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The French Blatting Company


The Barn Conversion

1st August 2008

The weather is much better for hard work with pick and shovel. It's now 19:45 (quarter to Eight in proper money, but an hour ahead of UK) The floor is nearly dug out and I've just spent half hour with Lynne setting the levels. I've dug out more than I needed to at the door end but that's not a problem.


















Levels set. I've dug too far down at this end but it's not a problem.

I plan to have dinner then go and dig the last half metre out. (bet I don't - having stopped I'll not want to start again)

So, whether I finish the dig tonight or the morning (it's only an hour) the next task will be to remove the old roof timbers.


















The idea is to remove the timbers so I can dig out the stone plinth and place it on top of the outside wall. This wall was only 2 metres high and I'd like to gain 10cm out of the floor and 10cm on top of the wall to get 2.2 meters. All because the lady .... wants two wall cupboards so I need a few extra inches (what man doesn't).


2nd August 2008

Rain stopped play.

3rd August 2008

start bright and early, well 09:00. Spend an hour and a half digging out the last corner. It's very humid again and 4 swings with the pick leaves me gasping for breath and having to sit down for a minute or two. OK, dug out but I made it a much harder job than it need be. At this end of the kitchen the floor is dug out about 8" more than it need be. So I decide it will be easier to dig out less . BIG MISTAKE. It's much harder digging out half then it was digging out a "full swing" of the pick.

Short break and now to get the roof down. By standing on the plinth I can jemmy the thin spars out of the beam that rests on the wall. The spars then only need a twist to get them out of the centre and top cross beams. In half hour all the spars but one are out. The difficult one is stuck at the top cross beam but a bit of a whack with one of the 3 x 2 joists soon frees it off.

Then the centre cross beam is smashed off. So far so good. Then to get the 2 huge oak beam A frames out of the gable end and off the wall.

The first is jacked up (I knew that Bulk Buy jack would come in handy one day) and as it's lifting the lower beam is coming out of the hole in the gable end. CRASH the whole A frame come down and I jump out the way. Lynne si talking to our guests and they all come running round to see if I'm under whatever it was that came crashing down.

This looks like it's going to be easy. Just do the same again with the other one. Jack is placed on the plinth and a beam is cut to length to fit between jack and beam. Jack up and expect the same to happen. WRONG! the frame rises but the lower beam is not moving, the upper one is going further into the wall. Then it starts to swing to the left. never seen me move so fast! OK, lets have lunch and come back to it.

After lunch I get the tractor round and some rope, The idea is to pull the lower beam out of the wall. Get a rope over it and tied onto the tractor. Move tractor forward and rope breaks. New rope and try again - rope breaks. One more time, this time it will come out. Rope breaks!

Right, I'm getting mad. Re-tie the rope around the lower beam nearer the end and attach it direct to the tractor. Move tractor forward and there's a huge screech as the beam comes out the wall followed by a very loud crash as the A frame descends to the ground. The A frame has broken off the lower beam so I carry on and pull the lower beam over the top of the wall and onto the ground outside. I then drag it round to the huge pile of rotten, burnt wood that I've piled on top of the other wood taken out.

At this point I take a break and clean the plugs air filters and adjust the carbs on one of the guests HPC Caterham. By the time I've finished and we've all stopped chatting in the garage it's 17:00.

I grab the camera and then realise that we've not taken any pictures of the roof demolition in progress. IDIOT!

So this is the best I can do.

















A pile of roof spars and small beams.


















A very big beam behind the tractor which pulled it down. We do big matchsticks here


















More big matchsticks which will need moving tomorrow. Note the Bulk Buy jack handle



















The side wall which will need re-profiling if I'm to lower the top beam of the new roof. Also note the gap between the side wall and the gable end. May need a bit of Polyfilla for that.


















TOPLESS and no one hurt. What a miracle.

So, plan for tomorrow is to get the matchsticks out and have a good tidy up. Then get the Ivy and the old beam off the top of the wall. I can then break up the plinth and, with the mixer mixing put the stone that comes out on the top of the wall. I would like to go up 6" so the new roof height will be about 8" (2" from the lower floor) higher. I can't go too high as I would like the upper beam to be lower than the old one as I plan to fit a window 60cm from bedroom floor height (so we can look out the window over the field while laying in bed - sad or what?). This is why the side walls will need the angle changing. I've calculated the difference in height needs to be 1.2 metres to give a 14 degree slope.  I'll make sure that it leaves room for the window before doing all this - but math's isn't my strong point!

4th August 2008

Got the matchsticks out with a long rope and the tractor. Then had a tidy up and then made a new mess. Started getting the Ivy off the top of the wall along with the oak bearers from the old roof.

The Ivy was a tangled mess, about 1ft thick and needed hacking away from the mortar on top of the wall. The cool damp weather was clearing and it was getting hotter. Just before lunch I had to stop as I was exhausted. Spent the afternoon laying on a lounger in the sun. Couldn't be bothered taking pictures, you've seen the wall before so your not missing anything.

5th August 2008

After a very nice bottle of wine last night which left me unable to type a posting properly, I slept in to 08:45. By the time I was up and awake, breakfasted and moved my arse to the war zone it was 10:00. Finished clearing the ivy with a ladder and a spade. (I was up the ladder and the spade...... Oh never mind).

Ivy cleared and some of the loose stone on the wall dismantled the top of the wall was soaked in a strong solution of Roundup - twice. I then started removing the plinth. The concrete top came away relatively easily, with some very heavy hits with the large sledgehammer!

The next bit wasn't so easy. The end I started on (furthest from the door, was more sand and lime than stone and very difficult to break out. Then, I reached to heavy clay under the plinth. By this time it was getting past 30c in strong sunshine and not a cloud to be seen. Started by 4 heavy swings with the pick and a minutes rest, by the time I was having to rest each swing and the sweat was pouring out of me to the extent that I couldn't see, I knew it was time to stop. So a plesent afternoon having a haircut and reading Classic Cars followed by a trip to the bar.

Tomorrows another day.

6th August 2008

Oh, bugger it. Spent 20 minutes typing up yesterday and today (7th) and got called away. The system timed out without saving it so I'll have to do the whole thing again. I'm off the drown in a bottle so I'll do it all again tomorrow night.

Right here goes. The plinth got easier as the stone became more than the sand and lime. A few whacks with the pick and a layer of stone was removed. Along the way 3 oak posts needed digging out and Ivy as thick as my wrist. However this couldn't last. With all (well most) of the stone out and two big heaps - small heap of large stone and a large heap of smaller stone - I hit the underlying mixture of sand, lime and gravel. This stuff wasn't like concrete that could be "broken" but soft. The pick went in with a thud and came to a shuddering halt as it embedded in stone. Very hard work to dig out. tt was like this for about 7/8th of the way, the final 1/8th was hard clay.

I had started at 07:50 and had a short half hour for lunch. We were due to go out with Tom & Carol for Toms birthday. OK, everyone, all together "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR TOM, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU"

With the deadline looming I was working like stink to get it all dug out and barrowed away by 7pm when I was expected to stop to get ready to leave.

Oh, forget it, no point in working too hard. By 6pm I'm exhausted, the ground is dug out but the last strip is laying there awaiting barrowing.

Showered and changed, I'm off for a nice meal and a glass or 6 of wine.

















Ivy trunks as big as my wrist and slate which will make nice windowsills.

















A drop of the hard stuff, sand, lime and gravel

















The easier end, in the corner, just clay.



















Just needs shoveling into that barrow and carting away


















But that's as far as it got. The rest can wait for morning.

7th August 2008

8 O'clock start and the rubble is carted away by 9:30 - no need to work too hard.

Next job is to get the concrete mixer brought round from the builders yard aka the new garage. Before I can build the wall up a bit higher, I have to mark out where the kitchen window will go. No point in building a wall just to take it down to fit a window, So, using that well known saying, measure twice, cut once, I measure three (or four) times having drawn a vertical line at the end. The side wall is leaning out about 3" top to bottom.

I stop at lunch time as we are expecting some dear friends, Nick, Trish, Dominic and Sebastian in the afternoon. I'm still messing about when they turn up and I'm too tired to get showered and changed. So, a public apology to the Chan family, "I'M SORRY I WAS DIRTY & SMELLY"

However all is ready for me to learn, on the job, to be a brick (well stone) layer.

















All dug out and the yellow lines denote the window and sink in the new kitchen.

















The other end, the left hand line is the wall for the utility room and the right hand line is where the windows stop. Two 1.1 metre windows side by side.


















The outside. The white slabs are for a level. There is a red string between the two ends.



















The red string. (sounds like a Sherlock Holmes Mystery)

8th August 2008

Start by bringing some sand and a bag of cement round. make a mix and start getting stone on top of the wall. On my own this is a slow job. By 12:30 I have to stop as if I make a new mix it will go off whilst I lunch and then have a break to type this lot up.

Right, in true French style, it's 14:15 so back to work.

It's very difficult building a 50 cm wall with stone when your old, worn out, broken down. I've laid tables, women, claim to fame, trails of havoc but never bricks. So here's my very first effort at building a wall. Remember this has taken most of the day.

















My crap wall from the inside, the yellow line is where the window frame will go. The blue Ikea bag is the hod.


















And from the outside. I'll get some small chips and hammer them in the gaps when it's all dry and set.

Off to a show at a nearby town tonight. The whole town seems to be involved and it's by a lake. At one point one of the dancers walks across the lake. Really she walks on water across part of the lake. If you don't believe me ask Scott on the WCSS forum, as he saw it last year. Truth is friends of ours are divers (a hobby, not a job) and they are in their diving gear (lead boots, helmets, the works) walking on the lake bed holding the dancers feet so it appears she is walking on water. The production is a new one this year, about the first time for some years it's completely new.

At the show it was explained that the town had won an award, along with 10 other towns in the whole of France, for a town effort for the community. Out of 2600 inhabitants 970 are involved in putting the show on. Amazing!

9th August 2008

Start the day by cutting two lines where the window over the sink will go. I have a huge Black & Decker angle grinder with a diamond tipped stone cutter blade. I err on the "short" side as, until I get the floor laid I can't set the window sill height



















Looks a bit wonky but only needs !squaring". I've set the floor levels and have some really bad news for myself. Allowing 180mm for sand, membrane, polystyrene and concrete, then 93mm height for work tops I'll have the window sticking up above the wall. So, Monday's job is to raise the roof by 170mm so the window will fit under the roof saddle.

10th August 2008

Went to to the annual harvest festival at Angrie, about 25 minutes from here. We leave here, Lynne, Tom & Carol and Lynne's father about 12:00 and it's raining, a very fine drizzle but just as wet. I was taking the 7 to put on display at the show but with no screen or roof decide against it.

Now, we went to this show last year and they do a huge pig roast and sell pork sarnies. Only problem was that, by the time we walked round, they'd sold out! So, this year I was determined to get my pork sarnie.

We get into the car park and it's still raining. The people who pull in behind us, go to their boot, pull out a picnic table with 4 chairs attached and set up a large umbrella. Then a picnic is set out and they sit in the rain, with macs on, under an umbrella in the rain, eating a picnic! And they say the English are mad!

Well, not to be outdone, we get the 5 folding chairs and picnic table out the boot and proceed to do the same.

"Carol, open the wine". "Bloody wait, I'm busy" is the polite reply (I do love this women, she's so nice to me). Then the rain really comes down. The French party stick it out but we're wimps so dice into the car.

"Carol, open the wine", "I'm busy putting the food away, you'll have to wait". Oh well.

Tom comes to the rescue and opens the wine and we all have a plastic cup of very nice Cote De Rhone.

The rain stops and it looks like it may turn sunny. We set off to the show, over 2 fields to get to it. We leave the canvas chairs and table behind the car to dry out. Harry, (Lynne's dad) says they'll be gone when we get back.

We get to the showground and get held up as the procession of ancient farm tractors go from the outer field into the show ground. Some are 1920's and may well still be in daily use (I'm not kidding, some of the farm equipment around here would be in museum's in the UK).

Finally get into the showground and make a bee line for the pig roast - just as they're clearing up having sold the lot.

Next year I'm getting my pork sarnie... or else!

Have a good wander round and watch the main attraction (same as last year and probably next year as well). It's a 1928 steam engine driving a threshing machine. About 20 chaps are pitch forking corn onto the conveyer and more men are helping it along at the top. The corn is falling out the bottom and more men are bagging it. The chaff is being blown out near the fence. It's a sobering thought that yesterday a combine cut the corn crop in the very large field next to us. It took 3 hours and 2 men did it. The field was left cut and the straw was baled as well as the crop being taken away in a huge trailer. Progress I suppose.

We leave at about 5pm and walk back to the car.

The chairs and table are still there.

11th August 2008

Not too early a start, about 9:30. Build the new wall up higher to take the window, Then square up the wall.

















The wall built up and the level set for the other side.


















After lunch, all square and the target height set.


















So far so good. I'm getting better in the sense that I'm quicker. Still looks crap though...


















However, it doesn't look that different to the 200 year old bit.

12th August 2008

No work today, Off to Paris for the day

13th August 2008

After a very tiring day in Paris I had a board meeting and passed a resolution for a day off.

14th August 2008

Not too early a start and just couldn't get going. Got the wall built up to the right height and did a bit of cutting to square up the window aperture.

















The wall is now built up to the correct height. Whilst not as good as an experienced builder, it's getting better. (The bits of stone to the left are not in use and will be moved over to the far left to build that up.)




















Cut marks in the stone (new record from the rolling stones).




















The "B" side.



















Thought you may like to see the windows that will be fitted into those holes I've made in the wall. This is one of the two fitted to the gites. I have 3 more just like it.

At lunch Tom and Carol join us and after lunch Tom helps me move 2 very large, double glazed windows from inside the barn to outside. They are very heavy and we struggle to even slide them. However with Carol and Lynne's help we get them out. The purpose of moving them before fitting them in the north facing wall is so I can sand blat the oak timbers.

Having had a nice lunch and a bottle of red I do nothing in the afternoon. I'm going to dock my own wages for half a day off.

15th August 2008

Start by making a large mix to render the inside faces of the window opening. It's slow going. I do a google and find that I need a stronger mix 3:1 (sand: cement) and this is easier to apply. I also top off the right hand wall to get it level with the right hand.


















Slapping mortar on the faces is getting them square.

Whilst the gobbo (northern term for mortar) is setting I knock out some stones to make a hole for the sink waste pipe. So this is the first piece of HM's new house to be fitted (as apposed to being knocked down and dug out). HM was quite excited but wanted to know what it was for. "It's the sink waste pipe, dear". "Oh, I wouldn't have thought of that!"

No comment.

















This pipe will go down in history as the first part fitted.




















Looking better on this side.....





















Both sides, almost square!


That's it for today. No work tomorrow as we're taking Harry (Lynne's father) to the airport for his return to his other daughter in Derby (before going home to Israel). In the afternoon we're visiting Casterama, one of the big DIY stores in France (the same group as B&Q) to look at baths and tiles and wood and .... well everything really.

16th August 2008

Set of for the airport at 10:00. Was supposed to leave at 10:30 but, well, you know how it is. I decide to go via the motorway rather than the Rennes - Nantes dual carriageway. Reason is, that on Saturdays there is normally a half hour queue to join the periphique at the end of the Rennes road. By going on the motorway we will be on the periphique so should not get held up as much. Great when a plan works. We slow down but don't actually stop as we pass the Rennes junction and get to the airport at 11:45. The plane is leaving at 14:20 so we are in plenty of time. We have some lunch at the cafeteria and Harry is glued to the departure screen watching his flight rising to the top. At 12:20 I suggest we go and check his case in so he doesn't have to stand too long in the queue. It isn't showing that the check in is open but it usually is by now. We walk to the other end and the check-in is open and has a small queue. In fact there are 2 double check-ins F & G (sounds rude, doesn't it). Everyone's in the queue for F and there are 2 people in G. I move into the G queue behind a young girl. She turns to me and asks if it's OK to be here as everyone else is in the other queue. "Maybe you didn't have a shower this morning" quips I. She gives me a funny look, then falls in a smiles. We check in and then Harry goes upstairs to the security gate and we all say goodbye. He'll be better off up at the departure gate as he won't be worrying he's going to miss the plane.

We leave the airport and go back along the periphique to the junction where Casterama is. We search for it using the map we have from their Internet site. Turns out the map is wrong and we eventually find it after 20 minutes of driving around.

We walk to one end and start making our way along all the aisles. When we get to the bathroom section there, in all it's glory is Lynne's slipper bath. Complete with 2 chrome pipes and nice, Victorian taps and a shower head. Very nice but not cheap at 1340?. Still, she's worth it (OK, I'm a crawler).

We then spend some time walking around the rest of the bathroom section as I complain we're wasting time as we have the rest sorted. So we then walk all around the kitchen area. Same waste of time as we have the kitchen sorted as well (both from Ikea).

We then start looking at tiles. We need some for the kitchen, only behind sink area, and then the upstairs shower and bathroom floor. I want white tiles in the shower with a few black ones "thrown-in" at random. For the fllor I want, wait for it, bright blue, red, green, yellow and white tiles at random. Nice and bright and colourful. No chance. They have wall tiles that fit the bill but the floor tiles and more particularly, the non-slip tiles are all brown, grey or beige. Never mind, I'll find them somewhere.

Having spent a lot of time looking at stuff we don't want HM is now getting restless and wants a coffee. There doesn't seem to be a bar in the Nantes store (there is in the Angers store). So off we go searching for a bar. No luck and we end up in a McDonalds. I HATE McDonalds. But a zero coke and a cheeseburger do come as a relief to two tired and weary shoppers. I was just thinking. If Coke has no sugar and no caffeine, in fact has zero calories shouldn't it be free (i.e. zero)?  Anyway set of home about 15:30 and het in about 16:45. Then off out to a hog roast and barn dance at some friends. I'll sleep well tonight.

17th August 2008

My target for today is to get the wall out where the two windows will go.This is in the table area of the kitchen. Get along very well and this is it at lunchtime (1 o'clock)

















The right hand edge is the cut visible through the ladder and the left hand side is the left hand yellow line. Total distance is 2200mm


















After lunch the boss arrives and takes a picture of a little (little ! ?) gnome pointing at a wall.




















Left hand edge. OK at the bottom but some huge stones came out the top leaving a lot of filling in to be done. The few stones on top are some large, flat sided ones, that came out the wall and I dragged up on top to be used to get the wall to the same height as the others.



















Right hand side is much better. Smaller stone in this part of the wall makes the finishing much easier


















You can see just how big the stones were that came out the left hand side.


















The whole wall. One window, on the left, is over the sink and two on the right in the kitchen dining area. I now have a huge pile of stone, some are very large pieces and a large pile of used mortar.

Time for a beer.

18th August 2008

I have the "lad" working with me today. Bless her. So a late start, about 10:15. First job is the get the towers down from the upper floor of the garage, the last place they were in use. Now, what I want to know is why do builders ask for 7 tower frames, 6 or 8 I may understand, but then having spent a small fortune only use two and leave 5 unused. Rhetorical question, I know the answer. So all 7 frames (I'm not sure what to call them) are brought down plus a few 35kgs solid concrete blocks and a couple of wooden trestles.

That done it's time for lunch so the lad toddles off and makes some egg mayonnaise.

After lunch I make a mix and we set about getting the very jagged window frame wall level(ish). Lynne also starts removing the stone from inside the building to the big heap outside. Just a few big lumps left that were far too heavy for her to lift and throw over the window sill. (Too bloody heavy for me as well but there's a time to talk and a time to shut up).

Get it square(ish) almost to the top. I'll do the very top tomorrow when the mortar slapped on the lower part is set. The lad goes off to make dinner and I start laying the first course on the top. This is to bring this part of the wall to the same level as the other two parts

















Three of the seven scaffold frames set up inside the barn so I can. a) sand blast the beams and b) get the nails out the joists.




















Meant to publish a photo of the two windows we moved the other day. Tom's garden fork gives the scale. They are going in the north facing wall.


















The very long piece of wood setting the level for the top of the wall.





















The wall "squared" and the first course on the top.

19th August 2008

Got up late and just couldn't get going. Lynne went out to see the insurance company about our roof. The local roofing company have given us a quote to build the new roof on the kitchen and insulate the barn roof for the sum of 38,000? but still haven't quoted for the repair/renewal of the roof which was blown apart during the gales before Easter. Looks like we'll have to start all over again with another roofer. So 5 months and 2 companies and still no quote. Back to my antics. Built a bit of the wall up but found I was going up and down the ladder with stone and buckets of gobbo more than I was building a wall. Went back to the house and was checking on emails when.....

















... Shaun and his mates pay a visit.

Lynne went to our nearest neighbour and she suggested they may be Madame Boutielles. Lynne sets of to find her only to see the lady who sometimes serves us in Super U with her two lads. Turns out she lives round the corner and the sheep got out of an open gate. They herd the sheep out and back home. Pity really, they could have kept the grass down - without any effort from me.

Back to building. I pressed on until lunchtime and after lunch had to go and get a couple of bags of cement. Got them back and into the dry and decided to call it a day. Fell asleep and only woke up at 18:30.

20th August 2008

Early start and get cracking on getting the wall to the right height. It's slow but we get there and finish it (apart from the end which will be done when I attack the side walls). I must admit that I'm getting better and it looks much better than the first efforts. Then, at about 16:00 we start rendering the left hand side wall and at about 17:30 the right hand side. At 18:00 I stop, Lynne having gone off to get cleaned up and cook dinner about half hour earlier. So, didn't quite get it finished but only an hour or so to do in the morning. That is as long as the weather forecast is wrong and it's not raining.

















Lynne reckons these two ducks were listening to the radio. A minute earlier they both had their heads to one side as they were directing their ears to the sound.


















Nearly there.

21st August 2008

8:00 am and it's raining. Looks like I'll be working inside this morning. Can start getting the nails and screws out of the joists. More later.....

.... It's later! Made up a mix and tidied up the wall we did last night and then started straightening the other wall. With the remaining mix I topped of the centre wall (between the windows). We had a visitor which slowed us down. We got a ladder and started to clear the two boards we had put on the first floor joists. Lunch arrives so we have and lunch. It starts to rain and is very dark.

So I go and watch the Olympics and fall asleep.

22nd August 2008

Spent the morning running up and down the ladder, on to the platform trying to get the large board I struggled to put up there some 3 months ago, down. Now, why did I put it up there in the first place? Oh, I remember, it was to walk on. However, as my fat arse fell through it whilst I sat on it I had second thoughts about that.

Lynne got back from shopping and with her help succeeded in getting the board down in 5 minute when I had spent 2 hours in vain. Just show what a good women's worth. (1 hour 55 minutes).

I then de nailed and cleaned 2 joists. Then decided it would be easier to do this after the timber has been sand blasted so gave up. Made a mix and spent the rest of the afternoon slapping gobbo onto walls.

Whilst I was a happy gobbo-er, Lynne raked the floor ready for me to finish digging it out level tomorrow.

Then got the sand blaster round ready for next week when I'm going to get some kiln dried sand and blast the beams and joists.



Gobbo-ed wall.




Another gobbo-ed wall.


















Lynne's little pile of swept up rubbish.




















Sand blaster. The right hand pipe is pretty long......


















... goes half way round the barn.

















Some weeks ago someone on the boardroom wanted to see the roof. Well here it is.

23rd August 2008

Not much done today. Made up a mix, slapped more gobbo on then moved everything out of the kitchen. We then set about digging out the edges to "square up" the corners and get the Ivy roots from under the building where they come up the edge.

However it was so humid we were both knackered in an a hour so we had the afternoon off. I fell asleep on the lounger dreaming of a new house.  We're out tomorrow at Tom and Carols so nothing will get done. Monday I hope to get some sand for the sand blaster and start blasting the oak. But before that I must finish digging out and get the levels set in the kitchen. Happy days.

24th August 2008

Great afternoon at Tom and Carols. We put the world to rights but I'm not sure what we decided. After 2 bottles of red who cares.

25th August 2008

Started by making a mix and shuttering the top corner of the right hand side of the single window (phew). Packed it with stones and poured lots of gobbo in. Then decided to square the top and must have overloaded it as the outside shutter fell away, I swore and just walked away in disgust.

Got more 50 x 50 timbers out and set a level. Did a bit of scraping to get the high spots off and, as far as I'm concerned, the floor is ready for a sand bed.

















level, although the ground slopes a lot toward the door.



















The beam by the windows and the one at the camera end are almost level. It's the barn side and where the door is that has the big gap.


















That's good enough for me!

Now back to that bloody wall. Built it up with a bit more mortar and will do some more each day. Also did a bit of building up on the other side.

After lunch started moving the tiles out of the barn. There's thousands of the buggers. I need them all out so I can have a good sweep up before sand blasting the oak supports and joists.

26th August 2008

Having moved about 40 packs of tiles yesterday afternoon I moved the other 180 packs today. These tiles are 12.5cm (about 9") square and 3cm thick. They are in packs of 12 and are HEAVY! By the time I stopped I was totally knackered. We went out the the monthly Brit-Pack meeting where we have, amongst other things, a darts competition. I didn't do too well as I was having a problem getting the darts higher than the 19!

During the day Lynne set about coating the wood frames of the existing gite kitchen window frames. They are begining to crack with the sunlight so she gave them a good coating with polyurethane. She got the ladder in position and got the tin. I had to get the lid off for her and suggested she might like to get a stick and give it a stir.

















I think this "stick" is a bit big to stir a 2 litre pot of varnish.


















There are nearly 220 packs of tiles here. Also a lot of wire and conduit and switches, trips and lamps. Indeed everything except.....


















.... the kitchen sink.



















But, if you don't like a nice stainless sink, you can have this very heavy porcelain one.

So, I have about 220 packs of tiles which is about 160 square meters. I need 27 meters fro the kitchen floor and 35 for the garage (yes, a garage floor tiled in terracotta tiles). Any suggestions what to do with over 100 square meters of tiles! Scratch your answer on a tile. I'm thinking of using some in the bathroom floor but it may get a bit boring. Now if I could find a few very bright yellow, reds, blues and whites to mix in at random....

27th August to 29th August 2008

Away on business so nothing done.

Tomorrow, we'll be picking Robert and Linda, our friends fro the Chesterfield area, up from Nantes airport. So, we'll be leaving early and visiting Casterama and Ikea again.

30th August 2008

Did as planned and spent the morning in Casterama, picked up Robert and Linda and spent the afternoon going round Ikea. I think I'm beginning to hate that place. In fact I hated Ikea before we started this so you can imagine how I feel about it now.


Continued in September