Renovating a house in France can be a never ending job

Written by on July 17, 2017 in Blog, My French Life

More than a decade after buying this old farmhouse to renovate in France, I was starting to think that at long last it may one day be finished.

We (that is Mark my husband and me), were sort of feeling as if we were on the home run with just one last shed to renovate and the outside of the house to make pretty. But then the fence in the front garden fell down and took priority on the “do it now” list.

One problem with living in rural France is open gates – it’s like a red rag to a bull. Literally. Cows often escape from fields and barns in these parts and after the last time one got into the garden and ate my entire vegetable plot, I wasn’t keen for a repeat performance.

We downed tools on the shed job, and swerved to dig out huge holes to lay concrete for new fence posts. Mark decided that it would also be a good idea to lay a gravel path to replace the muddy walk to the house. We bought 20 tons of llittle brown stones called gravillon.

I like to help as much as I can so whilst Mark was shovelling the gravel out of the enormous two ton sacks it gets delivered in, I tried to figure out how to be useful. You would think by now, after so many years of being the go-fer (go fer this and go fer that) that I would be used to being practical and savvy. Well, you’d be wrong. As Mark bent, filled his shovel and threw the gravel onto the drive way to be. I bent down to pull the sack open wider, and thwack – got a shovel in the side of my head.

Luckily Mark just caught sight of me out of the corner of his eye and only managed a glancing hit. He thought it was hilarious that I could be so stupid and to be honest it didn’t hurt that much. It was only when I put my hand up to find blood from a small cut that I started crying. I think it was probably more from shock, the thought that if Mark hadn’t been so quick I might have lost an eye. Most people probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid (groan) at my little cut and black eye but I don’t do pain and I have a vivid imagination.

Needless to say, I moved away from open-the-sack duty and onto something less dangerous.

In the meantime the electrics in the house decided they wanted attention too, so that’s the next job. And then perhaps we’ll get back to the renovating the shed, making the shutters, painting the walls, planting the hedges and… did I say we were almost finished?

Read the story of my journey to rural bliss in France in “My Good Life in France” by Janine Marsh, available from Amazon and good book shops everywhere!

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