Sunday, 12 April 2015

Lists, surprises, and what a weekend!

Instructions from our builder for the weekend 'to do' .......
- oil the new section of worktop, top and underneath
- oil rest of worktop section, top and shelves
- oil new smaller shelf above cooker work surface
- oil side panels of work surface
- oil plate rack
- clean everything out of the lounge, apart from his tools. This includes a large pile of floor tiles, big pile of wood, Lester's shelves of tools, dog beds, ladders, paint pots, etc.......etc....... There is a lot of stuff to clear because this room has been used as an indoor work shed for the last year. The dogs also sleep in there.
-clear out the hallway of our stuff, which is a big box of shoes, boots and wellingtons, all of which are no longer worn because they are old and most have holes in, but we don't like to throw them away. There are also a few boxes and bin bags full of fabric which was supposed to be taken upstairs several months ago but never were so are covered with thick dust, plus several boxes of kitchen things, and one box of my thermal underwear which were not worn over winter because I couldn't find them when they were needed so I wore Lester's thermals instead which were more comfy anyway.
- think about the front doors....that they need to be ordered because it will take three months to make them.....he recommended a French carpenter for this.....
- perhaps to start getting a coat of paint on the dining room walls would be a good idea, just to keep things moving.

What we also wanted to do...
- finish painting the ceiling above our bed so that we can get the four poster of the bed back to where it should be rather than having it tucked away in pieces on the floor. Flies, mozzies, and anything that else will shortly be on the wing, and we need to get the muslin curtains back up for protection during the night. We are also missing the boudoir effect that sleeping in a muslin tent gives us. So, to get the bed back together is a priority.
- get some hay from the piles of spoilt hay laying all over the place out front and get it round to the fire pit. The front is really looking a mess after the winter. The chickens have not helped, their love of scratching about having spread the hay and straw further than where it should have been.
- mow the front lawn. Can't. No petrol. So cross this one off the list.

What we actually did:
.....well, we started off the weekend at a goodly trot. Needing to save the grazing for the rest of the animals we have to reduce the numbers of lambs, which is something we don't like doing but have to anyway. So, two lambs were caught, dispatched, disrobed, prepped, then off to deliver them to friends of ours so that they can cut them up and put them in their freezer.

Three hours later, and after an unexpected lunch which was finished off with a bowl of  fruit crumble and ice cream laced with melted Nutella, of which I had two bowl fulls because I could not help myself, and we left our friends, feeling joyfully replete.

Off to the supermarket for some bits and pieces for a BBQ that evening because Sara, down the lane at La Maison des Chameaux, had come along before we left for our friend's house to invite us to her place for a BBQ that evening, because it was my birthday, she said. I corrected her band said that my birthday was the following day, but she said not to worry, we can still have a BBQ anyway.

Left the supermarket, then on to the local winery, the place where you fill your own containers up with wine. Two large containers filled up. It is now nearly 5pm. No time to do anything on either of the lists, so had a lie down for an hour to stretch our still full tummies, then raced round putting the animals to bed, then off to Sara's place.

Home at 11, after having had an evening under the stars, with good company, and a tealight candle nestled in amongst a tray of strawberries for my birthday cake. I was greatly moved. As I sat amongst my friends I thought what a wonderful life I have, and how blessed I truly am. So thanks to Sara, Paul, Fred, and the visiting American girl whose name escapes me. Love and hugs to you all.

Up not so very early this morning, then back to bed again feeling vaguely hung over, which was mostly due to the food I had eaten yesterday, but felt guilty because nothing had been done on either of the lists. Not to worry, it is my birthday today. I like that I am now 68 and wouldn't want to be any other age.

No real lie-in though, as dogs to be fed, and the keyboard to be packed up because I was playing at a monthly held local church service. Worried about whether I would be wanting to go to the loo mid way through the service, I asked my nether regions to hold fast until at least half past twelve when I should be back home again. Normally this is not a problem, but there was still a lot of food being processed in my digestive system and I didn't want to be caught out by having to make a quick dash outside in the middle of playing for a hymn. There was no need to worry. All was well in that department.

Long chat in the sunshine outside the church afterwards, then back home to find Lester watching over a bonfire made of some of the spoilt hay. Ok, so one of the things could be ticked off one of the lists. So, still not feeling quite right after the feast of food from yesterday, I lay on my bed. And, honestly, I did think about giving the ceiling above my head that final coat of paint, but then Lester came along with a cup of tea and said 'Why don't we go to the vide grenier down at Estirac'.

And we did. And came home to have a nap because it was hot here, and then it was too late to tackle anything on those lists at all.

But what I did was have a jolly good birthday weekend which was totally unplanned, and was topped off with a phone call from my daughter Karen and her husband Darren, who are leaving the UK to go live in Spain full time in three weeks time, calling in on us as they pass through France.

And some photos for you.......


The original cupboard in the dining room....


...... and work being done to it....


...... after all the wood had been stripped out, including the lintel, all of which was rotten,
this how it has finished up. The wood is all oak.


And this is the sink in the dining room, as it was....


.... and this is how that has turned out, again after having had all the wood and lintel replaced, plus the walls having been patched up. 


And this is how the doorway is coming along. The arch was not the same height on both sides, so our builder has made an oak surround to the arch to balance the look of it. This is the first time this room has had a door on it for a lot of years.
And in between the door and the shelf on the left, by that upright plank of wood, is a small alcove.
I do not know for what purpose the house had this little space,
but it might have possibly been connected to religion.
I put a candle each day in that space,
and ask for peace for us all, which always makes me feel better.


This photo is a bit blurred, but I thought you might like to see how the whole room looks. 
The walls still need to be painted, but everything else is now finished, apart from the doorway.

And this is what our builder has made for the kitchen.....


..... a plate rack! It needs a couple of coats of oil on it, and then up on the wall it goes.

All in all it was a lovely weekend,
and I feel full of warmth and love,
and ready to tackle another year of my life head on. 

Bye for now

Vx

16 comments:

Horst in Edmonton said...

Your house is looking real good. Jim is a very good woodworker. The door and door trim look super. When your done working on the house it will be beautiful.

Dawn McHugh said...

What a lovely looking home and such great work has been done very tasteful, happy belated birthday what a lovely celebration week end :-)

Vera said...

Horst, hi, and thanks. Lots of work still to do on the house, but it is coming along nicely we think. Vx

Dawn, thanks for the birthday wishes, and it was really the best weekend, and all totally unplanned.

rusty duck said...

Well that all sounds perfect Vera, lists can wait. And the house is coming on so well! Glad you had a good birthday weekend x

Vera said...

Jessica, it was a truly stupendous weekend, one which came out of nowhere as well! Back to working our way down that list today though!

Jean said...

A belated very happy birthday weekend, Vera.
It sounds as though you had a lovely time, even though you might be in trouble for not tackling the list of jobs!
Your dining room is coming along beautifully and all that woodwork is gorgeous.
I envy you the four poster with the mozzie nets. We have the room so maybe one day....

Kerry said...

What a fantastic birthday weekend. Its nice to have spontaneous things happen, it makes it extra special. The house is looking great x

Vera said...

Jean, thankyou for your birthday wishes, and do think about getting a four poster.....they are so lovely and cosy to sleep in, plus of course, they keep things which bite out!

Kerry, hi, thanks, and when things happen out of the blue, then that makes for such an lovely surprise!

Anonymous said...

very happy belated birthday.your house has real taken big step to right direktion and looks real great. take care Jaana

John Gray said...

V
I adore the plate rack
Its bleedingwonderful

Vera said...

Jaana, thank you!

John, I think so too! Showed Jim a photo of one which is built in the UK, which could be shipped here if I bought it, but he said he could make one and he did!

LaPré DelaForge said...

"... it was really the best weekend, and all totally unplanned."....
for some reason, they always are...
glad you had a good "Birfdi" w/e.
Love the woodwork...
envy the plate rack...
musn't let Pauline read this post!!

With that little alcove where it is, I think you will find that that was the original main entrance doorway to the house... even if it now extends beyond.
It most probably held things like a lamp or candles, the keys, a means of lighting said lamp or candles....
we have one in the old kitchen...
and when we re-opened an old doorway, we found that it was the original doorway... and we found the threshhold stone and a step...
lower than current...
and, following that level back into the house...
there was the original floor!
[Not suggesting you try... you've got enough lists to go on with!!]

DUTA said...

You've left England for France, your daughter is leaving England for Spain. You've not taken the easy path as it involves learning a new language, and adjusting to a new social-cultural environment; but it's certainly intersting.

The woodwork is lovely. Your carpenter is going to make your house look wonderful.

Many happy returns of your birthday celebrations!

Vera said...

Tim, I have thought that perhaps the house was two houses originally, so your thoughts about the alcove confirm this because it makes sense to have somewhere a candle could be lit in the days before electricity. But it must have been a very long time ago, because this doorway leads into the hallway and the front door step has quite a dip in it from the generations of feet who have walked over the step into the house!

Duta, thanks for your birthday wishes, and you are right...I have never taken the easy path but I sure have had an interesting life!

Rhodesia said...

Belated birthday wishes, sounds like you had a great time and all unplanned. Bet you are happy your daughter is coming to see you. Have a great weekend Diane

Vera said...

Diane, thank you, and wishing you also a good weekend, although may be a bit wet for us, which is good because we need a drop of rain.