It’s been a bit wet, inside & outside.

Well the week started nicely, the teams clearing out & cleaning inside to prepare for the final layer of the floors. We had a lovely sunset.

And then the rain started. We really need the rain, but we’d have been prepared to wait just a few more weeks. We haven’t suffered from the strong winds & storm Ciaran but it has really rained!!

We had a busy start to the week & Wednesday was a jour férié & so we only saw progress on Thursday when the wagons arrived ready to pour the concrete.

And then on Friday we were there to see the rest of the concrete arrive & poured in.

Thursday afternoon the floors had the colouring scattered & then the “helicopters” did the first polish.

On Friday the floors were then cut to allow expansion.

There’s one little issue. If you look you just might find the little hole in this pipe. A job for first thing Monday morning.

The really awful weather has meant that the stone finish on the North facing wall hasn’t progressed much. Hopefully it will be finished next week. It can’t have been much fun trying to work in such wet conditions & we have resorted to wellies again for any site visits.

Equally the 2 terraces were too exposed to lay the cement, & this coming week may not be any better. They’ll be done asap, but it’s a bit annoying.

After last week’s bombshell the architects & artisans have rejigged the work flow & fingers crossed the final snagging & handover is planned for 8th December. We’ll be moving after that.

The great news is that, despite how busy we are, Louise has her date 12th December for her interview/entretien for French Nationality. She’ll be starting the preparation this week. As if we don’t have enough to do!

That Was The Week That Was/TW3

Well that was the week that was. The title will be easily recognisable to British people of our vintage. For all the others it was a trail blazing 60’s/70’s TV programme.

Monday Doug was in Albi auditioning for the lead in “The Invisible Man”.

Tuesday he was hired as the red headed Martian instead.

We spent Tuesday in Albi sorting out the timetables for deliveries & fittings for the house & finalising our removal.

Wednesday saw lots of progress with the underfloor piping for the heating & with the external stone work.

Thursday we had a productive day in Toulouse, using the train from Gaillac. Doug dropped off the one original document (and of course the obligatory translation) still required for his French Nationality dossier. The dossier will now wend its way through the various channels to Paris for a decision. Whilst we were there we mentioned that Louise still did not have a date for her entretien/interview.

Friday started well & then seemed to fall away rapidly.

Firstly Louise got her covid & flu jabs & we’re now both up to date.

Secondly Orange (Telecomms) rang to organise a site visit but we were too busy with our weekly building site meeting & he agreed to ring back.

Thirdly Louise got her entretien/interview date for December, which now means lots of prep for her before then, as if we didn’t have enough to do!

And the underfloor piping was finished.

The stonework at the rear of the house is coming on now. Soon be finished.

After that, chaos.

Our architects then told us that 2 of our contracted companies had just told them of a 2 week delay thus upsetting our recently organised date of 1st December for moving in.
For some reason they seemed to think that we could still go ahead & move into a bit of the house on 1st Dec, but with no kitchen, oven nor wardrobes etc. We very kindly explained to them why that wasn’t going to happen & just how furious we were. We’re still not sure that they understand!!
They have now retired to speak to everyone still involved in the finishing of the project & to let us know asap a definitive date for our removal.
Yes we had plans for Christmas/New Year which are now looking unlikely. It really is a case of time will tell!!!

It has seemed to us for some time that there was still an awful lot of things to do in a short time but they have continued to confirm 1st Dec for weeks now.

We are waiting to hear. Fingers crossed everyone please.

Again not much to see, but progress.

There’s not too much to see, but outside the roof & 3 sides of the house are finished. The rear, north facing side is well on its way.

The outside area is being prepared for all the services, infill around the house, drainage etc using this neat bit of kit.

The inside has been cleared in preparation for the underfloor heating & then the thermic screed. Programmed to be installed this coming week.

All the internal electrics are protected too.

And lastly the electrician has started on the fuse box.

It’s started to rain at last. We need it, but just not right now.

Lots happening but little to see.

We went up to the house last Monday evening to find the east gable end finished. Looks great. The west stonework is done and the roof will be finished Monday this coming week.

The back of the house is maybe 25% done but work will continue this week & it will soon be finished.

The internal concrete walls are being rendered & a lime finish applied. There’ve had the first covering & it’s all drying out over the weekend. There’s an example of the completed finish in our dressing area, which we like, but the rest will be done after the floor is in & all has dried.

The plasterboards will all be painted, but again after the floors are finished. Some of the ceilings have had a first coat already.
All being well they’ll be starting the underfloor heating pipes very soon. The house is pretty much ready.

The electricians will be installing the fuse box in here. I wouldn’t fancy that job, but they just laughed. We think that they’ve done it before!!

The other news is that all the kitchen units are being built in the workshop now, along with some cupboard for other rooms. The wardrobes for our dressing room are ordered & the delivery date sorted. The cooker extraction unit is programmed for installation and the guest kitchen/bar has been measured, made & organised for fitting etc.

The good news is that we’re now discussing the earthworks, paths, drives, drains and the position of the water sack that we’re putting in to save the rainwater. We’re also trying hard to save as many of the stones on site for future walls etc.


What’s Missing?

OK, so what’s missing. Incredibly, we didn’t notice at first but there were a lot of vans on site.

Hard to miss!

And what’s to finish?

The bathroom fittings are started now with shower trays already in place.

The wall finishes are started, but still a lot to do.
There are 3 coatings of the concrete walls, one to seal the interior, one to apply a “plaster” & the final one to apply a chalk/lime finish.
The plaster board walls will simply be painted white by the decorator. The window frames & doors have had their first coat as well.

One concern is the team working outside, who disappeared for 2-3 days this week. We can’t afford that.
There’s also some concern with the weather. We’ve had no real rain for months now, & just as we need it dry underfoot to keep the interior clean there’s bad weather forecast in about 10 days time. If though, it follows recent patterns it will all pass us by, hopefully.

Yesterday we went to Toulouse to finalise our dressing room furniture with Ikea & to organise its delivery date on site. We’ve organised the fitting of the cooker extraction unit & are expecting a fitter this week to exactly measure the guest “kitchen” area ready for its fitting in Nov.

We’re also organising our move with the removal company this week & so can’t afford any delays now.

There’s a lot going on in between the Rugby World Cup matches, meetings at Atmo, pétanque & card nights in the bar. We’re tired, but “good” tired!!

And by the way Doug has his interview for French Nationality this coming Thursday & he’s busy revising the history, politics & personalities of France. He is almost word perfect for the 1st verse of the National Anthem (bloodthirsty in the extreme) & is keeping his fingers crossed that he will be able to recite rather than sing it!!!

Wish us luck.