Les poissons en France

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Watch Where You Step

Having learnt from last year's growing campaign, Sue's started early, and we have lots of seed trays taking advantage of the underfloor heating!

And of course, the Porcherie is being used!

I had been hoping to have all of the plasterboarding finished this weekend, but, what with it being the fiddley bits around the windows, and with losing an hour with the clocks going forward to summer time, I've got half a day's work left.

Mind you, there's all of the jointing to do......oh, yes....then there's the second bedroom!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring is Sprung

All of a sudden Spring has properly arrived. We noticed that our neighbour's willow tree has burst its leaves, and yesterday we saw tree blossom and even Magnolias starting to flower! Today was a gloriously sunny day, but I wanted to clear the first pile of plasterboards before I went out into the garden.

So, that was the morning gone!

It's difficult to take a photo to show how bedroom 3 is developing. The more boards that I put up, the smaller the room looks.

So, having used up the first of the 3 piles of plasterboard, and having looked at the weather forecast which is showing 3 days of rain from Friday, I dragged out the mower and fired it up. No problems and off we went for the first cut of the year!

We were amazed that I was only able to cut the back garden on the maximum height! Having said that, I am a bit of a fart about mowing; I don't like to leave cut grass lying where I've been. No doubt, with warmth and then rain, I'll be cutting the grass again quite soon!.

More Land

Have you not got enough is probably your first reaction, and our answer would definitely be yes, particularly at this time of year when we are fighting to bring everything under control. However, last year, in discussion with our neighbour Nicole (and consequent closer study of our "Deeds") we discovered that she owned a piece of land about 10 metres square that ajoined ours at the bottom of our back field. OK so what we thought, until a couple of weeks ago when we received a letter summoning us to an on-site meeting with a "Geometre-Expert". As you probably know France is divided up into numerous small parcels of land, mostly as a result of the inheritance laws. As a consequence a whole profession has grown up to establish boundaries. So, after a couple of hours of measurements with very high tech equipment yesterday, our wildflower meadow has increased by an infinitessimal amount and Nicole's bank balance has reduced by a considerable amount!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

On Schedule

I see that at the beginning of the week I said that I hoped to have the ceiling up in bedroom 3 by the weekend. So, I'm pleased to report that I fitted the last of the ceiling this morning, and now we're moving on with the walls.

The first stack of plasterboards is going down.....

.... but there's another 2 piles after that!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hard Taskmistress....

...or Awkward B****.

The day started OK with a trip over the hill to collect a trailer load of manure. We then planted out a new batch of Asparagus. Some of our previous asparagus had failed, but we'd realised that we didn't have enough!

That was the easy part. After lunch we began planting out the potatoes. I hadn't realised how pernicketty, fussy and just plain awkward Sue could be about something which, at the end of the day, will grow how it wants to, and not to the centimetre where she wants it to grow! After some heated discussion on the best way to mark out the trenches and ridges for the potatoes, we managed to plant up 3 beds, leaving 3 more to plant tomorrow morning.

After our torrid and exhausting afternoon, we took the opportunity to enjoy the sun with an evening drink.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Onward and Upwards

We're really on a roll! I've put the plasterboards on the end wall of the 'Library' (just a few bits left to fit in the window reveal when I have some small off-cuts).

And so......into Bedroom 3!

Whilst it's going to take a bit longer as I've got to put insulation above the plasterboard ceiling, I've fitted 5 boards today.

It would be nice to think that I'll have the ceiling up by next weekend, but we're off to our book club tomorrow, Tuesday I'm told that I'm planting potatoes, Wednesday afternoon it will be Bridge Club and Thursday afternoon it's a different book club (and a different book). It's a good job I'm not going to work!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 2

Day 2 has been another successfull one. I finished putting up the ceiling in the 'library' and then fitted boards to the wall where we are going to put shelves.



Hopefully you can see the 'improvements' in the Before and After photos! Tomorrow I'll be working on boarding over the end (yellow) wall. Then, I can move into the bedrooms!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Up They Go!

Having retired to bed very early last night (to recover from 2 days of shifting plasterboards) I began fitting them today.....it was so much easier using half boards....they're half the width of a normal board.

It's also sooooo much easier using my 'board lifter' ( a bargain from Bricodepot at only 50 euros). So, at the end of day one, we have 6 boards up and I now know what I am doing!!!!

Meanwhile I had a very strange visitation.

This isn't your common or garden gnome, this is your M&S pyromaniac gnome. Sue (that's her name) was determined to finish burning the brush from the trees we cut down on the boundary of the front garden.

However, the gnome is going to need some horse-linament on her back tonight!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Our moving of the rest of the sheets of plasterboard passed off extremely well. Although we're having a cold spell, there were no problems with the weather overnight (the plasterboards were covered with plastic). A couple of friends, Jon and Andy, kindly turned up this morning to help; JJ also turned out to give me a hand! So, after only an hour, all of the boards were safely stacked inside in the salon.

I've got enough materials now to last me through all of this year....at least!

Sue's getting a bit agitated now as she wants to get on the vegetable beds, but this morning the ground was solid with frost. It has actually been bitter for the past two days, but it hasn't stopped the Head Gardener!!!!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Service with a Smile

We had been promised the delivery of our plasterboards and insulation sometime this week. And we duly had a phone call this morning at 8 am to make sure we would be in today! The lorry arrived just after 2pm and the lorry driver was really helpful.

He was very sorry that he couldn't put the plasterboards up onto our terrasse but the telephone wire was in the way of his crane.

So, now our only problem is moving all 180 sheets of plasterboard from the front garden up into the salon! We've moved 60 odd sheets and we're recruiting help for tomorrow morning.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Fooled Again!

Yesterday we went to our friends to the east of Cahors for their village walk. The first Sunday of every month the village of Concots organises a walk, ending up with refreshments. Whilst it was a bit cool, the sun shone, the company was pleasant and we had an enjoyable day. So, you can understand our dismay when we got up this morning to....... snow......again.

Poor Pauline's irises are shrouded in snow!

The snow has stopped us going to collect more manure, so I'll be back into the 'woodshop'.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

More New Toys

I'm temporarily held up in the bedrooms until we take delivery of plasterboards, insulation, etc which we've been promised for next week (sometime!).
So, in the meantime I've started to come to grips with the stairs which I'll be making. The wood for the sides of the stairs was delivered with the bedroom flooring, but it is only now that we've had a good look at it! And we've come to the decision that it is too thick. It doesn't look in proportion with the stair treads. This, of course, is not an easy thing to change. One of the reasons for getting the wood from the woodyard was because they had the facilities to plane it. However, nothing's impossible, I have found...(cue for a song!) and we located a bench planer at a national DIY store at Perigueux, 2 hours away.
So, I've now set up my workshop, having fixed the planer to my workmate (which necessitated buying another!!!) and we're now happy that we'll be able to modify the wood to the dimensions we want.

Of course, this means that the materials for the bedrooms will now arrive in the next couple of days.

We had some lovely news from England about Aunty Pauline. She's been having tablets for breast cancer but, at her latest check-up, the lumps in her breast have gone! She has other associated problems but we're all delighted to think that her treatment has seen off the breast cancer. Her irises (her's because she gave them to us and the're called 'Pauline') are in full bloom in the garden...very appropriate!