renovation, restoration, insulation..2011
I have had enough by day two, candlelight can only be deemed romantic if one’s house is not a cross between an obstacle course and a health and safety nightmare.I descend to the cave with a torch and a positive frame of mind.
I swear that we have tried turning on and off all SEVEN switches on the museum style collection of fuse boards in the cave on several occasions with no luck, but today I try again and either I break the magic code or the house stops laughing at us and accepts we are actually going to see this project through (this is probably true of the house AND the neighbours who must be wondering what we are actually up to behind our tatty walls) The lights go on in the kitchen and garage for the first time in two years.
The weather is fabulous for Spring time so we can open all the windows and safely start the big project of insulating and panelling the 30 foot (9.26 metres) long party wall in the kitchen/diner. We are using insulation from Homebase which is made from recycled plastic bottles so is eco-friendly, but still has tiny floating fibres that make mask and glove wearing crucial. It is also ridiculously cheap, I paid £1.50 for each huge roll during a sales promotion. It also has very high fire retardancy.
If you have read earlier posts you will know that this side of the house was extended to include part of an old barn, the neighbour’s having the other bit of this barn tacked onto their house; this is the only wall that is not constructed from half metre thick ancient stone and therefore needs noise insulation, mainly for the benefit of others because Trevor does not believe in playing his sound systems quietly!
We fix a layer of insulation to the batons put up to support the tongue and groove panelling and pack in extra insulation in as we go, strip by strip down the wall. We could do with a “brad” gun as this is a slow process tacking each piece of wood down by hand.
We enjoy the luxury of partial power. Although it is frustrating to see fabulous French produce that we do not have the facilities to cook by grilling, frying or baking! I am getting quite good at cooking using only a microwave and our indispensable slow cooker. I even manage to make chicken satay kebabs in it as nibbles for an impromptu party to show our hovel to our friends and their daughter who are staying in the apartment at Argeles for a few days. This is the first time that any of our friends from the UK will see the house and I am interested in their opinion.