Life in France

A not every day story of normal people trying to live their dream in France starting at the beginning and ending?

Monday, February 28, 2005

On the Tiles

Hooray at last I have finished the tiling in the sejour. Well at least I have finished all the whole tiles, I just have to cut the tiles in around the edge of the room then its done. My knees are now square shaped even with the protectors it has been hard work. The end result though is really good. The room looks totally different and much larger as well. The carpenter arrives on the 15th March to put the stairs in so I have finished it well within time. I just have to finish the plasterboarding between the beams above the stairwell then it is all done ready for him to come in and get it all done. He has to lay the beechwood flooring in the bathrooms as well as the chestnut flooring for all the bedrooms so he is going to be very busy. He says that with three of them it will take 4 days. I remain to be convinced, lets just get him here first, always a problem with French workman.

Time for a cup of tea and to sort the fire out as it was a warm -8° last night and its only 13° in the house!!! The snow looks lovely in the sunshine, I really do like living here.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Back again

I can't believe how long it has been since my last blog. Just as I thought I was getting back in to the swing of things POW loads of snow, freezing temperatures and no electric!!!! That's rural life for you I suppose. To cap it all on some days when the electricity was on the French electricity company ( yes just one state owned monopoly) has what it calls red days. These red days are special days announced the night before the actual day where the cost of electricity more than doubles!!! So you spend the day with virtually nothing electrical on to save paying the exorbitant price that they charge. The reason for these red days is to cut down the consumption of electricity and so save the the electric company money. Hey, that's great unless your heating is all electric which thankfully ours isn't and you are not elderly or young and susceptible to cold!

What a funny way to run a company, but that's the way it is here so you just get on and live with it.

Off to put another log on the fire and refill the glass with wine cheers....

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Emergency service

Last night the cat stayed out all night. Not unusual in itself except that she didn't return at her usual time so the lovely Lynda was starting to get worried. I went out looking for her calling her name and rattling her favorite box of food. Normally a sure fire way of getting her to come in, nothing this time though, Lynda went out about 30mins later doing the same thing and heard a faint meow from the barn and saw her face peering underneath the barn door. Normally she would have just squeezed under it or jumped on to the top of it. Lynda opened the door and a very sorry pussy came out limping badly on her back leg. It was swollen to about three times its normal size and was obviously giving her a lot of pain. Once she was in the house I tried to have a look at it to se what the problem was, no chance, claws out and lots of growling, you don't want to be at the sharp end of an upset puss!!
Phone call to the vet, take her in at 15:30hrs and they will have a look so that's what we did.
The vet was very brave and felt and moved the leg and was pleased to inform us that it wasn't broken and that the tendons were ok. It looks like she has been bitten he said. He asked if we have any other cats and we don't except we do get two or three wild/ferral cats so he thinks one or more of them has had a go at her! So, after two injections, one of anti-biotics and one to reduce the swelling we were given a course of tablets to give her and told to keep her indoors for at least 10 days. Now that is going to be VERY hard because she really likes to go out and can move a lot faster than we can so the next week and a bit should be very interesting playing prison officer to a cat.
Time for rounds so cherio until next time.....

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Back from Blighty

Well, that was a busy few days. I left home to travel to England with the caravan on Wednesday at about 2pm and arrived in Le Havre at 04:30hrs. Managed to grab a couple of hours sleep before boarding the ferry to take me across the channel. There were only 54 people on the ferry so not exactly busy. I got a free cabin so after putting some stuff into it I went to the restaurant to get some breakfast. What a breakfast it was as well, Orange juice, porridge with cream & honey, bacon,egg,tomato,mushrooms,black pudding,hash browns,sausage & baked beans all washed down with lashings of tea and toast and marmalade!!! Pig out or what? The cost for this banquet was eleven pounds! Good value for money I say. From breakfast to bed and a few hours well earned sleep. Up and showered before the next part of the journey up to Worcester to leave the caravan with a very good friend to sell for us. My god! I had forgotten just how bad the traffic is in England. Where we live if we see a dozen cars a day on the road opposite it's a busy day. England is horrendous, although I suppose I would not have noticed it three years ago before we left to France and our new life. Anyway, caravan parked with mate and they had made me a scrumptious dinner so that was nice of them. From there to Birmingham to the lovely Lynda's mums to stay for two nights. Saturday was time to start the journey back with all the things that we had left at mums when we went to France as we couldn't fit them into the caravan! Overnight ferry Portsmouth - Le Havre 160 people onboard this time! Head down after eating dinner then up and off again on my way home. Made it 11.5hrs later, total distance traveled over 5 days about 3,000kms!! Most of it towing a caravan or on the return a trailer! I'm tired, but no rest for the wicked as they say as people are visiting on the 14th Feb for a week and I still have a lot of stuff to finish before then!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sad day, parting is such sweet sorrow

This week is a little sad in some ways as I have to take our trusty caravan back to England to be sold. It was always the plan to do this as it will release some well needed capital to put back into the house and for us to live on! However after being our home for almost three years since we sold our house in England and moved here we have become attached to it. The house is now at a place where we can move into it and live, although not luxurious we do have hot/cold running water and central heating with a big AGA cooker in the kitchen to feed us. We also have a toilet system that works so all the basic essentials to make life relatively comfortable are in place.

It seems a little strange now when you walk out of the front door and up the side of the barn not to see the caravan awning and the caravan in their normal place. The caravan is now all packed up and ready for me to hitch her up and begin the long journey back to the UK tomorrow (18+ hours driving) where we will say our final farewell.

farewell dear caravan and we hope that your next owners look after you........