Les poissons en France

Monday, December 29, 2008

Daddy's Little Helpers

I've been receiving a little help from our cats, Diana and Cleo.

They obviously think that I haven't been pressing the tiles down firmly enough. So both cats have tried to help by only walking and sitting on the newly-laid tiles and not on the tiles laid yesterday!!!

It's a shame that they can't put the tile ahdesive on for me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stepping Out....

I've got the steps as far as I can at the moment. I won't be able to finish them off till I tile the passageway, and this has to wait till our carpenter has replaced the passage floor on the first level.

So now I'm looking forward to a clear run at the kitchen and dining room. Having said that, I estimate that it's going to take about 2 weeks (what with the New Year festivities!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Slow Start

We are (I am!) finding it difficult to get going again. What with the snow, plus the fact that I've picked up a bit of a cold, means that I need a lot of motivating. The problem is further compounded as I'm starting with the steps into the kitchen. Lots of thinking and calculating and cutting. However, today I did finally make a start.

I'm planing to finish the steps tomorrow and then crash on with the kitchen floor. However, we will have to turn the heating down to 15 degrees so we'll be working in overcoats.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Snowed In

We were scheduled to go off to friends near Montauban, about an hour south of us. We got ourselves ready before we took Yoda for a walk.

As you can see, it was just trying to snow. By the time we got back, it really was snowing.

We duly loaded up the car and set off to pick up Sue and Jon, our friends who live the other side of our hill. We turned off the main road to go up to their house just before a queue of lorries and cars who appeared to be unable to get up a hill. Having got to Sue and Jon's it was heavy snow falling and so, discretion being the better part of valour, we phoned our Montauban friends and called off the trip.

We crept back home and arrived to see a large fox crossing the back garden!

After a couple of hours it stopped snowing and then the sun came out. There might be a problem in the morning because I expect that it will freeze overnight and then it could be really slippery!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Starts on the 24th

Christmas Eve started with clear blue skies and a white frost.

Not being under any pressure as we're off out for Christmas Day and Boxing Day we pottered about doing things like washing and cleaning out the car (well it is Christmas!).

Then, this afternoon we all went off for a walk up the hill, and it was lovely. It was dry underfoot, not a sound could be heard, the first winter flowers (helibores) are in bud, and the honeysuckle is just bursting into leaf.

At this time of year, without the leaves, you get a good view of St. Germain nestling in the valley of the Ceou.

Following the French tradition of Christmas Eve being the main meal of the festivities, we decided to treat ourselves to a bottle of Champagne to accompany our meal of left-overs from our 'Do'.

Having said that, Sue did a bit of a 'Ready, Steady, Cook' job with the ingredients and you can see the results.

During the course of the meal we exchanged presents. Does anyone recognise me in my new beret?

We trust that you all have a very happy Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bit of a Do

Well, the big day finally came and we welcomed 26 guests to our 'Do' .

The cabaret ended up as a programme of 14 turns showing diverse talents, ranging from singing, cello and piano playing, comedy turns, poetry and prose reading.

We have no idea how long the whole thing lasted but it may have gone on for more than 2 hours!

The entertainment finished with communal carol singing to work up an appetite.

Our friends all entered into the spirit of the occassion, and agreed that it was a different and enjoyable evening.
This morning we surfaced to the chore of tidying up!

However, Yoda, who'd had a fabulous time the night before as the centre of attention, wouldn't get up as he was poorly.
No, he wasn't hung-over. He seemed to be the same as when he was ill a couple of weeks ago. So, with no improvement by the afternoon, it was off to the vet!! We saw a different vet this time, and he diagnosed a bad back. This, however, is more serious than it sounds as Yoda was obviously in a lot of pain and the vet said that it is a common complaint in Shih Tzu's. He has perked up a bit after a couple of injections ( not too keen on thermometer up bum!) so we wait to see if the improvement continues. This fostering is hard work!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good News or Bad News?

The good news is that the lighting in the kitchen is now working.

Now that it's all working, we are able to assess just how bright it is and we can see that we don't need the other 2 lights in the middle of the kitchen area that we originally planned. (Talk about Crystal Palace!!)

The bad news is that, whilst I was working on fitting the eyeball lights, I dropped a hammer and where did it drop? On the only thing that was breakable, the 'temporary' sink.

So, this afternoon we toured the DIY shops looking for a cheap sink to tide us over till we get the proper kitchen in. We ended up in a tile shop we've patronised before where we knew that they have damaged and end of line items. So we are now the proud owners of a black hand sink.

We'll now be spending the rest of this week getting ready for the Christmas party on Sunday.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bad Day at the Office......

.....for our electrician. Etienne was suffering problems today. It took him all morning to sort his wires out to get the 'breakfast area' lights working. Then he was struggling with the wires and switches for the kitchen eyeball lights.

Mind you, it's hardly surprising when you see the mass of wires which he has to sort out in the junction box in the wall of the kitchen.

It should be all sorted tomorrow!!??

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday, Day of Rest

We have got on better than we expected and found ourselves ready for the electrician by Saturday night. (Mainly because I took over from Sue, rollering the paint on the ceiling and walls). So we've started to get organised for our 'Do' next week. This has involved getting out all of the Christmas decorations so Sue could put the tree up.

Tonight I seem to have become 'lap of the month'. First I had Yoda on my lap, but then he is a lapdog. Then Cleo insisted on jumping onto my lap. Finally, 2 minutes after she got down, Diana arrived for a cuddle.

It's hardly surprising that things don't get done very quickly.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Painting Ongoing

At last the kitchen is starting to look like a kitchen! We're planning on another 2 days of painting before the walls and ceiling are finished. So we're on target to be finished before Etienne (the electrician) comes on Monday to fit all the kitchen lighting.

We realised today that Yoda's only been here 2 weks but he is really at home. As you can see he's even trying to help now..... and getting paint on himself!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lighting Up

We had the weekend off so we're not quite as advanced as we had hoped, but, nontheless, we're happy with our progress. To date, the kitchen ceiling has had 2 coats of paint, with a third going on tomorrow. The walls have all had the 'toile de verre' put on and they've been prepared for painting, again tomorrow.

Then this afternoon I started to put up the lights in the dining room.

Guess what! Initially, Sue didn't like them!!! However, her opinion has softened and they are now 'acceptable'. I think they're fine and I'm pleased to see more and more aspects of the 'finish' becoming evident.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Roll On

We really feel that we're on a roll now. I've got one more day of hanging the 'toile de verre' on the walls (once I've bought some more glue), Sue's finished in the dining room, and now she's started on the ceiling of the kitchen.

I was hoping to be starting on the floor tiling soon, but I want to continue tiling from the passage end of the kitchen. So, we've decided to get everything ready and then wait to start until after our 'do' which we'll be holding on the 21st. We're expecting up to 30 so it'll be better not to have the floor half done; we don't want anyone tripping and falling over!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Poofter Dog

Last night we 'googled' Shitz Tzu in an effort to make sure we're looking after Yoda correctly. We were interested to learn that he's a Tibetan Lion Dog and we must admit that he does look like those stylised ceramic chinese lions. However, more to the point, he should be bathed as often as I wash my hair. We've been saying that he needs a bath but something has always cropped up to stop us doing it. So, tonight we went for it!

We can only think that he's used to this because he was amazingly acquiescent and didn't struggle at all. So now, until the next walk, he's a real poofter dog.

Sorry to be going on about Yoda so much, but he has rather taken over our lives.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased with the progress I'm making in the kitchen. I'm not far off finishing covering the ceiling with the 'toile de verre' and then I can do the same to the walls. Then it is 'over to you' for Sue to start painting!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

You never know what is going to happen here!!

We got up yesterday ready to start painting and John was going to rub down the ceiling joints. I braced myself for the inevitable mess despite covering every thing with dust sheets. However John went outside to get some tools and came back to tell me that some men were digging a trench in Nicole's garden and piling earth into their truck to take it away. I couldn't help the bells ringing in my head which said "you need earth , you need earth". So I couldn't resist going to ask them if I could have the earth if they didn't need it. Absolutely no problem, so they delivered five loads in exchange for a cup of tea.

Of course we will have to move it, inevitably one job always creates another. So I spent the rest of the morning rectifying the mess made by the JCB and cleaning the road. No painting done.

Meanwhile John was getting on very well with his rubbing down and the job he expected to last two days was done in one . Great, I could clear up the mess which had gone every where.

I finished about 7 o'clock and turned my mind to getting us a meal. As time was getting on I thought we'd better give Yoda his meal before I began cooking ours. Normally he will eat at anytime and goes berserk when food is mentioned. However on this occasion he didn't move from the settee, wouldn't eat, could hardly lift his head, shivered and cried when he was picked up. He looked so ill that I asked John to call the vet. The vet said he would ring us back in an hour as he was dealing with a horse. Yoda continued to deteriorate and I was terrified that he was going to die in my arms. The vet then contacted us and we took Yoda to the surgery duly wrapped up in a towel. The vet took his temperature - normal, heart - fine, breathing - no problem, broken bones - none. The vet looked at these totally neurotic people with a look that said " what are they going on about?". After an incredibly thorough examination he decided that Yoda must have a stomach ache/colic, so he had two injections, which he was not impressed about and then wagged his tail at the vet. By the time we got home dog had recovered was bouncing around and wanted a walk and some thing to eat. How are we and our bank balance going to survive the next six months?

We had a tin of beans with sausages and jacket potato at ten o'clock!!