Villeneuve sur Lot Golf and Country Club
Montaut School

Juggling balls

Bedrooms_002 There has not been too much time for writing these last few days.

Since I undertook the task of helping to lick Les Mirandes into shape for the grand re-opening in October it has taken up a fair bit of my week. Couple this with the other tasks like maintaining our grounds, making new shutters and helping Matt with a little project the hours are whizzing by.

We are also noticing the days starting to draw in so autumn is just around the corner too, although I am energised by this time of year the hours of daylight are much reduced and working outside gets more condensed.

Soon we will have plenty to do on the building front and we are starting to make plans on the order in which to tackle the bedrooms.

One of the main considerations are three very large Poplar beams which support the span of the roof. We need to keep them exposed so it is essential we plan this properly but also I need to strengthen the supporting wall . Ideally, though we do not relish the prospect, we would like to completely demolish the retaining wall which is made of stone and mud and some 600mm thick and build a stronger support wall with an internal block skin with some re-enforcing at the point the Poplar beams intersect the wall.

Another consideration is the aspect. The bedrooms face North East which means there will be no sun at all on the wall. French properties do not have cavity wall insulation and in our case are built directly onto the bed rock. We really need to make sure that dampness never becomes a problem and we really only have once chance to get this right.

If the wall is to remain as it is I will build an internal block skin which maintains an air gap for circulation purposes. Bearing in mind the 600mm thickness of the outside skin, Rockwool will not be necessary for insulation.

2600 I am also planning to make the windows this time. The Kity 2600 which gave me so many problems before is now (touch wood) running smoothly. I have got to hold my hands up though and admit, regardless of the time constraints, it would have been technically challenging for me to produce the standard that Thierry Paubert has with my limited knowledge and the tooling I have available for the Toupie (Router).

The plan is to have the bedrooms completed for Christmas so that Henry and Fleur can have some kind of consistency in their lives. We have got to give them so much credit for the way they remain so positive after all the upheaval in the last two years.

Moving to a new country, changing and settling into new schools and making new friends whilst being pushed from pillar to post and sleeping 'rough' has been a remarkable achievement.

Mind you, there is lot more comfort for them (and us) compared with last year. The kids spent all summer in a tent and Henners still managed to be top of the class.