Oh my goodness the dirt! The kitchen took 5 days to clean, the fireplace alone took a whole day, and what came off the walls looked like black treacle. At one point the wall I was working on looked like a Jackson Pollack in shades of brown. It still looks grubby in parts but we know it’s clean and as it’s temporary that will do for now. Thank goodness for my trusty Polti – a steam machine to beat all steam machines – and magic sponges. The next thing to tackle was the bathroom equally disgusting and with the added complication of a re-enameled bath that even after steaming, magic sponges and sugar soap still looks terrible. The bedroom was slightly easier, the worst job was steaming the big armoires that we are keeping and using, at least for the time being.
The cats are terribly pleased that we are now staying in the house. They had it to themselves for the first week but now they have a bed to curl up on so all’s well. The horses have settled in well and although the field has very little grass they seem to be thriving on their pasture mix bulked up with ‘fibrissimo’ which was a good discovery.
We have managed to get a land-line, two mobiles, internet and French TV, all from Orange. It was really quite simple, we went to the shop in Cahors, with the obligatory ids, and paid 30 euros for an extra mobile sim; and we walked out with the mobiles, a TV box and an internet box. The mobiles worked immediately although it took us some time to sync apps and contacts – everything one doesn’t think about until a phone needs to be replaced We then had to wait until various text messages arrived after which internet and TV would work. This took a while but this week finally I had internet and could catch up with emails and all those techy things we now consider indispensable. The shocking thing is that internet speed here is supposed to be between 2 and 5mbps, in fact I have never reached 2 when have run a test. This is quite difficult to get used to having had almost 40mbps in London. But the good thing is that Orange customer service seems to be good, and the whole lot will cost a little over 100 euros per month. This cost includes unlimited internet and text plus free calls to French landlines and mobiles plus French TV. At least I can now get some of the bureaucratic backlog tidied up a bit.
A highlight of the week was that Jean-Luc came with the preliminary plans for converting the barn into two gîtes – holiday homes that we will let. I had previously sent him our ideas, by and large they all work with a few small changes. Each gîte will have two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and downstairs will be a large open plan living space with a well equipped kitchen and a downstairs bathroom. They will both have a terrace and access to a swimming pool. Now we have to discuss and see what changes, if any, we need to make to Jean-Luc’s plans before he draws up the detailed plans and elevations, he will return next week to discuss further. It does make it all seem real.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”How it all started” style=”custom” custom_background=”#deead0″ custom_text=”#666666″ link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tormantil.com%2F2017%2F01%2F10%2Fhow-it-all-started%2F|title:read%20how%20it%20all%20began…|”][/vc_column][/vc_row]