Une belle aventure

Our new life in 'Les Vosges'

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With a little help from our friends (again…)

I know, I know we do rely on our friends a lot but it’s all about exchanging services and what one can do that another one can’t. Matt had found a chimney insert. We now needed to tube the chimney and fit it. He is not great with heights so we were lucky when  ‘The Brothers’ offered to help. It obviously didn’t go as smoothly as planned as the chimney had a slight recess which stop the tubes from sliding down nicely. Still it is now in place and I am really glad as this room would be freezing without it.
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Matt has also restored this lovely box.


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Then S*** Happened…and the roof landed in the garden

Wednesday 16th September, a mini tornado made its way to our village. It gathered speed up the road and blasted the barn door, taking the roof out. It was pretty traumatic. It also rained for 2 days non stop (63 mm). Luckily our friends rallied round and helped us minimise any further damage from the weather.
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Views from above:
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After the initial relief of not being injured, the realisation of what had just happened was a little scary. A little tour around the garden and seeing all the destructions was heartbreaking. The fruit tree, our compost area, the swing, the washing line, the scare crow. I spend most of my time at the back of the house so it was a really sad sight. Luckily the vegetable patch was spared. We also had to get rid of all the ‘up cycling material’ from the barn. ;(
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Then it rained and rained and our moral was pretty low as dealing with the insurance prove challenging and there were loads of paperworks required. (in France, how surprising!?). So we had to try our best to keep the place dry and remove the water when the rain stopped.
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A couple of little improvements also in June

Old houses do suffer from poor drainage and it doesn’t help that the drain under our utility sink was just open. So finally the smell has gone. (except when it rains!?!) but still it is an improvement. 😉
We are also now able to properly lock and unlock our front door. We got fed up with the door locking itself up behind us when we closed it. It’s just lucky that there’s usually an other open door somewhere in the house.
We disposed of our old radiators. A couple went to the scrap yard and we got 12 euros for it. Yay. Our good friend Hubert got he other two. ‘hoarding are we?’….Hehe Matt finally got to have a peek inside ‘his Café’** when he took them there. And to be honest he was doing us a huge favour as without his help we couldn’t even move them out of the house. (** Matt used to dream of getting this Café until he saw the inside….)
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Matt’s Quad broke down so it was out of action for a little while, until he received the part and was able to repair it. In the meantime, Franky came to the rescue and lent him his ride on mower. I couldn’t help smiling and took a photo. The thought of him mowing the whole field on that was pretty funny. Luckily he was only doing a small section.
As this photo demonstrate, this month Matt has also improved his French. (I’d like that one, and that one, and that one….)
This is Matt the night before he went to Nancy with the school. A whole 10 hours day trip with 10 and 11 years old. That photo could have been taken the following day as well. Hahaha he was pretty shattered but had a great day and really got to improve his French by telling them off! When in Rome. 😉

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We needed a new door frame

When the builders made the doorway higher they obviously removed the door. So we needed to build something to replace the material. We have a lot of old oak beams laying around so we used some of them and have started to make ‘rustic’ looking door frames.
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Still a lot of work to do but we like how it’s going to look. Furthermore spending as little as possible is what this all project is all about. Upcycling and Repurposing all the way.

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The backroom’s make over has started

The first job was to take off the old wood flooring. Needless to say that it was the perfect job for ‘Wreck-It Randle’ and he loved it!!!
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Rhys also helped out.
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Striking some poses. 😉
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Just as well we’re planning a MASSIVE bonfire soon!
Then our happy chaps came back and did the floor. So we moved into one room for a few days. it almost felt like being back in the mobile home. lol
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The floor in the kitchen isn’t level and when we told them that it was okay, we’d got used to it and didn’t plan on getting it levelled, they looked at us in a strange way…Guess we are a little strange but we love this house because it is quirky so it’s a bit pointless rectifying all of its quirkiness!
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They also took out the beam above the window as it was…well just take a look…pretty rotten!
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The kids can now use that room as a play room. We’ve moved the ping pong table in it as well. So next the window, the walls and the ceiling, oh and also trying to remove this humongous radiator and taking it to the metal dealer….

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Once upon a time in April 2015

Matt regained his beloved garage, he just had to clear it first! lol
Removing those beams by himself took a little ingenuity and planning. Out into the garden they went.
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Our favourite builders (which are actually back next week) left us to clear the upstairs. Fair enough guys, we did agree we would do it. Still there were a rather large amount of stones to move….where to though? Well the back garden and as for the rubble, we decided to store it in one of those fantastic orange bags, to be used for hardcore in the floor for the back room.
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Matt also found Sputnik-1! 😉

Getting all the stones down ‘Randle’s style’! ….and another trip to the dump.
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The stones made their way to the back garden and then we had to think what to do with all of them, they found their place around the bath. Perfect!
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Both Saf and Rhys were ill. It is pretty cool though that we don’t have to argue and fight anymore as to who would take time off to look after them as we’re actually both here!

They both caught colds later on in the month, we introduced them to this. 😉
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We (well Matt) have started cutting our firewood and will be spending most of May there. Some trees have fallen in some really awkward places and Matt got told off (in a nice way) for not asking for help to move the trees up (as some are in a ditch). How are we to know! Next year can only be easier.
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Matt carried on a bit more with some painting.
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House-wise we carried on with a few jobs, besides the shower. Since we had installed the second electricity box for the hot water tank, we were also able to connect the radiator and add some plugs in Rhys’ bedroom. We actually finished off that room, all painted and floor treated. I must say that it’s a pretty good feeling to actually finish off a room completely. This also meant that we were able to move in…like the olden’ days…all in the same room. And so far it’s working out fine. 😉
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