Thursday, 13 March 2008

The House Progresses

I’m not good at mornings at the best of times and all this week I’ve had to get up early as the electricians have been here. The worse thing is that because I have to be up earlier than usual, I keep waking up to see if I’ve overslept! I think I will sleep next week – but I expect the weather will improve so I will be working outside instead.

But, the new electrics are progressing well; the old wiring was either 40+ years old or DIY and somewhere along the line, the earth wire was omitted to most of the outlets. I’m having all the wiring replaced. It will be surface mounted partly because the house has many different types of walls but more importantly, cost.

In order to place sockets my one piece of kitchen work surface, a tile topped concrete monstrosity had to go. No problem in the grand scheme of thing but as the replacement units won’t be built for a while, I have no work surface. I also had to remove tiles from the wall by the work surface. On one wall they came off like a dream on the other, they wouldn’t budge. Eventually the chisel did its job and I came off relatively unscathed too. One fragment of the glazed surface embedded itself in the top of my foot – yes I know sandals were not the best things to be wearing, it’s just that I tend to forget I’m wearing them, and I only hit the back of my had twice with the hammer, thank goodness for arnica gel.

You can also see in the picture, my new pride and joy. It’s the wood burning range cooker that arrived on Wednesday, it's still boxed to protect it from bits of flying tiles and concrete. It can’t be installed until a radiator is removed – don’t ask me when, this is France! By the time the electrician goes though, I should have a working electric cooker. I should also be pretty close to having hot water too, I’m waiting for the immersion to be sent and then it will be when I can get a plumber here to connect it all together. I also can’t use the wood burner cooker as a cooker until the plumbing is sorted as the back boiler needs to be full of water first otherwise it will be damaged.

So there is very definite progress, I can then get cracking on the rest of the kitchen units once I have the house back. At the moment, some rooms have power while others don’t. The cats have gone into hiding since they are used to just me being here and I’ve not seen Mr Tibbs all week although his food is being eaten overnight.

I’ve also been car-less all week. It went in for a service on Monday and the mechanic at this garage realised that the timing belt was due changing. So it will be an expensive service but it’s cheaper than having the belt fail and forking out for a new engine. While I only just need to go shopping today, I’ve missed having the car there, as I feel a bit trapped. With the price of oil continuing its rise I’ve been wondering about getting a couple of donkeys. While the TV people were on strike (yes another strike in France) the local bulletins were filled with items they had in stock. One I saw showed a couple of donkeys being used to pull felled trees from a wood, and I thought about getting trees down from my wood, and they can also be used to pull a cart to get to town – a possibility for the post peak oil times.

And in the tradition of all news programmes today, this is the ‘and finally’ item.

Most of the peach and nectarine trees in people’s gardens here have bags of eggshells hanging in them. I’m told it’s to counteract leaf curl so I’ve hung a bag into the nectarine tree I have that I know has a lot of leaf curl. Has anyone else heard of this and do you know how/why it should work?


Hit Pay Dirt said...

I have no idea if and why it works, but those nectarine blooms look fantastic!!

aims said...

I have never heard of this - but then - not much grows around my house :)

Living the Dream said...

a couple of friends of ours in the next village have a couple of donkeys, they have a lot of land and they pull the timber out of the woods with them.. they also have a cart and use that and they are even going to go on holiday with a donkey.