Our second ‘reno’ trip this Winter, but lacking the heady excitement of the first trip when we got the keys. It’s wet here and it’s been wet for ages – very unusual weather this Winter we are told. Luckily, the little place is on a ridge so all that rain just trickles down the hills into the swollen streams below. Even the 150-year old Ardoise tiled roof is holding up well, with only a couple or three minor leaks into the attic. We desperately need a ‘hat’ for the chimney though – the acrid smell of damp soot is overpowering.
We’re getting to grips with the long trips here and back – staying in cheapy hotels both ways. We’d do the journey in one big fat go but setting up camp after an 18-hour journey does not make for happy campers! So until the house is more habitable, we break our journeys in 2* lodging establishments en-route.
This visit so far, we’ve had a few ‘wins’. The water’s on with a stand-by tap currently in the future sitting room! French Water Man even popped by to check everything was OK – what a poppet. So far, the utility folks have been pretty awesome.
The attic’s been de-cobwebbed (and de-dead snake skinned and de-wasp nested – a gross-out moment for me! Here’s a piccy to share the grossness!). One side of the barn has been cleared of piles of scrap wood and old musty hay. Yet more old agricultural equipment has been unearthed, including an old chaff-cutter.
When we emerge from the caravan tomorrow (the Meteo has promised dry days ahead), we will be spraying beams and old furniture with woodworm treatment and perhaps even clearing out the other side of the barn.
Otherwise, on the wettest days, it’s time spent huddled up in the caravan working on actual work on phones and laptops, under the duvet with a hot water bottle and surprisingly good 4G. It’s true – you can literally run a business up a mountain (as long as you can get a signal on your phone).
So because of deadlines and drudgery, no time this trip to see friends but perhaps a Summer camp-out in the garden could be arranged?
I am dreaming of sitting in dappled shade, with my feet up, sipping something chilled…