Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Sh*tty Week

The Queen’s Got A Throne!

I am not giving myself airs and graces or getting above my station when I refer to myself in this regal way, but I consider that I am Queenie of all I survey around and about (within the boundaries of my field).  We all know every man’s/woman’s home is his/her castle.  The throne I refer to is the downstairs lavvy, lovey!  Yes, we now have a fabulous, fully functioning, flushing Thomas Crapper!  Complete with ‘soft close lid’ if you please.  The LGB has been hankering after a ‘soft close lid’.  Not that that will make the men put the seat down!  The latrine is curtained off, but is in full view of anybody working upstairs so for now I will have to keep doing toilet emptying duties in the caravan.

A Word of Warning

On a recent visit to the fabulous, fully functioning, flushing, lovely lavvy with the ‘soft close lid’, I lifted the aforementioned ‘soft close lid’ and turned to make ready use of it.  I can’t have opened it quite enough because as I disrobed and squatted the ‘soft close lid’ had already begun its’ descent to close ……softly.  My ample nether regions met it half way and it was nearly lost forever where the sun don't shine.  It was quite a shock I can tell you.  Perhaps it should come with a health warning or a beep, beep, beep like reversing lights on a lorry.  Baaahhh, 'soft close lid’, my arse!

While the LGB was busy this sunny, yes sunny Sunday afternoon with the loo I was working on the picture window frame we had made by Chris at Perseverance Place Ltd, Richmond, Surrey.  Sanding the frame and  watching The X Factor repeat. Happy, happy!

Monday morning Kevin gave us a hand to get the plaster boards, which were delivered bright and early, up to the first floor.  We then used the hoist (money well spent) to get the chestnut flooring up too.  Two jobs well done.

Late Departure

The weather has been fabulous, although we woke up in the caravan on Sunday about 4 am and it was so cold my Kindle wouldn't even switch on!  It hit 21 degrees in La Rochefoucauld in the week.  We have eaten lunch on the terrace (well I'm calling it a terrace) and enjoyed our coffee breaks there too in t-shirts.  We heard the cranes fly over last night.  This must be the first year we haven’t actually seen them heading South and it seems to be a late departure for them.  Hurry back! 

This week I took a photograph of a rose in bud!  (A little celebration of the glorious weather.)  In complete contrast, and in keeping with the above Thomas Crapper theme, ten minutes later I took a photo of a big pile of pooh/poo/poop, call it what you like. 


More apologies!

The LGB has been fixing a leak for some friends.  What he thought was a simple leak has turned into multiple leaks.  He uncovered some pipes behind the boxing in in the bathroom and we discovered a huge, and I mean colossal pile of pooh!  I thought it may have been a squirrel because we had seen one on the roof, and the nuts in close proximity seemed to confirm this.  However, we asked a French neighbour to identify the excrement for us and he recognised it as ‘fouine’ pooh.  A ‘fouine’ is a stone marten, it actually translates as ‘the long pitchfork’.  La Fouine is also a French rap artist, but I don’t think it is him hiding in the loft!  This fouine is like a weasel. I have heard of a pine marten but not a stone marten. What a well-trained marten to do it’s doings all in the same place in a big pile, and in the bathroom too!  House trained?  Two guesses who will be clearing out that little heap?

Cute!  Courtesy of Wikipedia

Today, Wednesday we began cutting the plaster boards for upstairs.  I think the LGB’s idea is to floor out upstairs thereby freeing up some space downstairs of plaster boards which are taking up a considerable amount of room. 

Tonight the LGB is  happed up warm and cosy watching the England match.  I know tomorrow I will be in for a treat.  He will have verbal diarrhoea (there we go again, enough of the pooh theme), and chat on for an age about the football, managers and players like I am some football crazed geezer!  I quite like the fact that he feels I am worth talking ‘footy’ with but see it rather that he is starved of male company.

Living in the lap of luxury!

Sunday evening we had almost finished plaster boarding the exterior walls and had all the pieces cut ready for the LGB to finish this morning.  It is really making the shell look like a house now.  I was sawing away thinking about where to position the beds and wardrobes and what colour to have each room!

Friends came to see progress today and afterwards we ate lunch at the local golf course. It was nice seeing you all and thank you Brenda for the lovely treat, you can come and see us as often as you like!

Thank you for all your comments.  I was thrilled to get one from Becca at this week.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fluffy Bits and Damp Squibs

A lovely evening on the site

Come out, come out whoever you are!
I have to say I am amazed and stupefied that the ramblings (disguised as a blog) of a middle-aged female builder’s labourer  has had over 5,200 views (5,263 to be precise but who’s counting)!  I am not so naïve to think they are all avid readers, probably 4,999 are visits from surfers who have misinterpreted some of my blog titles, such as ‘Tits and Old Bones, Kerb Crawlers and Short and Curlies’ had a quick glance realised it didn’t meet their needs and left very disappointed.  Sorry about that! I have only 12 signed up members and another handful who I know are reading the blog. I constantly get  hits from the United States as well as other more obscure locations. Being the nosey parker that I am, if you are reading the blog I would love to know who, where and why?  If you are shy and  don’t want to come right out of the closet and close the door behind you (by becoming a member) just poke your nose a little way round the door and drop me an email at to satisfy my curiosity.  Be brave, come and say hello and put me out of my misery.

I'm Rankled
Monday morning found us once again buying electrical supplies.  All the way through the build I have just handed over the bank card or signed a cheque without much thought to it being real money leaving the coffers.  We needed it, so we bought it.  However, for some reason it is irking me to be spending so much on electrical materials and I am not sure why.  One length of cable alone cost 260€ today.  At this rate I will have no money left for the fluffy, pretty bits.  Perhaps that is the reason I am peeved.  I have always pictured the finish of the build with cushions, curtains and pictures whereas the LGB sees an empty plastered room.  All the money spent on electrics and plumbing will be hidden (I hope) behind plaster boards so we won’t see what our expenditure has bought.  It is all far more essential than the fluffy bits I know but it still rankles! 
But is it art?

The Tardis and the Tea Urn
The LGB has been working on yet another shower.  This time we have a water heater as we can no longer heat our water with the sunshine on the garden hose.  As a temporary measure the LGB has hung the heater on the wall in the dining room.  We had a French electrician come round to advise us on some things and he didn’t even bat an eyelid at the boiler adorning the wall in the salle à manger!  I can only assume he has either seen it all before, thinks it is a huge tea urn (Brits do like their cuppa), thinks it is a piece of modern artwork or he thinks the English are raving loonies!  Answers on a postcard.  The shower cubicle is on loan from the Old Bones on Bikes and is nestled in the corner of the dining room looking like a phone booth or Dr Who’s tardis.  When the LGB came to fit the toilet he was a little disheartened to find the cistern doesn’t line up with the fixing holes.  Pack it all back in the box!

Sorry, you must have the wrong number.

When the clock strikes three...

everything stops for tea!

It’s a good job the French don’t celebrate Guy Fawkes night because there would only be damp squibs here. No rockets or firecrackers for us, we watched a DVD tonight, Monday, but will have to watch the second half again because we couldn’t hear it for the rain!  It is still raining, I am still peeling snails and slugs from the side of the caravan, chucking out creepy crawlies (okay, the LGB is chucking out the creepy crawlies), mopping water from the awning floor and in charge of emptying the loo.  All a bit déjà vu isn’t it. 
                                        Spot the snail top right after a quick cuppa!


Some friends, Jane and David, popped round today.  They haven’t been here since the summer.  It always gives me a little boost when people are surprised at the progress because sometimes the build can seem to stand still for us when there are no huge developments.

Tuesday night we were in bed by eight thirty entwined like our frisky slugs (read the older post).  Nothing romantic you understand it was just an effort to get warm.  If we could have fitted into the same pair of pyjamas for extra warmth we would have done so.  With me as the LGB's belly warmer, him snuggled up behind me, I felt like I had gone to bed wearing a ruck sack. Crikey, it doesn’t bode well for when the really cold weather comes, does it?
The insulated plaster boards have been ordered and will be delivered on Monday.  I have no idea where we are going to put them.  I have been mooching about since our return from the UK but that is about to change and it will be full on again soon.  Oh joy!

Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!
A momentous development on site today.  You’d think the LGB was  JLB, John Logie Baird himself (more like Yogi Bear) because he has the television up and running.  He has torn Kevin away from his electrical duties to set it up.  Would you believe he is watching football?  Kevin has kindly loaned us a television but as it is the size of a small car I objected to it being in the caravan, it was me or the TV.  It was a scary moment when he hesitated before agreeing to putting it in the house!  The LGB said it would be cold watching it in the house.  I have told him to pretend he is actually at the football ground and dress up nice and warm armed with a pint and a pie.  Sorted!

All ready for the rugby Six Nations

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sockets, Spaghetti and Shwag

The journey back from the UK in Vera was uneventful, however, we chickened out of going back to the caravan in the dark and booked ourselves into Chez Mary & Alan (Old Bones on Bikes) for a delicious meal, a good shower and a cosy bed.  We ventured back to the site with a little trepidation as the awning had collapsed again under the weight of the rain and although Mary & Alan had righted it some damage had already been done.  There was mould and mildew on surfaces in the awning but the caravan, house and garages were fine and dandy.  Even the mail was kind to us and there were no hidden nasties there. It felt good to be back. 

The LGB can’t wait to get started on the build again and confessed tonight that he has never been happier doing a job than he is doing this one!  Aaahhhh.  Of course, I too have never been happier than I have as a builder’s labourer, except when I was a trolley dolly, or when I worked in a greasy Joe café, or the time I worked as a cleaner at Sonning Working Men’s Club (I was fourteen), or when I was at college and lasted two hideous nights in a factory putting Evel Knievel dolls into a box, yes, I’ve never been happier.

My apologies if you had parts missing from your Evel Knievel  box that Christmas but it was a pretty mind numbing job!

It took the neighbours at least two seconds to witness our return to the site!  But I find that very comforting, they have been great guardians for us in our absence.  It took us a lot less time to unload the van than to pack it.  So, here we are our first night back in the caravan and…………it’s raining!  Home, sweet home.

Tons of Work
We collected the chestnut flooring on Friday.  That was a rude awakening having to unload one and a quarter ton of parquet flooring.  It looks nice and I’m glad we chose the wider boards this time.  We have yet to get it upstairs!

Saturday the LGB pottered on his own and I helped a friend move house.  In my absence he put together the frames we have had made for the front door and the picture window in the kitchen/family room.  Sunday, we made a feeble attempt to cut the grass but the mower let us down again.

After two very cold nights in the caravan we were rescued by the Old Bones once again.  Simple things like a hot shower, a nice meal and a log fire become luxuries when you are deprived of them.

Spaghetti Junction
The first fix electrics have begun and the house is a mass of spaghetti wires.  Remember how not so long ago I said we were reclaiming the front ‘garden’?  The LGB has now dug a big trench for the services to be laid.  One step forward, two steps back.  Refilling the trench was hard work and in the process the LGB has put his back out again, so this afternoon he was hanging from the rafters trying to right it.  Not a great start to our return.

Socket To Me!
The electrician is getting impatient and the LGB is getting grumpy because I haven’t given precise positions for the lighting.  I thought the wiring was just going to a junction box and I could decide later – not so!  So, although I have some wall lights I have abandoned installing them in some rooms because I can’t decide where to put them and I don’t want to hold up proceedings.  They can go in the next house.  Did I really just say that, wash my mouth out with soap for uttering such profanities!


The regulations regarding the electrics seem pretty ridiculous to a mere simpleton like me.  For example some bright spark has decided I have to have ten sockets in the living room, TEN! Why would I need ten sockets unless I had a little cottage industry and was heating marijuana plants to supply a small country.  Now there’s a thought!

Watts up? Lighten up man, don't get phased! It's just the first fix!

We are required to have a telephone socket in every room including the bedrooms and television sockets in three rooms.  Methinks the powers that be have got together with the socket manufacturers, and of course the electricians won’t be complaining when they charge the client per socket – win, win all round for them.  You think I am ranting you should hear the LGB!  He’s blown a fuse over the whole business!

We went to the cinema tonight to see Bond ........ James Bond.  The chairs were so comfortable (I am sure they were heated) and it was lovely and warm, I wondered how long we could stay there all cosy and comfortable before someone noticed and evicted us.  Before that we enjoyed fish pie and a hot shower at Suzanne and Kevin’s and now as I type the rain is lashing down and the caravan is rocking and the LGB is snoring.  Happy days.