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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Plumbing Doldrums


The idea had always been to get the bathroom fully operational so that we could then start dismantling the old bathroom to convert it into a small kitchen. Much like the clutter-bug who starts organizing one corner of the house only to get distracted by messes in other areas to where nothing gets accomplished by the end of the day, a dozen different jobs have begun and nothing’s been finished. This is the way my plumber operates.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Rather Taxing Life in France...


Work was either blessedly or cursedly slow for me in May, June and July, depending on how you look at it. This gave me some anxious moments as, once I'd committed to going forward with the work on the house and realized I would fall perilously low in France-based capital, the social security bureau of France finally got their act together and accepted my application to get into the French medical and pension system and hit me with an estimated assessment for 2010, 2011 and 2012 of €30,000.  

When I regained consciousness several days later,

Monday, August 13, 2012

What the...?


When the plumber arrived, I felt a frisson of excitement—this was really starting to happen!

The garage, as I showed him, was already full of items awaiting their new homes: a new hot water heater, three sinks and faucets (a real luxury when you consider I’ve been living the past five months with just one viable sink, in the kitchen), a new glass shower and shower pan, a dishwasher, oven, sliding closet doors and rails for my first ever closet in this house, and a slew of cabinets from IKEA in varying stages of assembly, including the vanity and medicine chest for the new bath.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Inching Forward with the Impending Renovation


After much searching, pleading with anyone and everyone I knew, and multiple phone calls, finally I had found my plumber. Not only that, he spoke a very little English (about on par with my French) and he had an electrician he could recommend.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monsieur, are you thinking of me?


I have been astonished at how time consuming it has proved to not only get names of plumbers and electricians that locals actually feel confident recommending but how difficult it is to actually get quotations. Had I known four months ago that I'd only just be finalizing this now, I think I would have given up.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wildlife Here in the Brenne, in the Land of the Lakes

I thought I'd take a welcome break from coughing up stone dust (kicked up by these admittedly minor renovations as some of these houses go), and share a few nature photographs taken by Peter Street