I am glad to report that son and girlfriend are now the happy owners of heat AND hot water, what is the world coming to :) They also picked up the van which meant they could return the rental car. They had some friends drive over from Austria for a couple of days, (they had given them fair warning of the amenities) and they were sleeping in sleeping bags on cardboard....I guess you have to be young. They were having a bonfire and cooking steaks when I spoke to them so I guess everyone was having a pretty good time. The only hiccup in the new facilities is that they cannot have the hot water tank plugged in during the day when they want to use other electrical appliances so have to remember to turn everything else off before they go to bed and plug in the water heater. The electrics in their current state just aren't up to it!
The builder who installed the new hot water tank brought over some "junk" he was throwing away; some plastic lawn chairs, a barbeque and an "ugly" but much appreciated brass bed frame for which they will purchase a mattress, so that was very good of him. A nice bit of recycling.
Also they have had a couple of devis in, one for re-wiring which seemed quite high considering the current size of the property (3700+ euros), one for plumbing in the bathroom, which includes taking up the floor relaying the waste pipes in order to connect to mains drainage and all other first fix plumbing to make it a shower room and re-connect the toilet (approx 2000 euros), this one has son doing a lot of the digging labour and doesn't see that unreasonable and a third one for just relaying the waste and connecting to mains drainage (500 euros). Son is going to get a couple more so no decisions are being made yet.
While GWE was home this weekend, we took another look at our original plans for the house, and we have decided we won't draw up anything definitive for the barn end of the renovation, apart from installing the floor, until we are on site and can actually stand in the space. For now we will concentrate on making the house truly habitable and start on the attic of the house, which will eventually be our bedroom with en suite and walk in closet. There are lots of things son can be doing in the meantime; sandblasting the varnish off all the beams, taking down the kitchen ceiling to expose the rafters, insulating under the kitchen floor, getting estimates for building and installing a staircase to the attic, repairing and sanding the oak floor boards in the kitchen, stripping walls and painting and of course, when the bathroom is plumbed, decorating that room. I think that list should keep them out of mischief, depending on how long they continue to enjoy the quiet life in Limousin. If they just stayed until the bathroom was complete and we had the phone line installed they would have done us a big favour, so anything on top of that is gravy.