So that’s it. We now have an indoor bathroom which is not a kitchen. I spent the past week sweating copper pipes (technical term meaning joining copper pipes together with solder). One advantage to doing things yourself is that you can install things the way you like them. In this case, it means that every water outlet is fitted with a stop tap. Unlike our house in Reading, where if you had a leaking sink tap, you had to switch off the entire house supply at the mains. With the installation here, if there is a leaky sink tap, you can just isolate that tap to change the washer; the rest of the house is unaffected. Speaking of taps, we actually chose a kitchen sink mixer tap for the bath. We didn’t want two separate taps for hot and cold water, and in France all the bath taps we looked at had a shower-head attachment. Because we have a separate shower, we didn’t need this combination facility. But it does the job, and actually looks quite good.

Of course there were a couple of minor leaks when I turned the water supply on again, but these were easily fixed. And there was a slight leak from the bath waste pipe, which was cured with the application of a smear of silicone sealant.

Due to the completely overcast weather on Wednesday, we had to light the boiler stove; but the rest of the time we have been using solar-heated water. Today it’s cloudy again.

This week I also broke through the end wall of the corridor, so we can now enter the barn without having to go outside or through the bedroom. Cat was very surprised to find an opening instead of a solid wall, and lost no time in inspecting my workmanship. Obviously it’s unlikely that the barn will be fully insulated by this winter, so I therefore installed a temporary door by reusing the old kitchen door which we removed when we first moved in. I had to construct a new doorframe though, so I made this out of pallet wood. Hopefully by this time next year this door will be replaced with an archway.

We have not seen the ducks for a week now, although we did notice a scattering of feathers at the back of the pond. We suspect there may have been a fox passing through. We have seen a couple of hares running around in the field opposite the house, so I think it’s unlikely that the fox is resident nearby. We were also surprised to see a female pheasant strutting about on the farmhouse roof this morning. It’s the first time I’ve seen a pheasant on a roof. The hens were all clustered together at their gate, watching. They weren’t too sure whether this bird was a threat or not. Or maybe they were thinking, “Ooh, isn’t she high up! I wonder how we can get up there?”

The garage at the aged FIL is now built, with the entrance correctly orientated. Well, I say built. The walls are up. They’re now waiting for the roofer to install the roof timbers.

And finally, there’s less than a week to go before my sister arrives. We’re looking forward to it – so I suspect this will be my last blog post for a while.

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