EEC 21, 9th August 2005

I'm still working on the house, as I will be for a while. The first picture shows the satellite dish, viewed from the entrance to my property. Not very pretty. The second picture is after I moved it to back of the house, you can see where I've started to run the cable up the wall. Much better.


The cable continues to the far back corner of the house, hidden under the wood surrounding under the overhang of the roof. The picture shows the (almost) finished wood surround above the workshop with the dish . Now all it needs here is for everything to be rendered, which will cover the grey blocks which I put in, but it wasn't me who did the wavy bricks the other side of the window!

I also finished making the reinforced concrete column to replace the rotten wooden one in the middle of the end wall.

I took the cat to the vet for her sterilisation appointment. She's taken to staying indoors at night so I was able to catch her. When I brought her back after the surgery she ran out of the house. The vet told me she should stay indoors for a day so I tried to catch her but fell over in the chase and oh wow! did my leg hurt! I saw Andre and called him over. Patrick, his son, together with Andre's nephew, tried to carry me back home but the pain was too great, they eventually had to put me in one of my plastic garden chairs and carry that.

I spend the next 3 days watching television, finding it difficult to move. Andre lent me a crutch which was a great help. I'd pulled a tendon in my thigh which after 10 days is still a touch painful from time to time but otherwise is pretty well repaired.

Then I worked some more on the front of the workshop going up and down the steps very gingerly. The wood that was here before was pretty well rotten, the picture shows the front more or less finished, and the new under roof surround nearly done. It's just possible to see the beams I am covering.

The surround is actually now finished, 3 more jobs to do here. First is to replace the door, I've just ordered a new one, mostly glass, to match the front door, the old one is solid wood and doesn't let in any light. At 400 Euros ($500) the price was a bit of an "ouch" but as well as wanting it to be right I want the house to look right. The other 2 jobs here are to render up the brickwork then to paint all the rendered surface deep yellow to match the colour of the of the other houses around about.

Eleanor and Johan called in on their way from Corsica to Johan's family holiday house near Bordeaux. Nice to see Eleanor again but I could have done without seeing the squashed front of my car where she had hit a bridge. Put her foot on the accelerator instead of the brake she said. Looks like it will be a bit of a fiddle to get it all working again.

I've taken Little Cat 2 back to the vet for the sterilisation stitches to be taken out, I took the opportunity to have her given a couple of vaccinations. She's turning out to be a super little cat. Gentle, a little timid maybe, she disappears if there is anyone else around, but she loves being stroked, spends long periods sitting in the garden watching me, and has taken to spending part of the night sleeping on my bed! She still seems to much appreciate the novelty of being secure in the house and makes a point of fussing around before she heads off to sample the food I've put out for her.

Today 9th August was crunch day for my garage planning application. If I haven't received a reply by today then I have permission to build, by default. I haven't had a reply so tomorrow I'll phone the planning people to make absolutely sure that by starting I'm not breaking any laws.

Both Andre and Jean Paul have helped me with advice about the foundations for the garage, Daniel Bron had already given me suggested drawings for the foundations and floor. Trouble is I don't really know much about building anything, I can manage with woodwork but that's about it. I did remind Christian Cabiran from the village that he had promised to give me a quote for the roof and he promised again to call by this week.

So I need to check I have planning permission. Then I have a few questions to resolve about the foundations. Then I need to check if Andre's cousin can come in right now with his digger, I know his firm is officially on holiday during August.

Best regards

David Barker
Mirande, France

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