Only Two Things are Certain in Life - Well, Perhaps not Taxes - 30 Oct - 2 Nov, 2018

This is almost certainly our last visit of the year - and a long way to come for just two full days.

We set out at around 6pm on Tuesday night, stayed in Folkstone and then up at 4am to get the 5:50 Channel Tunnel crossing. The trip down was without incident but felt long. We arrived in Uzerche at around 3pm and immediately hit one of the local supermarkets. Then the short drive to the house.

Everything was in a good state - and no maggots this time.

I'd drained the heating system at the end of my last visit - so we were relying on a couple of electric heaters, a butane heater and a new 14 tog duvet.

So why come down at this time of year for such a short stay and when I'd already prepped the house for winter?

There were a number of factors:

We both had leave availableWe were both missing the placeWhilst I'd generally prepped the house for winter, the one thing I hadn't done was to drain the hot water tank (I'd tried but hadn't been able to figure it out - and ne…

My House is Better than Your House

Monday 3 August
I was wrong, I didn't have two more socket apertures to drill/chisel into the wall, I had four - two in internal walls (relatively easy) and two on outer walls (buggers, due to the granite). I also had to lift another floorboard. Doing this took all morning and well into the afternoon and was very dusty work.

Once that was done, I used the dying Miele vacuum to do what it could and then showered, ate (post noodle) and headed over to (you guessed it) Leroy Merlin to get a new vacuum. Thanks to Sally's research we'd settled on a Karcher WD3 which LM had at what looks at really good price. On top of that, I decided to use the (one-off) 5% discount the store card gives me during the first three months - as I may not get another opportunity. As I was burning the discount, I bought a few extra bits and bobs for the house electrics.

There is a Renault garage just down the road from LM so I took the opportunity to take a brief look at the Dacia Duster and Renault K…

Lifting Floorboards and Chiselling Granite - 2 Aug 2018

Today was all about working of the rewiring.

I started by chiselling out more of the channel in the 'study' on the first floor. This channel will carry the cables from the second floor down to the garage.  I'd cut the channel last week, but wanted to remove more of the granite wall to be sure the conduit could run down the entire length without 'bulging' through the plaster - when it was added.

Being granite, the chiselling was tough but, thanks to the SDS drill, was perfectly manageable.

The rest of the day was spent lifting floorboards and removing skirting in the two bedrooms on the second floor (the landing has already been prepped) and then core-drilling apertures for the socket back-boxes and chiselling out channels below, to the floorboards, for the wires to run down. The work on the outer walls was tough due to their granite construction - but, again, the SDS drill prevailed. I got all but two apertures done. These can wait till tomorrow when I will also se…

Off seeing the sights - 30 Aug - 1st Sept

Not a lot of work done over the last three days as we've taken a bit of a holiday - but still lots to share with you; just hoping I can remember what it all is...

A really nice day. After a small amount of painting of  hinges and fittings for the backdoor shutters, we decided to follow one of the driving routes around the local villages, as described in a guide from the Tourist Information Office. We decided to just take our time. If we didn't complete it (and we didn't; far from it) we could pick up the rest of the route on another trip.

We set the Sat-Nav to take us to the first destination : Espartignac.

Before long we were on some very narrow back-roads, watching for pull-over spaces as we passed them, in anticipation of needing to reverse back if we met anyone coming the other way. We came to a 2 m wide bridge. It was so narrow that concrete blocks had been placed either end to prevent over-wide vehicles attempting the crossing. For the first set I had Sally g…

Woodworm - Take That (and Boogie) - 29 August

At long last, the woodworm work in the cellar is complete. The 5 litres of treatment I'd brought with me, and brushed on, was gone in short measure so, once again, off to Leroy Merlin. Bought a 24 litre keg of the stuff along with a hand-pumped pressure spray.

Spent the day spraying the cellar - 3 coats with roughly an hour between each.The pressure spray made the job so much easier (I might even say enjoyable) and I'm sure was more effective - especially at getting in crevices. Hopefully that is the last we'll see of woodworm - at least in the cave.

Whilst I was spraying, Sally was doing a splendid job of finishing the painting of the kitchen door shutters - as well as cooking a delicious Moroccan chicken dish for dinner.

At Leroy Merlin, signed up for their store card. Unlike the supermarket card, you pay for this one - 9 Euros for a year or 24 euros for 3 years. I went for the latter. As part of signing up you get a number of vouchers, including an instant 15% off. With…

Another General Update - 27/28 August

Monday morning was frustrating. We headed to Limoge, primarily to collect roof sealant and primer from Leroy Merlin. They had the latter - but not the former (despite the website suggesting they had both). We went to Limoge as we were unable to find any in stock in our web search of our usual Brive DIY destinations. We tried another couple of Briclolage type establishments without luck and then finally tracked down a single tin (we needed two) in Uzerche - but paid an arm and a leg for it. Roof sealant certainly seems a rare commodity in these here parts.

Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning/early afternoon saw us prepping/painting shutters, sealing the garage roof and returning circa 500 kilos of soil to the 'trough' there, channelling a wall to carry power cable and, at long last, completing the preparation of the joists in the cellar, ready for the woodworm treatment. This has been a dirty, horrible, job and I'm glad it is done.

So, we got a lot done, despite a near was…

General Upate 24-26 Aug

I've been a little delinquent with updates the last few days. Sally arrived yesterdays - great having her with me. Despite promising ourselves some holiday once she got here, other than a nice stroll around town today, we've still been busy, busy, busy.  Good progress though...

The earth wire routing is complete - at least as far as I can take it this visit. It still need connecting up but that will be a job for the next visit, as I need to borrow a crimping tool from Tim. Sally brought over a 'bending spring' on the plane (luckily it wasn't considered a weapon). This allowed me to do some fairly fancy conduit bending to get around various existing pipes - made threading the cable through a real challenge though.

Good progress has been made on the garage roof with the soil removed from the trough and bagged, the primer down in the trough and on half the roof, and likewise with the first coat of sealant. I now need more primer and sealant - so off to Leroy Merlin ag…