Abridged Too Far: Robert's Diary from
La BEHORAIS, 2002

Episode 4me: Novembre 2002

Vendredi

1

All Hallows Day - public holiday today, the cemeteries look wonderful as it is the day of the dead and everybody buys chrysanthemum for the graves. Spent most of the day planning how to divide up no. 3 for bathroom and kitchen.

Samedi

2

Went to Anger to buy bathroom sanitary ware.

Dimanche

3

Housework and washing day.

Lundi

4

Rain forecast so Allen didn't carry on with plastering outside. Sod's law - ended up as a beautiful day.

Mardi

5

Pissed down during the night, showed still some problems with the roof, which found me on it again: attempt number god knows what.

Mercredi

6

Heavy rain again this morning, very glad to say roof is 98% leak proof, this is the best I can hope for till no. 2 is re-roofed.

Jeudi

7

Started 2nd fixing electrics and plumbing kitchen no. 1, had to go to C'briant to buy materials. This is the one thing that could make me give up on France, I had to go to 5 different suppliers to buy the most basic bits, nobody holds any basic stock.

Vendredi

8

Kitchen and bedroom in the extension no. 1 plaster boarding finished.
Started to replace guttering no. 1 front roof, this is real fun as the traditional guttering - still used today - is zinc sheet which you bend yourself, cut holes for the down pipe and solder up; my GPO apprenticeship is coming into use as I was taught to solder lead cables, not making a bad job of it, the French are impressed as they call in an expert.
Had a phone call from my Sister Margaret tonight to say Mum has been taken into Hospital with a blood clot in her leg, will know more tomorrow.

Samedi

9

Started putting up the ironwork for the bathroom in no. 3. Looked easy when I watched Allen doing it in no. 1, but it's not.
Polly has the severe arse ache as she is now used to using the litter tray all the time to save the inconvenience of going out, this was moved during erection of ironwork and I just caught her about to have a piss in my tray of walnuts which are drying out, so she was shouted at and toed out the door.

Dimanche

10

Finished off steel work in no. 3, ready for false ceiling.
Cleaned house etc.
P seems to have got message, as she is now asking to go out when nature calls.

Lundi

11

Armistice day public holiday. Got to C'briant War Memorial at 10.45am but as we are En France they finally got the act together at 11.30.
If you have seen any films depicting a French brass band they are portrayed as a motley bunch, well it's true, the band leading the parade were all shapes and sizes, caps at all angles, some not shaved, some tunics had been slept in, other had at least 4 meals on them, and one particular rotund bandsman had his fly open, the music was par with the appearance, they even cocked up the Marseillaise.
The rest of the dignitaries were very smart in uniforms, but more intent on jostling for prime position, not what I expected, the upbeat side was how many people attended with their kids, and a lot of kids turned up on their own.

Got back to Rouge just after 1 and had a couple of beers; met up with Pascal and Michelle who came back to moi maison pour a couple of beers. A good day.

Mardi

12

P out all night, dead mouse outside door for me this morning, the girl is getting her act together.
Nice start to the bay but heavy rain forecast later, so no rendering, Allan has started to build the bedroom and bathroom in the passage no. 1. I finished putting in the wall boxes for sockets in the kitchen no. 1.
Finished guttering repairs which were well tested as heavy water fell while I was working, drowned rat finished early, to partake in a brandy or several to ward off ailment brought on by inclement conditions.

Mercredi

13

Went to Rennes on a large material buying session, filled VW and spent an alarming amount.

Jeudi

14

A fine day with only a slight shower started putting in electrics for bathroom and kitchen no. 3.
GOOD NEWS Mum is out of Hospital and back at home, Polly had extra food and me extra wine to celebrate.

Vendredi

15

As Allen will be building the 2nd bedroom and shower room no. 1 next week and we will not have access through the passage way we have had 8 ton of gravel delivered, which we have barrowed round the back of no. 1 and the front of no. 3 for a parking area, and a 30m path down to my barn.
I am knackered, but it is surprising how much smarter the place now looks.
Approving looks from the French neighbours.

Samedi

16

Working today, finishing off electrics no. 3.

Dimanche

17

Working today, put in cold water supply for new bathroom no. 3.
Finished early at 3pm to cook my first roast beef lunch since arriving on these shores.
This piece of beef had introduced itself in Hyper U "Bonjour Robert pourquoi vous terk moi a la maison et manger moi", which I did and it was bloody marvellous.

Lundi

18

Put in the hot water supply no. 3, Allen finished rendering the extension; things are starting to look like a home at no. 1.
Tested hot and cold water supplies before they are hidden under the ceiling - no leaks.
Polly was so excited she threw up all over the place, fur ball ye know.

Mardi

19

Installed trunking for extractor fan and finished off putting in services for bathroom no. 3. Allen has built back wall no. 1 bathroom.

Mercredi

20

Window in back wall fitted no. 1, thank God, as it has been cold sitting on the bog. Have had the wonderful job of putting the Rock wall insulation up in the ceiling no. 3.

Jeudi

21

Allen and me have put up the ceiling in no. 3, also the steel work for the walls, am very pleased as it is as per my design and it's working which does not always happen with my cunning plans. However no. 3 is wrecked, covered with bits of glass fibre and plaster board dust, even the butter has a white covering, do we care?
Non, not after a bottle of expensive plonk, 1.20 thisssh oner.

Vendredi

22

Allen has started to build the wall in the ex-passage way no. 1.
I have put up the outside plasterboard for the bathroom no 3.
This afternoon took time out to go with large suitcase to laundrette as had 2 weeks washing and no clean clothes, also did shopping as P was the only one that had food left.
Polly has always slept on or in the bed with me since she came to me, even in the caravan over here, but as soon as we moved into no. 3 she stopped, until yesterday when the bed was moved into the area where I have plaster boarded a ceiling, now she is back on the pillow next to me.
I'd love to know the mind of a Chat.

Samedi

23

With the help of neighbour Pierre, removed the old Aga and took it to the dump, so cleaned, washed polished no. 3.
P hid in the bed in case she was included.
Went out to Alan's 55th birthday piss up at TPU bar Rouge.

Dimanche

24

Washed and polished myself as have been invited to lunch by my French neighbours, am I accepted?
A very nice 4-hour lunch.

Lundi

25

Alan has not turned up today; I suspect a recovery job from his 55th birthday.
I have carried on with the electrics and plumbing no. 3.

THE CIDRE TRACTOR TURNED UP AT LUNCHTIME, this is an amazing piece of kit that goes from small holding to farm to anybody that has sufficient apples to make a few 100 litres of cider.
It is tractor with trailer that has a pulping machine and a press, plus a pump to fill the casks.
I was amazed how few rotting apples it took to fill an approx. 18 gallon cask.
I look forward to next spring to drink it as quite a few apples were from my trees and have been promised an 18 gallon job - this diary may not appear in the spring!

Mardi

26

A still recovering 55-year-old Alan turned up this morning and had a very good day building the dividing wall, bathroom/bedroom no. 1.
Me still plumbing no. 3.
Went round for a few drinks to Riggette's this evening as they are off to Paris for a week in the morning.
Polly not well she has thrown up twice tonight once on the bed and once on the carpet, I am not well after cleaning that lot up.
I would like to point out to readers and re-iterate to Polly that I have 50 sq metre or tiled floor and 3 sq m of carpet:
think hard mon chat.

Mercredi

27

Polly seems fine this morning - thank the Lord, Alan building bedroom no. 1,
I have new lights everywhere no. 3.

Jeudi

28

Alan building bedroom no. 1, I have built wall of bathroom no. 3.
Took afternoon off to do the weekly shop and go to look at cookers for no. 3, saw a lot of cookers but not impressed with the prices, bumped into Terry and his wife/partner?
He is a Brum club steward who has a place over here.
Went to Hyper U to do shopping at about 4 and was accosted by Terry and partner, Jeff and wife, who were at the bar - I should explain that the French do not like to be separated from alcohol for too long, so most of the big supermarkets have a bar.
I managed a quick dash from the bar to do my shopping about 7 as they close at 7.30 and went back to my friends at the bar for the last drink.
But oh no! We had a lock in, in the bar till 11pm
The whole supermarket is closed, the security guards are on the piss with us, and would not have cared if we had done a moonlight shop, I love it - and guess what, you get the points on your bar bill:
bollocks, Tesco.

Vendredi

29

For some strange reason I was late up this morning.
Alan is finishing today as my budget is at the limit, most of the work is completed, but I have a lot more finishing off than I had hoped for.
I have been fitting new locks on no. 1 to make things secure.

Samedi

30

Did the washing as I didn't make the laundrette on Thursday.
Went over to Terry the Brum at Soudan about 15km away as he said I could have a Cooker he is not using, have said I will collect on Monday and give him a hand to rip out his old kitchen.

Dimanche

1
Decembre

Carried on with building bathroom no 3, things not going well today so gave up and cooked my lamb chop and had 2 bottles of wine.
End of month 4 still no regrets, needless to say things going slower than I hoped, and euros quicker than I hoped.
Am now on plan 273B which is I concentrate all my efforts on no. 3, and God willing will have this finished by Christmas.
I shall then resume work on no. 1 and with luck will have 1 room to live in plus a bathroom and kitchen, then I can let out no. 3 to holiday couple.
It will not bring in as much as I hoped but it's still euros, I can then finish no. 1 during the Summer.
As this is the last diary before Nol I wish my family, friends and anybody else who reads this crap a Happy Christmas.



Page maintained by Stephen Clarke, stephen.clarke@ukonline.co.uk. Copyright(c) . Created: 14/09/2002 Updated: 09/03/2003