Despite getting to bed in the small hours, we got up early to empty the car. Then we did a bit of food shopping in the closest large town, Lamotte Beuvron.

It was now time to visit our new residence. The plan is that when all our furniture arrives, it will be stored in the barn until such time as we have renovated the existing rooms. Ah, yes, but that means the barn needs to be empty first!
Unfortunately the aged FIL is a hoarder. Nothing (absolutely nothing) gets thrown away. We decide that one of the outbuildings (seems to have been a rabbit pen at one stage) will be used for all the scrap metal. Another outbuilding (was the residence of a very surprised barn owl) will house all the bits of wood until such time as we can decide what to do with it all.

Underneath the pile of junk lurked something large and heavy-looking. It was a horse-drawn cart. LSS and I managed to drag it out of the barn without dismantling too many walls on the way, and parked it next to a field. Maybe we’ll sell it on Ebay. “Offered for auction: horse-drawn cart. One previous lady owner. Genuine French woodworm supplied free of charge.” Or maybe not. It may just fall apart on its own.

With the barn finally empty we level the dirt floor, filling in the larger rabbit holes, and cover the soil with a couple of large tarpaulins, ready for our furniture which is due to arrive next Tuesday.

Upon returning to the aged FIL’s house, I spied a couple of old bathtubs in a field. They had originally been used for watering cattle. We took a closer look and managed to find one in fairly good condition. We cleaned off the worst of the rust and set it up in the middle of the garden. LSS whittled a bathplug out of a large cork and voila – an open-air bathroom! We heated some water on the gas stove and managed to rinse off all the woodworm dust.

LSS had the brilliant idea of taking a photograph of me enjoying a bath au naturel in more ways than one; fortunately the camera battery had gone flat.

Some slight improvements are needed here; we need a bit more water! The bath is emptied by the simple expedient of turning it on its side – oh, weren’t the earthworms surprised! We then added about 20 litres of water to the tub; it will be left in the sunshine all day tomorrow to warm up.

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