Rain, rain, go away...
After Christmas, we all need to take time to relax, recover from all the eating of the festive period, and get used to the fact that we're in a new decade and a new year has begun. The days are short and as well as it being the rainy season, it's not easy to find free time in January, especially trying to find a clear day to work outside without being covered in mud! So, we worked where we could: in the house, planning our project and restoring furniture.
Magali was working in January at La Verriere as well as having LOTS of appointments, pretty much every afternoon, for our project. She had just finished organising my status for Auto Entrepreneur since I’m currently freelancing, and now she may have to do it for herself too! We need to be a bit vague here because it’s not yet confirmed exactly what we'll be doing but it seems that our Tiny House project will take a slightly different direction to what we were planning. I’ll let Magali explain more in a future post, but for now she needs to dive into an ocean of paperwork until it’s all confirmed!
I went to Germany for a few days to meet some of the team at Frontastic in person, it was really great, if not a little stressful thanks to the French protests which I involuntarily became a part of. They were on my metro in Paris and then we walked the same way down the street and I started panicking as I didn't know what would happen. Luckily, my panic was for no reason, nothing came to a head and it didn’t affect my travel, phew! Since I had to take the internet with me so that I could work on my train journeys, Magali was left in silence and without network at Le Boulay. So instead, she found our DVDs in the room of still packed boxes to keep her entertained. When I got home, we had our shiny new 4G box delivered and we could finally get proper internet! It’s a miracle!
We also went to Angers to the cinema to see Jojo Rabbit from Taika Waititi (it's soooo good, go and see it if you haven't already!), the cinema there (400 Coups) plays a lot of films in their original version with French subtitles so it's great for me! Magali also tried her hand at making some bread in our not so great oven, it only has two temperatures, lower than minimum or maximum. After living with it like that since October, we finally decided to buy a new one, my dream oven. It's what I've always called a "big fuck off oven". It's so wonderful, the first time I cooked dinner, I was smiling the whole time, it's ridiculous to be so happy over an oven but I really love it! We actually cannot wait to cook for our guests when booked!
We were invited by the commune of Le Bourg D’Iré for an evening with the new inhabitants of the town as that included us, and we had to introduce ourselves in front of everyone, slightly scary since I had to do it in French! But I did ok so I’m pretty proud of myself. As well as new inhabitants, each association also told us all what they do and what the plan is for this year, plus the prize for the houses with the best gardens and the best Christmas decorations. Hopefully we’ll be in the running for best garden next year! We were also invited by the Segré commune for another new inhabitants ceremony which included a breakfast at the town hall plus a guided tour of the city in a bus. Although we know Segré quite well, it was really nice and interesting to have seen it. They also gave us a goody bag of vouchers for the cinema, the swimming pool and the theatre, it was really nice of them!
There were a few nice days in January between storms and Magali started to prune the apple trees. It’s hard work and it’s taking a lot longer than she thought. She’s also added another few beds to our garden and prepared them for Spring. As well as planning out all of our beds for what will go where across our 15 beds that are six metres long and 1 metre wide as well as the two potato beds that are 10 metres long each. Magali has removed some of the younger trees that have started growing in not the best places and moved them to somewhere else in the property that will give them more space to grow as well as where they won’t fall on the house when they’re bigger. She’s also moved some of our bushes to start creating a hedge along the edge of the property.
Our woodworkers finally arrived to start installing our shutters and they’re really beautiful. I had managed to finish sanding and painting the shutter holders a few days before they arrived. We’re still waiting for them to come back and finish them, hopefully we’ll have them in before the next big storm!
At weekends and after I finish work, I try to find the time to restore some more of the old furniture in the garage. First up was Magali’s grandmother’s old bed, it had a massive headboard that wasn’t to our taste so we thought we’d just cut it. Luckily, I just had to cut the two sides of the frame and everything just slided out so it was really easy in the end! Then Magali filled the gap left and I sanded it all down to remove the varnish. We took it into the house where we could start painting, not really knowing what colours should go where and where to leave wood so we just started and decided as we went! I’m really happy with how it turned out, it really looks nothing like it did before and fits our style much more. We also sanded and painted a shelf so we could try and get a bit of organisation to our bedroom. Again, we didn’t really know what colours to do to start with and just made it up as we went, since it’s turned out so well too, I think we’ll stick to that way of painting!
Jean-Guy (Magali’s dad) finished installing our old lights in the dining room as well as another one which Véro and Christophe (thanks so much!) gave us which we’ve put in the bathroom where it really fits the style. Also, thanks to Michael (my brother) who gave us a lamp he made for Christmas last year and we’ve finally installed it in our bedroom! Now we just need the last light for the hallway, the two in the bathroom and one in the kitchen and we’re done with the lighting!
There’s still a lot to do in preparation for the arrival of the Tiny House and the next step of our project. We often say that we never have the time so we’re going to try and organise a Working Bee in the spring so if you’d like to help us, please let us know what dates you can help and we’ll organise some dates!
See you soon!