Well, we’ve downed tools for the festive season ūüôā

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Last push before we stop

The cave’

Over the last few days we have made a concerted effort to complete as much as possible in the kitchen and ‘cave‘ before breaking up for Christmas.¬† As usual, we underestimated how long it would take us and it’s beginning to dawn on me just how big the house is!¬† Each room is easily twice the size of the equivalent room in our old house in England…

So, Edward concentrated on finishing the ‘cave‘, which is really the laundry-cum-utility room.¬† It was so exciting to see it coming together…

Walls and ceiling clad? Рcheck!

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Skirting and internal trim installed? – check!

Wall cupboards assembled and hung? – check!

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The final job in here will be to make the door frame and hang a new door but that can wait till after Christmas.

In the meantime, what luxury! It’s so satisfying to see a room finished and usable, without having to work around obstacles, DIY equipment and general mess… This morning I spent a very pleasurable couple of hours, in my pyjamas, filling the cupboards and finding homes for ‘stuff’- I even managed to empty yet another removals box – hoorah!

The kitchen

Meanwhile, Edward installed more lights in the kitchen, which will hang above the dining table… I bought these for ¬£5 at a boot fair in England – at the time I had know idea they’d be coming to France with us, but we think they look great!

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I worked at the other end of the kitchen, preparing the island for painting, which Edward had completed earlier in the week, fully functional with electricity and plug sockets…

 

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As things progress, it’s easy to forget how much effort has gone into getting a particular job done.¬† For instance, the front window in the kitchen has been painted – in itself unremarkable, but the reveal was in such a state I had to skim it and again, there was no sill, which Edward has made.

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The dark brown window has now been transformed and makes this corner of the room really bright and airy…

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I’ve also painted the¬†fuse box cupboard, some skirting, the ceiling (that was a killer!), the large central beam¬†and the back wall, covering the hideous terracotta paint….

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It’s not been without mishap – a tray of paint can make a terrible mess…. luckily I had some sheeting down to catch the worst of it!

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We’ve had some late nights, we ache from head to toe and¬†our hands are like sandpaper but we are beginning to feel we are getting somewhere.¬† Last night we tidied all our tools away and made the kitchen more homely – it’s fully functional with sink, dishwasher, hob and oven all plumbed in and working.¬† The cupboards and drawers all need to be sorted out and the remaining three walls need to be painted, along with another window and the front door.¬† However, we’re really happy with the results so far and know that we shall be comfortable over Christmas, which was important….

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This morning we put the mugs on the shelves that Edward made….

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Herding cats

Jim took a turn for the worse last week – he’d stopped eating and was going downhill rapidly.¬† Thankfully, we found an excellent vet in √Čvron, who explained, in English, the delicate balancing act involved in keeping him well with his kidney failure and heart problems.¬† The upshot was that he had to stay in hospital overnight on a drip but by morning, he was in a much better state.¬† Of course, if there was any doubt he didn’t have a good life living with us, that’s been blown out of the water….. he has to have low protein diet (incredibly expensive from the vet…!) and kept warm, so he now has his own chair with hot water bottles replenished frequently throughout the day….

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Keeping the others from eating his food is a challenge, but we seem to manage by feeding them in the back kitchen and popping his food in the fridge if he doesn’t eat it all in one go…

I think Colin would rather eat with us…

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While Mouse has become a killing machine… sadly, we have taken several birds and rodents from her in the last few days, and those are just the ones we know about…¬† When she’s lying on Edward’s bed, you’d think butter wouldn’t melt!

Out and about

Last week we had to go into √Čvron to have new tires fitted on the Jaguar.¬† While we waited, we had a walk around the town and were pleasantly surprised – it’s really quite pretty, even in the winter.¬† The cathedral is quite magnificent and the crescent of houses at one end of it is lovely.

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On Thursdays there is a huge market, which runs through a number of streets in the town – it was lovely just browsing through the stalls.

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We seem to have had a lot of fog just lately, which makes it very dark and grey, but sometimes it’s very photogenic….

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Christmas wishes

So, we’ll close for now but wish you all a very Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year – we hope to see you soon in 2016!!‚ô•

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