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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And already April has been and gone, and we are nearly at the end of May. Hardly surprising that this year has been such a blur… with injury and loss and a lot of trips to the UK. And a few weeks ago we were in Frankfurt installing an exhibition stand for Moulinage du Solier, designed and built by 43 Media (Joe and Luke!) It was a triple treat, as Harry flew in from Uppsala to help with the installation, and Arty (straight off the plane from his Canadian adventure), came with Joe to take it all down again at the end of the week; and it was a triumphant week for our client and friend Pierre-Yves, with the stand performing like a dream! I was there all week on the stand.

If you didn’t catch my last blog, it’s been a difficult time – I lost my Mum in February and I felt I wanted to dedicate all my thoughts to her and her passing in my last entry… this one, however, is to get you up to speed with progress on the house.

As I’ve been gathering a few pics to share with you, I realise how much we’ve achieved along side all the other things we’ve been dealing with. I have to say it’s one of the great perks of writing the blog – just reminding ourselves of our progress! It’s too easy to see all the things we haven’t finished yet; in fact I have to admit there’s been more of that since we actually moved in. We were so longing to be living here, and I absolutely love being ‘home’, but it can make it complicated to attack the work when you’re sleeping, working, cooking, washing etc. in the very spaces you’re trying to finish!

We’ll get there!

Anyway, on with the show…

Big bathroom decisions

You may remember our ambitious plans for a sunken bathroom after we discovered the magnificent stone secret cellar under the backroom.

Well after much humming and ha-ing trying to make the space work, we came to the conclusion that despite having laid some foundations for the sunken option, we would give ourselves a much bigger, more practical bathroom if we kept it at the original level!

As soon as we made that decision, everything fell in to place, and it is fast turning into a really gorgeous space!

First Joe laid the floor, with Luke’s help, during one of my trips to the UK:

Covering the cellar again – lots of underfloor plumbing space though!
A trapdoor for access down under!
New position for the loo
We tried our hands at re-pointing either side of the arch -getting the old mortar out, then using lime mortar in the joints…
… then sanding and brushing.
And finally white vinegar on the stone to get rid of excess mortar.
Very pleased with the result!
Funky new shower head and on-show copper pipes!
Natural plastering by Joe in the arch where we look out the old cupboard
The shower surround…
The beautifully crafted basin unit built by Joe
A coat of plaster…
coming along…
We have water! (Cheeky little bit of tiling behind!)
Arty transforming the bathroom – we love this Laguna colour (same as the upstairs bathroom)
Free-standing bath!
Ooh can’t wait to have a soak in here!

And our bedroom…

We’ve spent the last few months sleeping upstairs, first in Arty’s room, and then in Beth’s when Arty came home from Canada. It’s been really lovely sleeping upstairs, with the bathroom so close (instead of two floors away!). We’ve been up there while we had our bedroom downstairs professionally plastered. This was something we decided to treat ourselves to, and we are so glad that we did!

The Sunday after Arty got back, we got the floor finished in our bedroom – we’ve gone for wooden floorboards like we’ve got upstairs. Local trees!

Floor down!

So now we are actually able to decorate our little ‘suite’ of bedroom, kitchen and bathroom before moving ourselves back down there, and cracking on with the rest of the house.

We loved spending the dark and snowy winter in there with our real fire… it was so cosy, and we are so excited about actually finishing such a precious part of the house and experiencing summer in there!

We cut down some trees…

We’ve not had the best of Springs weather-wise – but the other day, we took advantage of a gorgeous Sunday to take down a few trees with Luke before we level the ground for our parking area.

It was an amazing day – we all stayed safe, and were fairly ambitious in what we tackled! We were all exhausted by the end of the day!

Before we began…
All done…
And a well-earned aperitif – cheers!

Next time I write, we’ll be sleeping back downstairs for sure!

Thanks for reading – I’m going to get this up now, before another month passes!

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  1. Fran├žoise says:

    Fantastic blog. You make the building of this house a real saga. You have inherited your mum’s talent for writing.
    Looking forward to the next step. Hugs

  2. Manny says:

    Thanks Fran├žoise! xxx

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