Rodders, we've bloomin done it!
Yesterday started quite slowly and not that early considering there were none of the main furnishings in the Pigeonaire or curtain poles or blinds or bed linen Oh and lamps or light bulbs or towels or..................get the picture?
The outside was still in need of attention. At 8 am the lorry carrying the gravel for the terrace and general titivation arrived and was plonked outside the front door of the gite.
Thierry, the carpenter who made some of the windows arrived with fresh croissants and we sat under the lime tree with orange juice and coffee. We are to work together in 3 weeks or so. Firstly he is going to bring some tooling which will fit my Kity to make a front door and in return I am going to do some plastering and tiling in his house.
Thierry said goodbye and left us to our work and we set about reaching our 7pm goal. By 12 midday we felt comfortable but every job that needed doing seemed to bring another and a minute ticked by quickly. That minute soon joined with 59 others and bingo off trots another hour.
Lunch was made by Henners and Fleur and eaten on the hoof. we didn't even have a cup of tea.
By 3pm we looked at the clock constantly. We knew our guests were now in the air en route. What we thought was a relatively easy target was stretching our resources. The kids were phenomenal and we were quite a unit. Henners worked solidly and was revelling we think in the pressure, excitement and anticipation. After all, this project has not been a run of the mill renovation and he had gone through a lot more than us to get to this stage.
7pm on D-Day, the target was rushing towards us and we were far from finished.
Henners and I turned our attentions to the outside and began spreading the gravel. 8 tonnes of it. Not the kind of job you wanted to start so late in the day in 36 degrees of heat when you are exhausted and dehydrated but we had to. Mind you, lets not make it sound too prissy! I had a digger to load and level and the telescopic to move it. The raking and shovelling was hand work though.
Donna made the beds and hung the curtains and filled the shelves. Her efforts were now coming to fruition. The whole vision was becoming a home.
7.30pm, our guests had still not arrived and we were happy with the extra time. The plan had been to be showered and changed and maybe even a swim before hand but it was not to be.
We had just finished the terrace and at 7.38pm, honk! honk! came the greeting of the little grey car coming up the track. A fog of dust from the track swirled behind . Time had run out, it was over.
We were now quite forcibly 'OPEN FOR BUSINESS'
We greeted our friends and guests and the children took up where they left off 2 years ago as we awaited the house sale in England.
I looked at Donna and Henners, the two stars of the day sweating, dirty and visibly tired and with great pride felt contented and victorious.
Time for a well earned beer and a swim and 2 weeks break.