I am trying a new method of updating my Typepad blog using an email and I have just done a test post which will confuse you I am sure.
This method, providing the formatting and picture placement is correct will save lots of time to update because it means I just have to send an email from any computer.
Anyway, back to France. The roof and the jointing and the crepie of the chimney is now done, thank goodness. There is a very small leak still but I am sure that it is a little crack in a tile and just a matter of finding it. This will certainly need doing before the insulation is done and the plasterboard is pinned up.
I had a good clear out, it is surprising what debris and waste is accumulated during the work and it gets to the stage where you feel cluttered so a spring clean was in order.
The tobacco wires came down as well which took a while. They are everywhere. It must have been a huge activity and desperate source of income years back. Hopefully, next week I will advance the plasterboard and insert Henry's window. The aim is to get his bedroom completed so that he can have his space. It will mean he has to leave the house to go to bed but we will put an internal lock on the door for security and then he can grow up in privacy.
Talking of growing up. It makes you realise how quickly life passes by. We will complete three years since we left the UK in September and the difference in the children is tangible. Fleur was just six years old when we arrived which means that not including pre school playgroup that she has now been at French schools for nearly 75% of her school life.
Henners was ten and a half and continues to thrive on the challenge that is thrown at him. Having now gained a wide circle of friends he seems well at ease with the system and the move to Monflanquin College was without incident. In fact he is statistically 4th (he missed 3rd by a whisker) in his class of 25 and mind bogglingly he is 3rd in the class for French. Mind you, French grammar is just as hard for the French at college so being French does not necessarily mean you are going to be better.
From Donna and my perspective the whole adventure has been a real passionate challenge from some very low lows to some extremely high high's. Henry's illness the lowest followed by Donna's broken pelvis. These two events made the irritation of delays, bureaucracy and language inadequacies irrelevant.
The highs. There are many to mention but the biggest is making the break in the first place. I didn't personally want to look back in 20 years and say to myself, I wish I had......... Of course, building the pigeonnaire has been the single most rewarding task and also the speed in which we did it too. It took an awful lot out physically and mentally but I tend to need this kind of energy to get things done.
At present the bedrooms are the priority before taking a real break from building (apart from superficial tasks) and concentrate on a few projects that I have developed and evolved since we have been here. I hope to tell more shortly and highlight how the internet can help you start and run a business and assist others in projects wherever they are in the world. You do not have to be a techie, I am just an interested observer in computers and the net but it has opened opportunities for me. As I say I hope to add more to this shortly and hopefully, if it all goes to plan, inspire others by adding a dimension to their new life.
One other thing. Mark and I are going to start a mini enterprise so that we can sell our woodworking wares at weekend markets. Apart from some money we both feel it will give us a great social opportunity to meet lots of people and an outlet and incentive to produce, refine and develop the woodworking and hopefully mean we can upgrade and purchase new equipment with the income.
Donna has now made many friends and has found a little niche. Working, via the internet during the morning for an oil agency based in the UK she will either do housework, help me, ride or do patchwork which she is learning with two very good friends.
The aim is to make a quilt for Fleur. The joke is it wont be ready until Fleur is 18 but it is taking shape and very impressive it is too. Jan, one of the girls who is sowing with Donna is the wife of Mark so it dovetails well. It is spooky how similar all of our interests are, Mark and I with the woodwork and Donna and Jan with the riding and sowing. All of the individual segments in the squares in the picture are cut out and sewn together and then the squares will be sewn together to form a quilt.
The weather is turning warm again after what was a very sharp shock. Last week we hit 26 degrees and wall to wall sunshine all week. We had guests from Ireland who flew in to Bordeaux and the weather was stunning but sadly left with them and, just like the UK, we have had a very strong north wind coming from the Artic just to remind us that Mother Nature is still in charge.
The broadband saga continues and Tiscali have told us it will be another week at least. Heaven knows what the problem is but in this day and age I am shocked it will take two weeks to resolve! The application though has gone into Teleconnect. I am sure it will not mean we will be trouble free but at least I will understand fully what the English speaking help line is saying to me.