Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Once again, brilliant totals!

Great totals again; thanks to each and every one of you!

Well, long time no post on here from me, apart from the Knit Totals update - life has been exceedingly busy with house renovating, a bit of crochet, and a lot of work, but I will spend time today and tomorrow posting photos of the work on the house so far, and the squares I've been making.

Until then, I hope you are all having good days!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Fantastic totals again!

Have just posted this week's update - thank you all for your great totals! 

For anyone who would like to join us, please click here -  it will take you to the current year's thread of the  online charity-knitting group that was founded in March 2008.  We are now in our third yearPlease join - you will receive a warm welcome from this lovely group!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Getting plastered!

Well, the renovating work on this house goes on at a cracking pace - all the plastering in the front hall has now been done; we just need to apply the 'chaux' to the stone walls that we have left exposed. You'll see two niches in one of the stone walls; we'll just clean them up and keep them as they are, rather than cover them up. They will be great with perhaps some candles in them.

This is the longest wall in the hall.  The plaster is here is not the same as in the UK. For a start, it goes on white and stays white when it dries, making it easier to paint. Another difference is that you can choose the drying time.  The one we've used here dries in an hour - you have to plaster fast to use it all up in time!  In this photo, you can see the two niches I mentioned earlier.  They are both very odd shapes but then so is this house!

This photo shows the door into what will one day be the proper sitting room - behind that door is a massive room that needs a lot of attention (and money) spending on it - a major project for another time!  The alcove in the photo is a strange shape but we've just gone with the flow - the walls are thick granite so there's not much that can be done to make it straight.  We've rough-plastered it and have yet to decide what to do with it - I fancy a statue but dear Husband thinks that will be a bit too much for a farmhouse!  Maybe we'll put some shelves in it.

This was a ledge that we couldn't do away with, so dear Husband found a lovely piece of timber which he turned into a shelf, and stained and polished.  The wall below will be left exposed and 'chauxed' - the doorway leads into the kitchen - the room that will be the next project once the hall is finished!

This house really is a work-in-progress - I shall be SO glad when it's finally finished!

The big storm took me out!

The Saturday before the one before  last we had the big Atlantic storm that had been predicted, so we battened down all the hatches and sat - or rather slept - it out.  The wind had been threatening all day and, by 8pm, was in full swing and lasted until around 8am the next morning.  The noise was horrendous but we still managed to get a good night's sleep - we just hoped that the roof would still be there the next day!  Our bedroom is right up in the eaves so we felt very close to nature!

The next morning, I tentatively opened the shutters expecting to see a felled forest of trees on neighbouring farmland but we had escaped lightly.  Only two trees on the farm had completely fallen, and our very elderly willow tree had lost about half its branches - these were blocking the entrance to the barn where we keep our cars so I spent a rainy morning picking them all up so that we could get the cars out.

The neighbouring department - the Vendee - had really taken a hammering. The sea breached the defences catching many poor people off their guard and some, sadly, lost their lives.  I hope they are managing to pick up the pieces.

The storm took out the phone and, by default, my connection to the internet.  By Wednesday, having used a friend's phone to call France Telecom, the phone was restored, but I couldn't get back online.  I phoned Orange, my IP, and several people tried to get my connection back.  The assured me that the line was working so the suggested that I buy a new LAN cable.  The only one I could find was a metre shorter than the old one - this meant moving the entire room around to get the computer closer to the point. The new cable didn't do the trick, so it was suggested I try the line on a different computer.  Luckily, I have a very ancient one so I tested it on that, and that didn't work.  I phoned Orange yet again and they said the Livebox (which connects me to the internet) must be at fault.  They gave me a code and told me to take the old Livebox back to our local Orange shop and ask for an exchange.  I did this within half an hour, came home with the new one and, after a fraught couple of hours (the air was blue, I can tell you!), managed to get back online.  The only problem now was that I kept losing the connection. As promised, Orange called me back the following day to see how I was getting on, and they said the fault must lie with my computer.  As it was fine before the storm, and I had disconnected it when I knew the storm was coming, I wasn't convinced.  In the end, I unplugged all the connections to the Livebox, pressed a few buttons on it, and I have been back in the land of the living ever since.  Having been incommunicado from Sunday to Friday, it felt good to be back!

During all this, dear Husband just carried on plastering. The PC world baffles him somewhat so there wasn't much he could do to help apart from keep the kettle boiling!

He has been working on the front hall