2008-Fourteen days of intensive work in 40 degree heat seems normal now.
Late August is just about the best time for sneaking two lovely whole weeks in France and has become an annual fixture .
When uninformed acquaintances refer to it as a holiday, I laugh, as it is certainly never that but spending a chunk of time there reminds us why we started this mad project and why we keep pushing on with gritted teeth toward our goal.
The other bonus of late summer sojourns is that my school teacher daughter can generally squeeze in a visit, though a couple of years ago she did suggest that it might be nice if we spent some of HER holiday doing something other than trailing around DIY shops or builder’s merchants (can’t imagine what she could mean by that ?)
This year my 15 month old grandson is in tow, so we put up his travel cot in what was the third bedroom and is now the dining area and assembled the glamourous bed eventually destined for the tulip room for mummy’s use. The fact that our 30 euro fridge bought second hand from a friend makes a kerklunk noise every hour or so is undoubtedly an attractive feature of this unique guest room.
My grandson was at the toddling around the furniture stage. Unfortunately we have very little furniture, so it was more a case of toddling round the dirty peeling walls and rusty radiators and tripping up over broken steps- perfect!
He learnt to walk on the new roof terrace by practising wobbling up and down it with Papi (Trevor) but insisted on making a dash for the terrace bedroom door every time (splintered frame missing in parts with two awkward concrete steps down then a two foot gap to jump to the main stairs on the other side of the house!)
Kirsten was, quite understandably , on constant injury alert and of course it was on MY watch whilst mummy was cleaning her teeth that he fell down the NEW steps from the shower room and bumped his little head ( I am world’s worse Nana). I felt terrible , but he did astutely learn his lesson and from that point proceeded down every step in the house on his bottom. He still does.
Whilst Trevor put three coats of lasure(see last post ) on the new French door shutters to terrace and courtyard, I sanded and painted out the horrid treacly marmalade dirty orange pine varnish on the tongue & groove terrace bedroom ceiling with a very pale washed jade/white colour that reflected the light around this little room beautifully. This was the first of many transformations to the look and feel of space and light in the house achieved simply by a coat of well chosen (?) paint.
(new interactive corner-see episode 2 pic for before/after and compare and contrast!)
There was one small area of lambris (narrow tongue and groove panelling ) missing in one corner but as that wall was to be finished I decided we would finish and paint that area in the spring.By the time we returned the following spring, the paint company had discontinued the colour.
Three coats gave the new shutters a beautiful matte finish that emphasises the grain and looks really classy.
Lasts for years too.