• Catherine

Work, work, work

So we went to France for a bit of a holiday, mainly to visit Magali's nieces, but also to do a bit of work on the house.

On Tuesday, we met Anna from Aquatiris who needed to stay a few hours to do all her readings, measurements and everything else in preparation to install the natural assainissement. Magali and I stayed to do a bit of work. I mainly wanted to remove the weeds from the building we cleared out in May. We worked for a couple of hours and then left for the day.

The building we had cleared had grown a few weeds... So we removed them...

We returned on Wednesday evening and got to work straight away. We started by clearing the wood and wood dust from an area in the barn that we had started to clear in May. We didn't really know what to do with it, but as luck would have it, Magali’s Uncle Hubert (and our neighbour) stopped by and said he would take it as he needs to use it but hadn’t had a chance to collect it. So we filled up loads of containers and wheelbarrows with it and he took it home. Once we had finished clearing and sweeping, it was time for dinner.

I didn't take a before picture but imagine wood dust and twigs at least 30cm high and you can't see the floor at all...

We woke early the next day as we knew we had a lot to do. Our plan was to focus on the garden in front of the house so we got to work clearing weeds, cutting bushes and getting accustomed to the French countryside wildlife (so many weird slugs and bugs!!). We spent the whole day on one side of the garden, unveiling a lovely slate bench that had been long forgotten by the family and also finding 96 terracotta pots (not including the broken ones)!

Before... After...

Before... After...

Before... After...

Before... After...

Hubert had invited us for lunch that day so we went and it was lovely. He's also our town mayor so was getting us up to speed on the happenings of the town and mentioned there was a meeting that evening at the town hall. We decided to go as what he had been telling us didn’t sound great. Recently an American couple had purchased the Chateau (which is badly in need of renovations) and were willing to put 5 million euros into the project. The town was also starting a wind turbine project to have a sustainable energy source. As the wind turbines would be in the view of the Chateau (3km away), the Americans said they would pull their renovation project if the wind turbine project went ahead. They rallied up some of the townspeople who held similar views (or swayed them to their side) and they made the Council debate the project. In the meeting in the evening, Mayor Boultoureau had weighed up his options and as the renovation project would benefit the townspeople more he had to stop the wind turbine project. I was quite upset by this as I thought by going to a village, corruption and blackmail would not be so evident as it is in London. Boy, was I wrong. After the meeting, the Americans invited everyone who attended to go to the Chateau and see the view as well as taking apero. I couldn’t in good conscience go as I felt so hypocritical and did not want to take anything from them. I would’ve loved to have seen the Chateau but not at that cost. Later that evening, Hubert came to the house and we talked about it, he made me feel better about it but I can still not condone using money (or threat of taking money away) to get what you want. Rant over.

The next day, we got to work on the side garden of the house, redoing some of the work from May and just making it look a bit tidier. By 10am, it was starting to get very hot under the sun so we went into the house to start clearing out some of the rooms. They’re mainly filled with furniture, but there was a lot of mementos and history in the boxes that sometimes is very hard to throw away. It’s like we’re erasing someone’s life. We did keep a lot, mainly books, photos, old games, as well as some of the Uncle’s school books (some of their grades were not the best!!). Once one room was done and a bit tidier, we went onto the next room. Not only finding a few treasures but also a mouse’s house. We hoped he still wasn’t in there but once I took his house in the rubbish bag outside (just in case), I heard him run out and into the garden! I hope he won’t try and come back into our house…

Before... After...

We were very happy with what we’d accomplished in basically two days and as always wanted to work even more. We’ve already bought some paint for next time, so we can start working on some of the furniture to hopefully given them new life. Luckily, we only have to wait two weeks before we can get started!


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Le Boulay 2

Le Bourg D'Iré

Segré en Anjou Bleu

49520, France

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