Well, it’s been a while since my last post.

We did get another number plate made up and I riveted it in place as required by French law. The trailer was put to immediate use; we went to Brico Depot near Bourges and bought three pvc double-glazed windows, a pvc double-glazed front door, and a wooden door. The wooden door is for the kitchen; the problem is that the existing door is far from a standard size. (Actually none of the door and window openings here are standard. Well, I suppose they were standard in 1850-something when the house was built, but that doesn’t help when buying modern doors or windows!)

So rather than chopping out the lintel and installing a new one, I’ve figured that the easiest fix is to cut a piece off the bottom of a new door. So I’ve made a start with that – at least the radial arm saw will get a bit more use!

We’ve also ordered a borehole pump, our dry toilet, and a wood-burning boiler stove. These things should arrive next week.

Speaking of the dry toilet, it’s quite amusing – next to the workshop is another small double outbuilding, one half of which we’ve been using to chuck in all the scrap metal we find, with a view to taking it all to a scrap metal dealer and getting some cash for it. The other half of the building has a wooden door, and a slot for a window. Up to now, I’d just peered in through the slot but never actually entered the room. All that I saw in the gloom was a rotten plastic chair and some barbed wire on reels. Well, a couple of days ago I decided to add the barbed wire to the scrap metal pile, so prised open the wooden door and went inside. Immediately I was cursing, because I’d banged my head rather hard on the lintel. The doorway is only about 4′ high. Mopping up the blood with my handkerchief, I went inside again, this time bent double. I proceeded to clear the room of rubbish. Then I made THE DISCOVERY!

No, not a pot of gold under the two ceramic toilet bowls resting in one corner. But the room has A CONCRETE FLOOR! It is in fact the best floor in the entire building complex. So this will be the room in which the dry toilet is installed, until such time as we can cast a proper floor in the barn. No more wearing a raincoat to go to the loo!

Unfortunately I had to kill a viper two days ago. The cat was displaying her usual interest in something moving, asking her usual question “Oooh, it moves. Can I eat it?”

Fortunately LSS spotted that it was not an ordinary lizard, but something with a much longer tail. The cat was rapidly removed to the kitchen whilst I dealt with the snake. I didn’t like despatching it – after all, they are useful in keeping down the population of rodents etc. but we just can’t take any chances with the cat. As you’ll no doubt have read from previous posts, she already had a punctured eye from (we presume) a bramble thorn after having been (we presume) chased by a fox. She’s recovered fine but one of her pupils does not close as much as the other, so she looks a bit like David Bowie.

We also now have our freezer installed so have been able to have some ice cream!

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