It’s been a little while since our last posting but we haven’t been idle!

Almost finished in the living room and dining rooms

Work in the living-room reached its finale, with the floor receiving a coat of linseed oil – both of us on hands and knees brushing it on to the tiles and leaving it to soak in overnight – we think the effort was worth it….

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The next day, I started putting all the living room furniture back, while Edward continued with working in the kitchen…

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So – we finally have somewhere comfortable to sit and relax after a hard day’s work!!!  Work stopped for a day so Christmas presents could be wrapped and cards written (we were popping over to England for a few days and needed to be prepared!)…

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Although the dining room was ‘done’ first,  I realised I needed to do a bit more in there before it was finished (having treated the woodwork in the living room I’d noticed a big difference).  So, furniture and boxes were moved out of the way so I could treat the beams at the far end of the room…

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Another flying visit to the UK

Just over a week before we were due to leave for England, we met with M Ory and asked if he knew anyone who could look after the cats for us – before Edward had finished speaking, M Ory said he’d do it!  What a kind man and it meant we could both go to England!

So, work stopped again, while we made the trip to England, stopping at Mum and Dad’s.  I had a meeting at the Royal Entomological Society in St Albans – Mum came up with me and spent the day exploring the town!  Traffic was horrendous on both parts of the journey – nose to tail out and worse on the back, certainly not the nice stress-free driving we have become used to in France!  Edward spent the day with Dad, who took him to B&Q where he bought some of the items on our ‘shopping list’ for 10% off on ‘Pensioners’ Day’!!

The next day, Mum escorted Edward and I to Herne-Bay, where we completed the rest of our shopping list, mostly DIY items but also some interlining for door curtains I shall be making before Christmas….

In the afternoon, I visited my aunt and uncle, before we headed over to Dover to have dinner with my sister and brother-in-law in their new home – they moved in just over a week ago and had done an amazing job at transforming it.

By 6.30 am the next morning, we were heading back to Folkstone for the return trip to La Biochère – phew, what a whirlwind trip!

Back home and back to it

And how nice it is to be able to say that, back home, I mean  🙂

The cats were fine, M Ory had looked after them well, although was concerned that Colin hadn’t come home the night before – probably thought he’d stay out as we were away, little tinker!  Jim’s eyesight has been OK but he seems very frail – we’re keeping a close eye on him.  Having said that, he has made his way outside to sit on the bench in the sunshine – life in the old dog yet…

Work continued in the dining room – the woodwork has been treated with teak oil and the floor oiled with linseed oil…

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By Sunday, it was ready for the furniture…

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The fun bit will be making it look like home…

Which is what we started doing on Monday afternoon….

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It struck me as strange that so many of our belongings seem to be working so well together in our new home, given that we had a much smaller house and they were mostly dotted around wherever we could find spots for them.  The purchases we made when we were renting in St Simeon also seem to be fitting in well – I guess there is a certain taste here but even so, it’s very pleasing to see it all coming together – we love it!!

Monday afternoon

It was a beautiful day, foggy initially but clearing to reveal blue skies and brilliant sunshine… it was 20 degrees on the terrace…

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Edward thought he’d make the most of the good weather and have a go at cutting off the cherry tree branch that is damaging the roof on the big barn…

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However, he decided it was a job too far – close up and personal, it was a huge branch to ‘lop off’ with a chain saw up a ladder with no harness – we’ll wait for someone better qualified to help us sort it out ;0)

On-going work in the kitchen

In the meantime, Edward has been busy in the kitchen.  The sad thing is that for all the effort, blood (there has been some), sweat and tears, there doesn’t seem so much to see but each day we are a step nearer to completing the room.

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The worktop for the island was cut and put in place on Sunday.

The ‘cladding’ for the island is finished…

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And Edward has made a mini ‘splashback’, which will stop things falling off the edge onto the sofa which will be on the other side.

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At the end of the island, he is making shelves for the mugs, which were finished this morning…

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When he’s not constructing things around the units, he’s sorting out the lighting….

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This morning, the cords on the lights were evened up and the shades attached – progress indeed…

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On reflection, I think I have rather taken for granted the skills that Edward has – there is very little of what he does that I could do myself, hence my sticking to painting and wallpapering and general interior design.  I’ve been a bit precious about it, not letting him doing any painting or decorating – it’s ‘my area’ but I can see that this level of DIY and the intensity at which we are working can get a bit gutty.  Edward does all the ‘grunt’ work and I come in and finish it all off – the end result is really what gets noticed, not all the hard work it took to get there.  He’s been a real star and I might let him help me do some painting as a reward :0) ♥

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