April Blog – Hangar Conversion


In March Robert had contacted ‘Orange’ to have our Internet and Phone connected over the next couple of months. On April 3rd we received notice from Orange that they were coming in the next few days to inspect the site. We expected that they would walk about and talk a lot concerning what was required, and finally make a tentative date to do the work. However, surprise, surprise….. when they saw that the cable was laid and the building prepared with the necessary connection points, all thanks to Robert’s forward thinking, they immediately set to connecting us up, there and then. It was all done and dusted within a couple of hours. Imagine our surprise when we took a computer and our live-box over the next day, connected up and did a speed test.

This has to be the fastest download and upload speed we have ever experienced. Can’t wait to start working on it.

April 5th  Windows take at least 5 weeks on delivery, so today we went to Le Roy Merlin to put in our order. We asked our translator friend to come with us, to make sure that there would be no misunderstandings. The bill came to just under €10,000 (gulp). They have a ‘35% off’ sale this month, plus,  because we have opened an account, we get a further 15% off….. When we arrived at the cash desk to pay, the lady asked for 2 pieces of ID. All we had were drivers licenses, nothing else that counted. After much toing and froing, we sighed and said, “OK well, we’ll just have to come back tomorrow with our passports!” Even though the sale was big, and the delivery wouldn’t be for 6 weeks, they still  wouldn’t take our cheque.  Rules are Rules!!! As we left, Robert mentioned to the lady, “I presume you will give us another 5% off for having to come back again tomorrow?”  Well knock me down with a feather – she replied, “Yes, OK.”  FIVE percent – that meant €500 to us!!! We couldn’t really believe that they would. On our return the next morning, we met the same lady, gave her the cheque and two pieces of ID and she advised us that she had also taken off the extra 5%. Can you believe it!!!

Robert had also contacted ‘Veolia’ the water board, to have our water connected from the main supply in the road outside our property.  They came during the second week of April and connected the water.

Water connected from mains to property.

The only problem is that they put the junction box a few feet from the water pipe!

During the next week my priority was to tidy up the rocks that came out of the trench. Large ones to keep for a rockery and small ones had to be dumped at the back,  for the concrete slab going in for a sun patio.

Quite a mess of large and small rocks all the way from the road to the building

At the same time, Robert was putting up the cradles to hold the beams for the ceiling. Twenty-two cradles, two holes drilled into the concrete for each one. Not an easy task and plays havoc with ‘golf arms’. We try to mix the work with pleasure and to play a few holes Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

Sable d’Or Golf Course 

16th fairway,  17th Tee, 17th fairway & Green. The champs on 18



Robert and our two golfing buddies Peter and Brian

The next day, (phew) we put up some fencing.


I hope he will still be able to dry his clothes!!!


Another six panels should finish the job off?



13th April, Robert and I headed off to IKEA for an appointment with one of their Kitchen experts. For €48 this person spent an hour with us and completely designed our kitchen. We have not decided on a colour yet, but the units and where they will be placed has been completed. IKEA have a sale, starting 28th June and we will be there and hope to pick up some units at their 50% off offer.

The kitchen will be to the front of the building.

At last Robert will have a ‘proper’ kitchen to cook in. The kitchen in Le Quiou was far too small and inadequate – this one will be perfect!

Saturday 21st April I spent the day cutting back overgrown shrubbery and removing the dead ivy from the concrete fence posts. What a job! The ivy had grown thick stems and stuck like glue to the posts.

This is the ivy off just one post.

To add some variety I also dug out the trench for the water pipe to go in.

The blue hose had to be pulled back and then re-directed so that it lies comfortably in the direction of the junction box.



Robert cut it to size and then I covered in the trench again. Robert left it connected and ready for the final seal by our friend James who did an expert job using the best system………… horse hair.


‘D’ day was Tuesday 25th April, the ceiling beams were to be delivered and our good buddies Peter and Brian offered to help Robert put them up into the cradles. These beams are very heavy and Robert had been instructing me on how ‘we’ were going to get them up into the cradles. It was therefore, a great relief to get the offer of help. It just happened that our other good pal, James, came that morning also, in order to complete the water connection and put it under his special horse hair seal. Unfortunately, I was not there! No photos of the marvelous intricate system that took place. Robert measured across the ceiling for the length of each beam. The beam had been placed on the table by Brian and Peter, it was measured, pencil line drawn, cut, lifted and placed in one cradle, hoisted up at the other end and with the aid of a sweeping brush, pushed up a little higher and placed in the cradle on the other side. So, we had ‘Measure Man’, ‘Pencil Man’, ‘Lifter Man’ and ‘Brush Man. The job was completed in two hours, which I think was quite a feat! Then it was down to the Bar for lunch.

Looks so totally different now, with the low ceiling.

A last glimpse of the high ceiling, through the beams.


No rest for Robert!

The next job was waiting. Wood had arrived, for the floor in that room at the end.

Rather than carry each section, I thought it would be a good idea to wheel the pallet in. But the lifter wasn’t long enough and so we had to load the wood onto the lifter.

It wasn’t easy, and within a few feet the wood slid this way and that, but we got it there in the end.

So frustrating!!

By the end of April, Robert finished the flooring, ready for the top layer at a later date.

This will be the media or TV room and what a cozy room it is with so much insulation.



For the moment it will be for safe storage

Pléhérel Plage with a brave sailboarder heading into the waves.

The past four months have whizzed by. Apart from the work that has been done, we have had lots of rendezvous, normal living, day to day stuff, bank, doctor, dentist, ophthalmologist etc. Robert has had a stream of meetings with electricians, roofers, plumbers etc. lining up men to carry out the necessary work over the next few months. We have also had several meetings with the Notaire who is handling the sale and with the owner of the property who has been quite accommodating, agreeing to us getting on with some of the work to reduce our time in rental accommodation.

Rapeseed so bright it would nearly blind the eyes

Huge beach at Sable d’Or

The Rock near Fort la Latte

Monsieur la Seagull

Huge beach below the golf course at St. Cast


The mare in the field at the back of where we are renting – she loves a few carrots every day

In the light of the full moon the mother mare in the far field

She who waits so patiently

A little granny flat (?) in the garden

Beautiful gates.

My favourite – Primroses growing wild all over the place.

Narrow winding streets

The village church

Entrance to a large demesne that can’t be seen.

Mum and her baby

These are just a few sights that I photographed one evening when we went for a little walk


27th April – We received notice from the Notaire advising that they would not be ‘closing’ the sale until they received a correction to the ‘change of use’ permit!  WHAT?!!   They maintain that we had applied to the Planning Department using the wrong term for the building! Well, excuse us! We used the term that they advertised the property by ….. a ‘Hangar’. Our architect got onto the Planning Department but as it was coming up Friday of a Bank Holiday weekend, nothing was resolved. We have had to stew all weekend. We have contracted and paid a ‘large’ cheque to the roofer to commence replacing the roof on May 16th, the day that the building becomes ours. We have also paid a deposit for the fosse septic to go in at the beginning of June. AND now the Notaire is saying that they won’t close the sale .. unless! They have had the paperwork for the past month, why did they not pick this up earlier? If they renege on the ‘closing date’ there will be a big problem, not only for us but for them too!  If we have to cancel the roofer and consequently have to book another month (or two??) of accommodation at the height of the ‘high’ season, this will result in heavy costs, which we would intend to recover from the Notaire. She gave us the date of closing, at which time we confirmed the job to the roofer and paid him a deposit. Accommodation is at its most expensive during July and August costing anywhere upwards of €1,000 per week for anything reasonable and other than a rabbit hutch….. that is, of course, it one is able to find a property that has not been pre-booked……………