Tuesday, 15 January 2013

What a difference a day makes.... (and other odds & ends of news)

What a difference a day makes #1

Look at these photos taken on Sunday....

Boy, the weather was gloomy.... grey, damp and foggy.   Then look at these - the very next morning!

I apologise to those of our friends and family, struggling with the English snow at the moment, but yesterday we had sunshine and blue skies yet again.  I'm not saying it was warm - oh no!  We still need the warmth of the wood burner and I'm still snuggled up with polo necked jumpers, socks, vest etc! But it's so good to look out at the sun!

What a difference a day makes #2

I think I've told you that we've been concentrating on some work indoors now that it's too cold to do anything outside.  Danny's been rearranging things in his hobby room and now has shelves up for his computer games and disks.  Here's a picture of how it's coming along...

The day before this, he had a plain wall with just the picture that you can see in the centre.  You might think that putting up a few shelves is hardly an achievement for one day but the 'wall' you see is plasterboard on a timber frame fixed to the original stone wall of the house.  Although the previous owners gave us pictures of this room being renovated, they did not include one of this particular wall!  If you look carefully above the shelves on the left, you'll see a small hole.  Danny had to drill several of these to determine where the wooden frame was so that he could fix the shelves securely.

I have been concentrating on clearing the last room that was still full of cardboard boxes from when we first moved in.  This room adjoins the kitchen and is the room whose window is the furthest on the right when you look at the house 'front on'.  (Our predecessors used it as a fourth bedroom).  It's attached to the smaller barn on that right hand side of the house.  We originally planned to remove the wall between this room and the kitchen and have a large kitchen.  But we've changed our minds and now plan to keep it as a separate room, using it as a dedicated utility room.  We also plan to have a door from the utility room, through to the attached barn.  (I'm hoping against hope that our builder will do this next month!).  Those of you who have already been to visit will remember the room being crammed to the ceiling with precariously balanced boxes.  This is what it looks like now......
I have put the dresser up for sale as it really is superfluous (although Danny now says that if we don't get an acceptable offer for it, he'd rather use it for firewood!)  Notice, incidentally, that Charlie, our ginger tom cat, couldn't resist exploring the room while I was taking the photo!  Also, incidentally, the coloured plastic boxes are for our recycling stuff.  These will eventually go in the barn - one of the reasons why we want a connecting door!  Anyway, I'll keep you posted on progress (or otherwise!!)

Other bits and pieces of news....

We were invited out for dinner at the home of some 'new' friends on Sunday evening!  I have spoken before how sometimes we can feel quite isolated here.  It's hard to start a new life in another country where you know virtually no-one and in our circumstances, it's not easy to meet people.  If you emigrate and you work in your new country you will automatically meet people.  Similarly, if you have children, you'll do so.  But for us, we need to 'put ourselves about' to meet people.  I happen to think we're doing pretty well in getting to know people but obviously it's a step further for acquaintances to become friends.  (I was particularly lucky earlier in the year as I met and became good friends with a lovely lady - but unfortunately she's back in the UK until April).   Anyway, having enjoyed a wonderful dinner on Sunday, I think we can safely add Les & Maureen to our (short) list of friends here!  And how did we meet?  Well, Les is the man who hung our barn doors and our side gates..... as well as being a really nice guy, his work is wonderful and I'm compiling a list of jobs for him!!

It was that dinner on Sunday which leads on to this next bit of news.... I hope it will amuse you!  The meal was SO good and you know how much I love my food so I was a complete pig and overate.  Rather stupidly I was wearing tight jeans and even with the top button open, I don't think I've ever felt so uncomfortable!  So yesterday, I asked Danny to set up our X-Box and I've started doing Zumba!!  Now it's just a question of keeping it up!

And finally....
We went shopping today and were shocked to learn that our local Lidl store is closing at the end of the month!  This is where we get Danny's cheap beer, food that the dogs really like and all sorts of bargains!  Luckily there is a Lidl's in Bressuire, a nearby town about 15/20 minutes drive away.  (Anne - take note - strange to think it'll be gone by the time you're back here!)

Well, that's about it for this update.  Except to say that I love hearing from you in return.  Many of you send me your newsy emails and I know I'm not very good at replying - hence this blog and the newsletters.  But please keep them coming.... it is good to keep up with what is going on in your lives too.

Stay warm.
A bientôt!


  1. Lovely post Roz. We have made new friends in the village as he is a plumber! It does take a while. I can't believe Lidl is closing and you'll have to drive further. We buy our dog food (dry and wet) there too - so much less expensive. In some spots
    those stone walls have defeated Brian's drill and we had to change our minds about where to hang something. Life goes on. Enjoy and keep writing!!!!
    ps have people had trouble getting into your blog?

    1. Hi Jo! Danny has actually invested in a special drill to get through the stone walls.... it's called an SPS drill in case you're interested!!

      I don't think anyone has had problems getting into my blog...at least they haven't said. But last time I tried to get into yours I wasn't able to!

      Mine seems to be getting a good reception from Facebook friends I have to say!