17 February 2015




The good news is that our new floor is fantastic.  It no longer slopes towards the door but is beautifully level and ready to have our furniture put back in the room – without the numerous bits of wood that we previously had to use to chock everything up so it didn’t fall over!


The disappointing news is that even though the previous two weeks were fine and dry, the contractor didn’t come to do the drive as we had expected.

Now, after a weekend of rain, it is wet and muddy again and in a much poorer condition. If he was waiting for it to dry out in order to do it (the reason given for not starting the job), it looks like we will have to wait even longer before he can start.

Nick is now chez nous to begin the job of taking out the old kitchen.  I will be arriving soon, with the dog and the cat, which will make for a very interesting journey, I’m sure!

On the one hand I can’t wait to see the place again, after two months away.  It now seems unthinkable that for a number of years we didn’t see our little house in Le Grand-Pressigny for nearly six months over each winter.  I do remember feeling achingly desperate to get back each spring.


On the other hand, I am really not looking forward to living with the mud.  With the cat, the dog and ourselves in and out of the house and the drive having hardly any dry areas left, it will be impossible to avoid trailing it into every room downstairs.  Maybe I should just give up and resign myself to letting the ground floor get filthy, as trying to keep it clean could be a waste of time and effort.

Upstairs is apparently also pretty bad.  According to Nick the cream carpets in the two bedrooms (a difficult colour to keep clean but not our choice as they were in when we bought the house) are rather grubby where the boiler man left his boot prints when he fiddled with the radiators.


Still, we are lucky that the major job, the fosse, is now done.  There is however the unexpected effect on the ditch to resolve.  The waste water from the fosse is clean when it discharges into the ditch by the road, which with the recent heavy rain, is now quite full.  The entrance to the drive forms a dam that prevents the water running further down into the next part of the ditch, so maybe we need a pipe underneath it or something like that.

It feels a bit like “two steps forward, one step sideways” at the moment, but all in all it’s good progress. So long as you don’t mind the mud!


  1. Get a large pipe put in under the entrance as you have the drive done...
    Whilst you have the equipment on site!!
    You could be fined for blocking the ditch...
    I have no doubt that the Groves put a pipe in....
    no one can be so foolish as not to...
    but what sort of pipe, what diameter, etc...
    who knows...
    and that may well be blocked!!
    Any water left in that ditch in summer will breed mozzies...

    You can get 30cm pipe that looks like the "gain" used for the 'lectrics...
    it is, I believe, cheaper than concrete...
    and less fragile.
    The noixcracker man in le GP uses it...
    cut in half lengthways....
    to make his strawberry plant beds!

    On the other side of the topic...
    the floor looks great....

    Good luck with the journey...
    put Daisy in with Lulu...
    Lulu can put one paw on Daisy's head and one over her mouth...
    that should lessen the noise...
    on the otherhand forget that...
    Daisy will bite Lulu's paw and you'll end up with twice the racket!!

    1. Tim, my thoughts about the ditch and the mozzies are the same as yours. Some kind of pipe is called for.
      I only hope it doesn't make the job a longer one or delay it even further. I didn't know about the fine - I'll mention it and hope it might hurry the work up!

  2. Bon courage.... I've emailed you.

  3. I'm sure there will be some sort of pipe already, the entrance isn't new. It'll just be blocked, that's all. Possibly a good prod with a piece of stick will get it moving, or maybe a piece of rebar. Pauline

  4. Sounds like par for the course, they seldom arrive when expected, then they can't do the job because of the weather!!!!!! Good luck and keep well Diane

  5. Well, that floor REALLY does look great :)
    Sorry to know about the other messy issues :(

  6. That is indeed a lot of mud. no fun, that.

  7. Nothing annoys me more than workmen who don't show up when they themselves have set a convenient time. It's especially poor when they claim to be waiting for better weather and then once that arrives, there is another obstacle. At least you have the comfort of knowing that a dry spell will be earlier and more prolonged than on this side of the channel. I hope that the journey goes well.

  8. I just discovered your blog about a month ago and have enjoyed reading it from the beginning. What an adventure you are on! Your new house looks fabulous, can't wait to see the new kitchen. Will you put the old cupboards in the garage, they'd make great storage and work space out there. Hope you solved the rat problem in England! When I see some of the snow pictures you post it looks very similar to here, (Alberta, Canada) except ours usually lasts from maybe late October and sometimes to late May!! I'm going to check out one of your other blogs now,BAKING IN FRANGLAIS .