that’s our plan. Merry Christmas to you both. !! Jo and Brian

    • December 14, 2012 16:35

      LOL – we were in Carrefour yesterday and they had a whole rack of Charlie Brown Christmas Trees, made us glad we bought the one we did.

      Have a wonderful Christmas

      David & June

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