Manny's Blog

Sharing our French adventure as we live and work and renovate our forever home in the Haute Loire.
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Just a quickie, as I had so much catching up to do last time – I’d decided to be a bit more disciplined! Ha ha …. and now it’s November!

The Office takes shape

We’re moving on apace with the electrical installation and the plasterboard frames – Having used wood for all the stud walls in the rest of the house, we decided to try using the metal frames that the French use – (having watched our plastering guys use them in our bedroom at the beginning of the year) – they’ve gone up a treat. The layout feels lovely – I can’t wait to be working down there. Starting with a complete blank canvas has been so exciting. Like Joe with his workshop, we’ve been able to plan exactly what we want where.

First job was to move the beam supporting the floor upstairs in the studio, along with the two pillars supporting it – to create the space for the new ‘conference/teaching’ room.
To the right, the frame for the shower room and loo
running cables – and you can see the new position of the beam and pillars

In the teaching room there’ll be a sink, and coffee and tea station, with a sofa bed next to it. Along with a big table, and fitted cupboards to hide all my mess!

Can’t wait to have the new outside door in here – you can see the light coming in from under the old one we used for the workshop… draughty!!
Office electrics – need to be well thought through… luckily we have the right man for the job!

Plumbing… our favourite!

Copper for all the visible pipes –
Laying out the shower-room
In the doorway to the teaching room
Cables in place; first stage radiator plumbing completed… next stop – insulation and plasterboard!

Meanwhile …

While Joe has been grafting downstairs on the office, my mission has been to get the jointing and pasting finished in the sitting room. We’ve cleared the space for me to really crack on, and set up a temporary cosy sitting room and temporary office space for Joe.

Meals on laps for a bit!
Temporary sitting room – works a treat!
Quite tough on the neck, all this ceiling work!
Big old ceiling area!
Getting there!!
Nearly time for the undercoat!

The Kitchen finds its heart…

We’ve found and installed a second-hand cooker bought from the most lovely woman … it is ten years old, and has been immaculately looked after… and it is perfect! Some may remember the Aga saga, and the huge disappointment we felt when the Aga didn’t work out (you’ll have to check out the link, and scroll to the end, if you want to be reminded of the full story !) We thought long and hard about it, and now that we have our wood-burning hot water and central heating system, which means we chop and feed the boiler daily (in Autumn, Winter and Spring), we decided that what we really wanted for the kitchen was a low-maintenance electric oven with gas hobs… big enough to cook big family meals and Christmas dinners!! So the days of cooking on the little three-ring gas cooker from the bus are over! I made a chicken pie the other night, and Joe said it was the best meal he had ever eaten!!

It’s quite an emotional landmark to be honest, to have the ‘heart’ of the kitchen in place…and we couldn’t be happier with it!

That’s carrot soup on the hob, jacket potatoes and chicken pie in the oven, and rather surprisingly a vat of mulled wine I seem to have made today!

So I’ll get this up quickly, and keep you up to date with our progress as the nights close in, and the snow is on its way apparently! It’s certainly getting chillier! As always – Thank you for reading our tale!

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