Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The last week has been rather challenging! Firstly the weather has been appalling! torrential rain with the most amazing electrical storms and the scirroco (from Morocco) wind dumping sand all over the place!
We decided to buy a lighter paint spray gun rather than using the compressor which is rather heavy to move around. Bearing in mind we have a total of 8 bedrooms, 7 reception rooms to paint for starters! So here I am just starting off with 10 litres on my back! Unfortunately it was useless so I cleaned it up and took it back demanding a refund, not always easy when its used by I succeeded although not sure whether the guy just thought I was a loony and wanted to get me out the store!
So now its back to the traditional method of rollers!

Then the new pool alarm, compulsory here stopped working.So our Electrician stepped in and took the Siren back to the same shop as the paint sprayer came from demanding a replacement - trouble was I didn't buy it there! so I had to go next day and get one from where I did buy it and meet the electrician so he could go back and avoid further embarrassment! For sure where ever we go we are never forgotten!

So we continue to finish painting the first gite which we move into in about 4 weeks - still no electric or water - but it will come I am sure!

Yesterday we braved France Telecom who like BT monopolies the French phone lines. This involves going into their shop, where there is always a queue and never enough staff. Good afternnon we said to the cherful man - this is your lucky day! we explain we need
our phone number moved to our new house, the internet also and to put a new internet service into this villa for our clients use - simple - two hours later, exhausted, dehydrated we leave and by the time we get home they have cut our phone off - now thats fast - but not what we ordered! So we build up our strength to go back tomorrow!

This is the North face of the gites, now with the roof tiled, the walls will have three coats of render.
Today, Wednesday our removal company who bought us down from the UK came and packed us up to put most of our furniture into the garage of the new house until the house is completed which we hope will be September ish ( this year!). After this relaxing day it was off to Marseille to collect Karens Mum from the airport, Joan has come out to pack boxes, sorry I mean for a holiday!
Tomorrow I am back to the gite to start on the second one, rubbing down the beams , all the ceilings are vaulted, ceiling and walls before the task of 3 coats of paint - Joy!

And this is our garage!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Whilst we were in Avignon the floors were being poured in our house so we decided to stay well out the way! This is the layer of pvc that is put down and the level indicators just before pouring starts.

I know that over the past two years I have upset a few people by gloating at how nice our weather is , so you will be pleased to know that this spring has been the wettest for about 20 years! We really need it for the reservoirs, vines and vegetation but enough is enough!! time for some warm sunshine! The upside is we have the most beautiful landscape, lush and green with poppies everywhere.

After torrential rain yesterday (Saturday) we were concerned that the forecast of sun today would happen, and as we drove to Banon, where the annual Cheese festival was taking place we did wonder. We were literally driving though mist and low cloud - in mid May!

But thankfully as we approached the village the sun shone through and shaw enough it was soon in the mid seventies if not hotter. The band played as they walked through the pedestrians, note his satchel with the items closest to a French mans heart (or stomach)

Banon is famous for its goats cheese,usually wrapped in dried Chestnut tree leaves, it also has two famous shops , this one selling every sausicon you can imagine which they ship world wide

and also the book shop Le Bleuet, one of the largest in France.

The annual fete brings together local cheese and wine producers to sell their wares , there are plenty of free tastings and samples! or you can buy a sandwich, a bottle of wine and sit in the square watching people go by!

So fine goats cheese - guaranteed to put hairs on your chest!

And excellent Jambon,

And finally time to go home, back amongst the poppies.

Over the last week Martin has been here so we put him to work in the garden and for being so good we treated him to meatballs in Ikea! where we picked up the two gite kitchens. He enjoyed this experience so much that on Thursday we took him to lunch in Flunch in Avignon where we spent about 8 hours in various DIY/home furnishing stores etc - it has to be done!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The gites finally have roof tiles, the floors have the under floor heating which cools during summer

and Patrick our Electrician has finished - well almost!!

Have just spent a very pleasant weekend with Sue & Tim who came out Thursday celebrating Sue's birthday Friday. Thank fully the weather was pretty good although not quite as clear as blighty!

Martin is now here on gardening leave! Although it's a case of dodging the downpours - what is going on with the weather - hot in the UK - wet here - don't you just love that!!

We have almost finished all the work on Les Cypres - ready to start at the new house!

Thijs has secured the garage ready to store our furniture, the roof tiles are going on, on Thursday this week the second layer of concrete is poured on the floors over the under floor heating pipes in the gites whilst the first layer is poured in the rest of the house.

Friday, May 02, 2008

With the clock ticking we are getting organised with finishing a variety of jobs on the villa before the first 'holiday' makers arrive in 8 weeks.

Our driveway has caused many people a problem when departing (especially after consuming a few glasses of wine), so we finally got Thijs to carry out a new concrete slope !

It seems like the house has progressed this week!

The covered terraces to the gites are being constructed.

We finally have windows in the second bedroom, lounge & study.

And even a front door! made by a local craftsman to a traditional style in Solid Oak.

Our Electrician is getting to grips with everything! Just halfway through!

Proving that man can multi task - paint brush in one hand roller in the other! second coat on the gite ceiling - I fear two more to go!

Whilst Karen paints yet another set of French doors.