THE SECOND AND THIRD QUARTERS OF THE YEAR
The new drive arrives followed by the kitchen units. Unfortunately several of them are smashed and unusable. We start fitting the good pieces and manage to knock up some kind of kitchen for when my brother arrives for a ten day holiday. Nick sets off with the trailer to the UK to fetch replacement units, returning, exhausted, three days later. The weather remains glorious and we take some time off as well.
Almost the minute my brother leaves to go back to the UK, it starts raining, and continues for days. The ditch alongside the road fills and overflows across our gateway and huge puddles appear in the new drive. As the rain continues, the new kitchen starts to take shape. By the end of the month the weather has picked up again and we hold the second cake club of the year, a huge success, with a record number of cakes on the table.
Work on the kitchen continues steadily after a trip to the UK to see Nick’s mum who is poorly. We wait for news from the carpenter about when he might be coming to fit our new oak staircase to replace the metal spiral one which we loathe. It is by now six months since we ordered the new one.
Nick’s mum has a fall and becomes very ill. I go back to the UK, leaving Nick to supervise the installation of the new staircase. It doesn’t arrive. The carpenter delivers the parts the afternoon before Nick gets on a flight back to the UK to join me, leaving the carpenter to fit the staircase in our absence. Nick’s mum dies hours after he visited her in hospital. We return to France to find the staircase fitted and almost exactly as we wanted it, then make another trip to the UK for the funeral.