May Blog – Hangar Conversion

May 1st –    Tentative and concerned regarding the outcome of the Notaire’s comments about delaying the ‘closing’ of the sale. 

May 2nd –  We received a call from our architect who has been in contact with ‘Dinan Agglomeration’,  the Planning Department. He received an email from them this morning, which he thought had quite a hint of irritation about it.  DA advised that they couldn’t care less what ‘the building’ was referred to in the application, as this fact is now totally inconsequential and irrelevant. The building has been re-classified as ‘Habitation’ and what it was before, has no bearing on the permit.  Phew – that is a relief, it is as we thought ourselves but one never knows how the French might interpret a situation.   Onwards and Upwards.

May 2nd & 3rd   Two days with Saul. The first day with his digger, to dig out the extension trench for the electric cable to connect from the building to the one laid from the road in April. This is the photo below, prep for the electrician who is coming in a couple of weeks and will join the connection and set up the fuse board in the building.  We also prepared two areas for the concrete slab.


Preparation for the conservatory base

During our time at the site, we discovered that this is a nice sunny corner and a perfect place for relaxing or having a barbecue.


All ready for the cement to be poured


Right on time at two o’clock the cement lorry arrived- click on the lorry for YouTube video

 Don’t forget to ‘back arrow’ to return here to the blog

Saul and I spreading the cement, up to our ankles in the sludge……LOL

Saul is a man of many talents, one of which is being a whizz with a ‘drone’

Of course, there is a video, if you are interested, of the cement pouring from the truck to this sunny little spot. Click on the truck for the video.

 Don’t forget to ‘back arrow’ to return here to the blog!

              Watch out for our drone pics. They will be posted in another few days.

     Every day, Robert goes to the ‘Hangar’ and moves along with jobs that need to be done and will help to ensure that we get moved in by the end of June.

May 2nd – Tuesday –   Lacking confidence in the office of the Notaire, we delivered 2 letters to the Notaire’s assistant who is handling our file. We asked (1) that she confirm that the sale will be closing, as planned, on Tuesday 16th May, and (2) we asked that they deduct a sum of just over €1,200 for the work that we had carried out in order to get the ‘Permit to build’ on the front portion of the land. This is a permit that should have been in place when we entered into the sale, but seemingly, no one knew that the existing permit had expired. Lucky for us, the fact was discovered before we signed the first contract to buy. If you remember, back at the beginning of January, the owner agreed to us contracting a qualified person to submit the necessary paperwork to have this reinstated. When the Assistant read the letters, she advised that she would confirm the closing in an email to us later in the day, but told us that they could not deduct our expense and that we would have to recover them from the owner.

May 4th Thursday –  Today we received the awaited email from the ‘Assistant’ advising that she is still waiting for Dinan Agglomeration (Planning Department) regarding the change of the description used for the building in the application for the ‘Change of Use’. We thought that this had been sorted out! We quickly got onto the Architect, who tried to contact the planning department. The big problem is…… this is a holiday weekend coming up. “Victory Day’ – an important holiday and one that gets extended at each end of the weekend!  No one is available – everyone has gone on holiday. 

Trying not to think about it all weekend, we had friends over for a meal, played some golf and enjoyed time out in what was typical Bank Holiday weather.

The mare sees me at the window and looks hopeful that I might come out to give her some carrots. Isn’t she gorgeous!.

Well, she got her wish.  I did go out – click on the picture for the video, but don’t forget to ‘back arrow’ to return here to the blog

The view from the back of the house – better from the bedroom window upstairs where this was taken. Click on the picture for the video,

Don’t forget to ‘back arrow’ to return here to the blog


Sunsets are amazing – this was one huge ball of flame

May 8th – Monday  Victory in Europe Day is a national holiday in France, known locally as ‘Victoire 1945’ or ‘La Fête de la Victoire’.


Lots of parades,  cycle races and celebrations all over the country


May 9th – Tuesday    A trip to Dinan to the Tax Office kept us busy this morning. With the deadline date coming up next week, the office was too busy to deal with us and gave us a rendezvous time for next week.  Phone calls to the Architect did not bring any relief. We cannot believe that the Notaires office has not made contact with personnel in the planning department to sort out this problem. The fact that Dinan Agglomeration will not put their view of the matter in writing makes us wonder?  Is this possibly more serious than we think…. that is not good.  We went over to Kerivet this afternoon and are delighted to see that the owner has now vacated the building and it is totally empty other than our belongings. We have an agreement with him that we swop the large overhead door (which would be ours) for his ride on grass cutter. In a week or so we will have the windows and can block up the ‘door space’ with blocks and the window and at that time we will give him the door. Robert made a good observation in that we can lay the blocks outside the run of the door while the door is still there and when the ‘hole’ is filled, we can remove the door. We were concerned about getting the job done, security and weather. 

May 10th – Wednesday   Another day at the site, sorting out bits and pieces, Robert working on the floors inside and I am busy with filling in trenches and generally pottering about outside. We asked our good friend Marie Christine if she would please call the Notaires office to see if she could have them confirm that they will close the sale next Tuesday. We asked her to convey, that based on the fact that the Notaire gave us a closing date of 16th May, we contracted a roofer to start work on the roof on the 17th May. If the closing date is delayed in any way, the roof work might not commence until June or July, pushing everything ahead to the point that we will have to find further rental accommodation which will add a realistic €7/8,000 to our budget. Rentals are at a premium in the high season of July and August, charging in the region of €1,000 per week.  No resolution so far today

I delivered the letter to the owner asking that they bring a cheque on the day of closing, to reimburse us for the €1,200 + that it cost us to apply for the building permit.

May 11th – Thursday   Today we are off to Le Roy Merlin again, they are brilliant. Robert does his homework to be sure we get the best price. We will stock up on some plumbing, James is meeting us there, we will have some lunch locally and then get busy in the store. A good vacuum is required, a shower unit for our ensuite, basins, mirror and bath. We have decided on grey tiles for the floor, complimented with nice pink or turquoise etc. accessories.

Still no resolution from the Notaire. Phone calls here and there, back and forth all day. Did someone say that buying and moving house is stressful?

When we got home today there was an email waiting from the wife of the owner. She is most annoyed that we would expect them to pay for the plans for our house! We knew immediately that she had misunderstood. Back in January, when her husband agreed to apply for the building permit, we gave him the plans that we had drawn up by our architect for ‘inside’ the Hangar. In the interest of time we only suggested that he use those plans,  scaled down to less than 150m2 for his application, to save him having to make up new plans.  His wife has completely misunderstood the situation and has blown her top. We think that she thinks, that we are expecting them to pay for our personal plans in the Hangar.   She accuses us of being insincere and demands that we give them the door on Tuesday because of the agreement to swop it for the grass cutter. Robert and her husband have met many times and there has been good camaraderie. She accused us of not appreciating her husband and how he allowed us to get on and do work on the site over the past month. Anyway, (sigh) I replied assuring her of our sincerity and that if they don’t trust us they are welcome to take the grass cutter, and as soon as we can remove the door we can swop it back. I also explained that in applying for the building permit (that should have been in place as was advertised) we were obliged to submit house plans. To be honest we cannot understand why it was necessary to actually submit interior plans for a house when only asking for a ‘permit’ to build. Wouldn’t an outline of the shape and size of the house have been sufficient?  We expressed our regret and asked if we could meet to discuss the misunderstanding. We wonder if she will reply or how friendly she will be at our meeting on Tuesday. We hope she will have cooled down realise her error.

May 12th –  Friday   First chore today was to visit the Bank and transfer the money for the sale. We have to be sure it is with the Notaire for next Tuesday, we are progressing along assuming that we will ‘close’ on Tuesday. Marie, Christine phoned them again today to see if she could get any decision out of them. No one there to talk to. We had a busy day with three deliveries due. We packed up our supplies, snacks, kettle, coffee etc. Remembered that we bought a new microwave and packed that into the car too. It is like packing for a holiday every day, going over to Kerivet, changes of clothes should the weather change hot or cold or wet, food etc.  Robert laid more floor, I busied setting up our ‘refreshment’ table, and then outside with my trusty fork and rake. I bought some roses in a sale and need to plant them, and I am also going to throw around some wild flower seeds and prepared some areas of soil. I think it might be a little early, although the planting time is April/May/June – weather has had a cool side to it over the past few weeks.  

Of course nothing happened until about 14:30 when Robert got a phone call from the Insulation delivery. I went off down the road and watched out for the truck which eventually arrived – it was HUGE but it got through the gates alright. 50 big rolls of insulation! As the driver unloaded them, Robert and I quickly took off the outer wrapping and dragged them into the lock up store room where they stand like tall thin headless soldiers.

It is amazing how the driver gets himself, the pallet and the lifter onto that little platform!

We dragged them into our little lock-up store room


as quick as he unloaded them……..

   As he was leaving, the next truck arrived!  This was the underfloor insulation pads.


It is so clever how the driver manipulates the robot to pick up the pallet of goods and to drop it exactly where one wants it.  This lot now has to be moved inside and stacked up somewhere out of the way.


Finally, arrived the last delivery, the wooden sheets for under flooring.





















                 Picked up and neatly dropped at the side door












The second 50 sheets had not been packed correctly and when they went up on the crane, the packing burst and all the sheets fell into the truck





















Maneuvered neatly in through the doorway – can’t afford for these to get wet…. some were damaged and will have to be replaced. Another job for tomorrow.

As luck would have it, just when the trucks were juggling for delivery – Marie Christine phoned to say she had, at last, managed to catch the Notaire Assistant and was glad to report that the wording issue has been resolved, the closing date is confirmed for Tuesday. There was another document that the lady required, and due to this urgency, we had to down tools immediately the last delivery was completed and head home to copy the document get it over to the Notaire’s office. This is a document that was delivered to them last week, but now they have decided that they need the date changed on it! What next?!

The final email of the day from the same lady, is to ask us to deliver documents providing our tax return income and proof of our residency status in France. For weeks we have asked if they have all necessary documents, to which we got no reply.  Now they are starting to wake up.

Final word for today – checking the bank…….. the funds have not been transferred yet……… usually they are gone immediately. Is this another gremlin?

May 13th – Saturday – Money still in our account at 9am today, so, we hightailed it to the Bank. Luckily we immediately had the opportunity to talk to our account manager, who’s eyebrows went up when we explained that the funds had not gone out of our account. He dashed off out of his office, we followed, to another office, where he discovered that there was one little ID prefix that he had forgotten to put on the transfer and this prevented it going through!  He and the other assistant manager were full of laughs and ‘Hi Ho. No problem the funds will be there Monday or Tuesday.’  “TUESDAY!!” Robert and I both echoed back, “That’s no good, they have to be there on Monday.”  If the funds are not in the Notaires account, she will not close the sale!  They were all so casual….. ha ha ha

After this encounter, we headed up to Kerivet and spent the day working and sorting things out. First of all, we had to move the pallet of wood inside, and after sorting out what was damaged and to be returned, there was more flooring to lay, gardening and preparing for the roof to start on Monday. The main area has to be cleared as the roofer will not allow anyone underneath where he is working. We will be OK on the left side where there is a concrete ceiling. By the end of the day, I have to say my ankles, back and arms ached after carrying with Robert the 100 sheets of wood flooring. I got tested on my skill at screwing screws with an electric drill into the floor to secure it. After three, I got my ‘Passed with Flying Colours’ badge, so, I am good to go next week, following Robert as he lays them down.  LOL

Supplies are stacking up in our little store-room – tiles for the bathroom and ensuite, extractor fan device, plastic tubing for plumbing and electrics, all sorts of bits and bobs.

A couple of doors – edited to the right position but WP doesn’t want to co-operate!

How exciting, toilets, shower unit and the ballon.

May 14th – Sunday  – We really intended having the day off today, but decided that the damaged wood that we left at the door for collection and exchange, should really be moved outside. The roofing company arrive in the morning and will need free access. So off we trundle to Kerivet.  After moving the wood and wrapping it in plastic sheeting, I dragged all the branch cuttings to take to the Decheterie (dump) to the front and away from the area of danger from the roofers. Did a little pruning here and there and unpacked one of our storage boxes of garden antiquary and ornaments, filling it again with garden tools. Roll on having a garden shed! 

I see the sea – do you?

Not a very pretty sight/site

Neighbours on the left – front house is elderly disabled man and rear house is a hoarder!

As I laid out soil for the wildflower seeds, the little toddler Juiliet, from next door came and chatted to me through the wire.  She is such a cutie. We didn’t have any problem communicating as her one word seemed to be ‘Oooooola la’ – so, we ‘Ooooooooola la’d’ to each other. She has two sisters (8 and 10 ish) – lovely little girls and very nice parents. I had bought some Easter Chocolate Hens for them, but when I brought them over, they weren’t there, and when I left them at home, they were home! I brought them with me on Sunday and gave them to Alex, the Dad. Who knows, kids might be allergic! Next thing, I am being called, and there is Laticia with the two older girls, brought out to say ‘Thank you’

May 15th – Monday   Today started out wonderfully and then disaster hit. Robert was off at 8 am to welcome the roofing contractor Stephen, and make sure that all was OK for him. He was back home by 09:30 and after a quick coffee we left for Dinan as we had an 11:10 am meeting at the Tax Office. We stopped at our lock up unit, collected a few items, paid for another month and headed down town to the tax Office. Went into the meeting at 11:10, and we were out with forms completed and submitted by 11:15. Meanwhile, we received a phone call concerning the Permit for the building plot. A document had to be signed. Luckily we were able to go to Le Quiou, sign the document, which was then scanned and sent back to Dinan Agglomeration, on receipt of which, they are going to issue the permit!  Hurray!!!! We had some nice catch-up and coffee with friends – all unexpected and a great pleasure. From there we headed back to Le Roy Merlin to organise a time to collect a lot of things that we had ordered last week. The delivery is €139, so, we decided we could rent a SuperU Van and pick it up ourselves, and on returning the van, we can take all of the gardening and other rubbish to the Decheterie. Arranged for next Tuesday. Intermarché for some groceries and Giffé for a garden chair I have looked at for the past month – today it was the last one that they have, so, that was lucky!

Rue de Kerivet

D34 on the left and the local road to Plevenon in the middle

 D34 and the local road – our house is just below here ‘X’

The big inlet is ‘Port la Duc’ where the road traverses

 ‘Home’ to St. Brigitte for a quick cup of tea and then off again to check out the roofing people at Kerivet. We were only there 10 minutes when the phone rang. It was the ‘Assistant’ from the Notaire’s office. ‘Please check your email, we cannot close tomorrow’.  Without blowing a gasket I managed to tell her that we would come by her office and would be there in about 10 minutes.  What could be the problem NOW?

When we arrived, we stepped into an adjoining open office to the reception. The Notaire, her assistant, and one employee who speaks excellent English with an American slant. We had been prepared to get our translator on our phone if there was a problem communicating. Long story in a nutshell. They omitted to get an important document and can’t close until they have it! The document comes from the law department of France to confirm that there are no warrants etc. out for us and that we are not wanted felons. It takes 2 to 8 days to get this document.  As they are postponing until next week, we have to presume that they only realised today, that they didn’t have the document because they have told us that they hope to get it by next week or before. Wouldn’t any idiot figure that the first piece of information required, before moving forward on a sale, would be to make sure that one had the document that assured them that they were dealing with honest people and not felons!  BIG SIGH!!!!!! They were not forthcoming on what the document was until I pressed them for the information, and also sadly shook their heads up and down when I asked them if this document had only been asked for yesterday or today. I then demanded to know WHY it had not been requested before, adding that for the past month I have emailed and even written a letter asking if they had all the necessary documents for the file to ensure the ‘closing’ date, but had not received a reply. The Notaire just stood, looking at the floor nonchalantly, her assistant, who we presume hasn’t a clue what she’s doing, and the translator lady gave the impression that she would rather be somewhere else ….  LOL  The assistant then announced that the funds had not arrived. This morning, Robert had dropped in the last of the documents that she asked for last Friday, including the proof of ‘funds transfer’ from the Bank.  We told her that the transfer had been done on Friday morning. She looked vacant. Robert reminded her that he had given her the transfer document and she had even copied it for him. She looked vacant and then dashed off to her office, returning with the 4 documents given to her this morning. We had to point out to her which was the bank transfer document, she checked it out and then looks up saying (in French, of course)  ‘Oh, right.’   We explained that the roof job had to start tomorrow, it had been set up on the basis that they had given us a ‘closing’ date, etc. etc. In the end they agreed to Roberts suggestion that they draw up a waiver, relieving the owner of any liability for anything untoward happening, connected to the roof work, and we would take full responsibility and sign it. They had to contact the owner to make sure that he agrees with that and we will return tomorrow morning and sign said document.  Then await notice of a new ‘closing’ date.

 We came home, opened a bottle of wine, and thoroughly enjoyed a superb Spaghetti Bolognese that Robert had prepared yesterday. At 7 pm the email arrived to advise that they had contacted the owner and he had agreed to the waiver document.  We go to sign the waiver tomorrow. We have to bring copies of the roof contractor’s insurance and also a copy of insurance that we have placed on the building. Luckily we put the latter into effect last week and will just have to call the insurance co. to fax confirmation to the Notaire. Turns out the contractor is with the same insurance company, makes it easier.


May 16th – Tuesday    What were my last words?  “Turns out the contractor is with the same insurance company, makes it easier.”    LOL Far from ‘easy’!  09:00 a.m. I phoned the insurance company – suffice to say between holding on, listening to mad music and continual adverts about insurance available to clients, and then waiting for call backs, it was 09:30 before I spoke to Wayne who is familiar with our account. Well, it turns out that the company is going through a ‘name change’ today and it is very difficult to get a copy of any document. However, Wayne assured me that he would call the Notaire directly after our conversation, and give her the information that she required. He was familiar with Stephen of the roofing company, knew that he was fully insured and had been with the insurance company for over six years.

Robert had departed at 09:15 to go collect the translator, our now friend, (she doesn’t drive) and returned at 09:45 to collect me.  We arrived at the office of the Notaire at 10:00 am. It is a fine old house at the entrance to Port la Duc with a beautifully set out garden at the back.  All the floors are wooden and I wonder, every time I go there, how on earth anyone can work with the continuous noise of hard soled shoes stomping around, up and down the stairs and in and out of all the rooms. The owner and his wife arrived shortly after us and we all sat, as usual, at the reception. Eventually, at about 10:25 the Notaire came and ushered us into her office, a large ‘front’ room of the house.  We sat around the front of the desk and she proceeded to the back and made a long preamble which was translated in about two sentences – she regretted the cancellation of the appointed ‘closing’ of the sale and accepted all responsibility concerning the missing document. Evidently, said the issuance of the document costs €48 and is not always necessary. Because we made a ‘change of use’ on the building, the document is required and should have been ordered months ago. However, she did reiterate that she accepted full responsibility and would give us a ‘small’ reduction in her bill to try to compensate for any inconvenience it may cause us………..  (no comment). We spent the next 90 minutes agonising over possible solutions, required copies of the insurance were not available due to the circumstance of the Insurance company. Phone calls were made back and forth between the Notaire and Wayne, and between Robert and Stephen (roofer).  The owner was agreeable to signing liability over to us but he first wanted positive proof that ‘Stephen’ is insured for removing and disposing of the asbestos sheets. Regulations in France are very stringent about asbestos and one can end up in serious trouble if discovered to be even ‘connected’ to incorrect removal or/and disposal. There was no solution and as the time passed and more checks were made,  it became more and more obvious that there was no insurance cover regarding asbestos. The next soonest date that the Notaire is available to conduct the hoped for ‘closing’ of the sale is Thursday or Saturday, depending of course, on the arrival of ‘The Document’!  We left the building at noon – deflated.

All set to start work!!

 I wonder does one sit on that seat from the bottom of the ladder and get elevated? There is a little motor attached to the ladder just out of the frame.

After stopping back home for some lunch, changing into work clothes, we headed over to Kerivet.  On our way, the owner passed us in his van, traveling in the opposite direction.   On arrival, we see that, as expected the roofers had gone, but there was evidence that they had performed some basic basics in preparation to remove the roof. It was a bit like the ‘Marie Celeste’.  I took a couple of photos. Robert got a phone call from the translator who had been asked to phone us by the Notaire, to ensure that no one was working at the site, which of course, he confirmed. “No one here but us!”  Next thing the owner’s van pulled into the plot and the ‘penny dropped.’  He must have high-tailed it over to Kerivet from the Notaire’s building after the meeting. Observed the roofers doing whatever they were doing!!!!! And, by the way, we now have pallets of slates, and stacks of roof timber etc. on site. He then hightailed it back to the Notaire, which is when we passed him going in the opposite direction. After talking to the Notaire, she must have called the translator with instructions to call us! Then he returned, himself, maybe expecting to see the roofers still there.  I was fully prepared that his reason to be there was for a ‘barney’, considering the email his wife sent us last week. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, he advised us that we should be very careful as to how we oversee the removal of the asbestos, at the same time, showing his wrists as if they were handcuffed. Before engaging Stephen, Robert had carried out his own checks regarding the man and the company and had been satisfied that the information he received was very good, proving a 25-year history and positive feedback. Now it looked like there might be a tiny but very important flaw. We decided to call our excellent architect who gave us a solution. It will be OK for Stephen to remove the sheets from the roof after we make an application to have them disposed of by a registered company. I located a company, got a quote, they sent the paperwork, which I then sent on to the Architect, who completed it and sent it off to where ever it had to go. Simple – all done in a matter of 90 minutes. The company will deliver a skip with a special bag, we deposit the roof sheets into the bag in the skip and said company will come and take it away after the job is finished. A minor detail, of course, is that this will cost us an additional €1,000 plus.  But at least we won’t be seen walking away with our wrists handcuffed, will we!




The roofers had prepared to start work at approximately 11/11:30 as soon as we phoned and told them that we had signed the ‘closing sale’ documents.


May 17th – Wednesday   Dreadful day today with lots of rain. Thankful that part of the roof was not removed yesterday – as it is, parts of it were loosened and have let in quite a few ‘DRIPS’!!!!  I guess the men thought that they were going to get the OK to start work, at any moment and loosened some of the bolts. 



What a difference a day makes – blue sky and warm and sunny yesterday and this is the scene today!

We gathered all that we could to catch the ‘drips’ – and then had to use bags in boxes!!


Robert headed off to get some documents copied and then on to Kerivet at about 08:30 – leaving me at home to catch up on chores and some admin. He managed to dismantle the stairs and lower them to the ground…….. how did he do that as they weigh a ton! What a guy! After that, he came home, had some time out and lunch and then we both returned to find that, with the increased rainfall, there was much more water coming in than in the morning. Robert laid more floor and I sorted out what was a spaghetti junction of tools, saws, cutters of all description, nuts and bolts and brushes and heaps more. All nice and organised now.

No contact from the Notaire to confirm ‘closing’ tomorrow. I guess it will (might??) be Saturday afternoon. IF the awaited document arrives ?.

May 18th –  Thursday   No last minute call from the Notaire to say that the ‘closing’ was on this afternoon. The rain had stopped during the night and the floor has dried up. Robert continued to put down the floor and I am glad to say, remembers to put on his ear protectors when drilling into the concrete, which makes a ferocious noise.


BIG MAT arrived to replace the wood that had fallen off the lifter last week. That little accident caused us a lot of extra work. The damaged pile had to be sorted into what was useable and the twenty-seven that were damaged had to be carried outside, onto a pallet and then securely covered to keep dry. Today the driver arrived with a full pallet of fifty! We even drove to the store and told them that we needed twenty-seven replaced, so, why couldn’t they have just given us twenty-seven?

 After unloading the pack of fifty, they had to be unwrapped, then I helped the driver carry in twenty-seven. He wrapped up the remainder and lifted them back onto the truck and collected up the damaged pile as well.

 Next job was to carry each of the twenty-seven to the other side of the building out of the area that will get wet when the roof comes off (if it rains). Why didn’t the driver do this, well, his job was to just get them inside the door! These sheets of wood are darned heavy for a little old lady to lug about y’know!   ?



   May 20th – Saturday  We received confirmation that the closing of the sale would be carried out today in the Notaires office in Erquy

By 16:00 hrs the meeting was over,  we were the owners of our soon to be new home.Robert has been working like a trojan and has nearly finished the floor on this side of the building. We only have about six weeks to get this place fit for us to live in.


May 21st Sunday (!)  Today we took a few hours off and played some golf…then over to the Hangar to do some prep for the roofers coming tomorrow.  There were three beams left to put up, so we set about hoisting them from the ground, up into the cradles ……… I couldn’t even move a beam on the floor to get my fingers under it to move it, so I cannot tell you how on earth we got them up there – we used hydraulics, pulley ropes with me pulling and Robert supporting and then for the last bit – me with a sweeping brush, pushing up under the beam and Robert holding/lifting it into place. But we did it. Have to wait till the door is gone, to lift the last one.


May 22nd – Monday  Awoke to a beautiful sunrise today – the start of a week that is forecast to be sunny and warm until after the weekend………



May 23rd – Tuesday    A busy day today. 9 am we picked up a four ton box truck at SuperU, had to return it by 13:00 hrs. Plan was to get to Le Roy Merlin by 09:45 allowing 15 minutes for all the palava with the truck at SuperU. Thirty minutes to load up, get back to Kerivet by 10:45 am,  unload, then throw on rubbish (gardening, cardboard, styrofoam etc) for the Decheterie (only two minutes from SuperU) and high-tail it to the dump before it closed at noon (to 13:30 for lunch!)  Need I tell you that the plan  ‘didn’t go according to the plan’  LOL  We actually arrived at Le Roy by 09:35, but we were still there at 10:45! The main reason for the big truck was to pick up 400 x 4 meter wooden batons. But when they brought the order to load, Robert recognised that they were not the right size! So, the prepared order of 100, had to be swopped over for the right size, calculations and adjustments made…… this sort of exercise takes a long time over here. We were also collecting an order of bathroom and plumbing, which would have cost us €140 to deliver, as against our SuperU truck for €54. Lucky isn’t it, they would have delivered the wrong size! So, we didn’t get away from there till 10:50. “Never mind,” I said to Robert, “When we get back, we will unload. Then we will throw on the stuff for the Decheterie. It is all in bags and the garden rubbish is on sheets of plastic, so we can lift it into the truck easily. You can drive to the Decheterie and we will drop the lot outside the gate. I will stay with it, you take the truck, top up with petrol, return it and then come back to the Decheterie. When it opens at 13:30 we can drage the stuff in. SIMPLE!” I said with a smile?.

As soon as we arrived back to Kerivet, we set to unloading the very heavy boxes, wheelbarrowed them to the lock-up room. Then we started on the 400 wooden batons.  My goodness are those things ever HEAVY!!!  We were absolutely at the limit of our energy by 12:20 with the truck empty, in went the load for the Decheterie and we headed back down the D34 like a rocket. Pulled up at the gate, opened up the truck and proceeded to lift out the garden stuff on the plastic sheets. Next thing there is a man shouting through the railings behind us. ‘You can’t leave that there…….. ‘ and more, all in French. I told him I was going to stay with it (in French)……. No No No No….. Then he says he will open the gate and we can come in.  So it is all lifted back into the truck. Robert is in a lather by this time as it is now 12:55.  He drives over to the garden rubbish area, shoots the whole lot out onto the ground before I could get there, and he was back in the truck and high tailing it to SuperU.  I set to collecting and separating out the cardboard etc. to take to its own skips, the guy helped me, although I told him it was OK and he should go eat his lunch. He was cool though and within a few minutes, we had it all sorted. I folded up all of my bags and plastic sheets, took my sweeping brush that we brought to sweep out the truck, and gave the guy €10 for being so kind. 

I trundle out to the gate, laughing out loud… what must those people driving past, giving me curious stares, be thinking, there’s an old lady with a big bundle of rubbishy plastic and a huge sweeping brush! I looked in my handbag for my phone to call Robert and tell him where I was waiting, but what do you think I had in my bag? Yes, you gotit, the keys to the car, parked at SuperU. LOL  ?  ?   ?   ?   Robert answered the phone and very patiently said, “Yea, I know, you got the keys! Just wait there, I will come and get you…………….. somehow.”  And he did, within about 10 minutes a car pulled up with Robert in the passenger and Mike was driving. So, when Robert was filling up the truck, Mike was having a problem with his credit card and the French instructions, (he hadn’t hit the ‘Union Jack’ for English)  Mike ended up walking into SuperU while Robert was at the car rental counter, Robert asked him if he would mind driving him over to the Decheterie…… what a nice man Mike was! Very jolly, on holiday from the Lake District and staying locally. My sweeping brush was so long we had to open the window to put the handle out….. haaaaaa.  Time 13:30 WHAT a morning!!!

A view of the roof from the inside. As soon as the asbestos sheets are removed, a waterproof membrane is fitted and batons for slates are fixed on. We have never come across a roof with this waterproof membrane before. Even though no rain is due for the next week, it is comforting to know that if it does rain, none will come in.

This is the special SKIP fitted with a bag, especially for the disposal of  asbestos

Another view of the roof through the ‘very heavy’ beams.

Half of the 400 wooden batons, the other half is on the other side of the building.

We stopped in at home for a cup of tea and to gather our loins for the afternoon.

I saw Ophelia, the owner of the horses, out back in the field, and I went out to have a chat. She was cleaning out the water bath and had fitted a fly mask to the younger mare. I am so happy about that because those flies are manic around her head and must drive her crazy. I asked Ophelia where she takes the mare on Saturdays, and she said that she goes to a local equestrian club for her horse to have some exercise and schooling. That was more good news. Ophelia is now obviously pregnant and told me ishe is expecting a girl.  Of course, I went armed with 6 carrots, 3 for Mum and 3 for her daughter. Later, back at the house, I saw Ophelia rubbing something from a canister around the face of the mare. It was probably a fly repellent, more good news.



View from the back – with some little signs that work is being done on the roof…….

We spent a few hours at Kerivet, Robert to do some prep for the electrician who is coming on Thursday. I had a lengthy conversation with EDF getting our contract and DD set up, checking everything that we collected today, to ensure that nothing was damaged and was what we ordered.  Tomorrow is a gardening day with an hour or two of staple gunning thrown in too. But first I have to go to Dinan for some supplies.

25th May – Thursday    A beautiful sunny and warm day.  Forging ahead, Robert finished the floor, I sowed the wildflower seeds, we moved flooring panels ‘again’   ?  It is impossible to always place them somewhere that they won’t have to be moved. Insulation prepared to go up on the wall, we had friends call in and visit and also met up with someone who was interested in buying the stairs, which they thought would be perfect for their requirement. A very fruitful and enjoyable day. 

Early morning hot air ballooning that we noticed before leaving our rental house near Matignon Even the horse was watching them.


By Golly! Is that Anastasia Ignatious O’Rielly in that basket – with Paddy O’Flagherty!

From up in the sky to up on a very hot roof!

There’s Chris at the far end.

A very hot day to spend on one’s knees on a roof

I think he said there are just under SIX THOUSAND slates to go on this roof!

Gutters in place now too.

Floor base finished in this section.


Looking forward to seeing some colour about the place

when the wildflower seeds blossom. It will be a little

while though as the seeds were only sown today……..






27th & 28th May Sat/Sun   Busy weekend. Batons fixed to the walls. A noisy job of drilling holes into the concrete blocks. Batons to be cut to measure with three screw holes drilled in each one, insulation cut to measure and stapled to the first layer of batons. A second layer of batons to fix the second layer of insulation to.  Friends dropped by to see our progress which was a very welcome break. Roses planted in pots, until we decide where the ‘garden’ will be.  Grass needs to be cut, but that is a job for next week. Electrician coming on Wednesday to commence his first fix. Stud work to be done on Monday.

My work-station, for all of that sawing batons and drilling holes

 Insulation nearly finished – gaps left for windows and doors.


29th May – Monday    Raining heavily, so. no roof work today.  Stud work finished on the north and west walls. Robert had a busy day as he had to continue fixing the batons to one wall before the stud workers caught up on him. Apart from some minor prep, it is now ready for the electrician on Wednesday. 




This photo shows the stud work, with one layer of insulation and batons behind. Another layer of insulation will be laid behind the stud work and secured with staples.


This photo shows the second layer of insulation fixed behind the stud work – this will be a cozy warm house.



30th May – Tueasday   Beautiful weather again and more slates being hung on the roof.

Robert secured each beam with another couple of screws into the cradles. Next job is to fix a length of wood between the beams to prevent any warping. Each width has to be measured, Pamela then gets her trusty saw working, and Robert then screws the length of wood between the beams – alternatively placing them at the top and bottom of each pair of beams.  



Meanwhile, I took on an easy little job.  Each sheet of wooden flooring needed two screws to secure it and prevent any ‘squeaking’  ?  in the future.  The task entailed lining my eye up with the two-inch baton that the section of wood is lying on and simply drilling in a screw on each side. Now, this was easy for the first sheet, but then as I got further away from the visible piece of baton, my judgment of where it is underneath, became more and more unreliable. (Maybe this is why my putting is not great?). A fifteen-foot length of metal to guide me on my quest did not help at all.  Robert had a good idea! We measured the distance from the screw in the last row and logically using this measure (along with the 15 foot length of metal) I should have been able to find the baton below. Sadly after so many mis-drills – I had to resign my services from this exercise. As you can see in the photos below, there are a number of incorrect holes and this is just not acceptable. ?    Finally, even with the noise of his drill, Robert,  hearing my ‘exclamations’ (somewhat flowery) at drilling into the wrong place, then un-drilling the screw back out again….  for the third time, came over, tapped me on the shoulder, and suggested I do something else.   I, with my Nano plugged into my ears, didn’t realize that I was ‘exclaiming’ so loud that he could hear me!  SO frustrating!   I mean, HOW could somebody NOT be able to get such a simple task right?   Very hard to get good help these days ?






May 31st Wednesday –    06:30 Robert awoke with a decision to cancel the window lintels that he had ordered from Le Roy Merlin.  Since ordering, several weeks ago, he has had doubts that they are what we need under the windows.  After more research but not finding anything more suitable, he has been stressing as to whether to let them come or cancel the delivery. Today was ‘D’ day and the message when he awoke was to cancel them. At eight o’clock we tried the ‘help’ line but to no avail. The only sure way to make sure that the order was canceled was to drive over to the store.  I took Robert to Kerivet first, and then went back to Le Roy. I arrived just after 9:00 am – The guy in the relevant department blathered away to me after looking at the invoice, I gathered from the ‘blather’ that I had to wait for his colleague to come and deal with the ‘annulment’.  Eventually, a young lady bounced in through the door, I explained that I needed to cancel the 11 Lintels. She also ‘blathered’ to me, and I nodded my head and agreed. She opened up her computer and inserted the details and then she had a conniption!!! ?   Pointing at the screen she exclaimed at the top of her voice ‘blather, blather, blather’, which I understood to mean that the truck had already left,  was about to deliver and was my husband at the address?  To cut a long story short, I asked the young lady if she could call ‘Melissa’ (who had impressed me last week with her knowledge of the English language) but unfortunately, Melissa was not in today, so the young lady called her friend who speaks good English too.  While the first girl ‘blathered’ excitedly, the translator smiled at me consolingly and kept assuring me that “It is alright, everything is fine.” I think she recognized that her pal was just over-excited. By 09:45 I was out of there, with a credit on the credit card and the lintels on their way back to the store.  One good thing about Le Roy is that they are easy to do business with, there is never any hassle with returns.

On my return, I see that the truck has dropped two big stacks of plasterboard – that will be a job for next week.


Meanwhile, inside, the electrician has been setting up the circuit board.


What an intricate piece of wiring and connecting!


When all of the work was completed the electrician showed us how to connect into the Internet Live Box. Now, I really didn’t intend for anybody to get a fright…. Really I didn’t!!  ?    I decided to take a photo, I focused and hit the button, because the light was not great, the camera stirred up the flash, just as the electrician plugged the connector into the box, the flash of the camera went off and both men jumped and looked at each other with alarm all over their faces!!! Then they realized that the ‘flash’ was my camera and not something gone wrong with the circuit board…………….. LOL  ?   Talk about absolutely ‘perfect’ timing!

The grass is growing fast so I got the lawnmower fired up and headed out for some exercise.



Achieved another date on the landmark


We have now passed the date that anyone could object to what we are doing to the ‘Hangar’

We can take the board down tomorrow.