Monday, July 20, 2009


The jet lag really knocked me for six last week and then over the weekend I went down with a cold ( not swine flu - although I did check the symptoms ).  So it has been an uneventful few days, but I did read a couple of good books which I can highly recommend.
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova and 
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. 
Both very compelling and very readable.

But more news on France, when we finally arrived, we were itching to see what have transpired in our absence and couldn't wait to see the bathroom transformation:

The before and after:

As we first saw it back in 2007, with ivy coming in through the window, a toilet you wouldn't want to sit on and a scary looking hot water tank in the corner.  Looking at the picture it actually doesn't look as bad as it did in reality but even so I think you will agree the present state is a great improvement.  Note the vanity unit built by son!
Click on the pictures for a closer look.

We were thrilled with the results of our neighbour's handiwork and rushed up the road to introduce ourselves and convey our delight.  What a lovely lady - within minutes were were sat in her back garden with a glass of wine to hand - those are the kind of neighbours we like!  

A little later back at the house we found we were in need of a corkscrew (I can't believe son and girlfriend survived for three months without one) and a bread knife to cut the bread made by same neighbour!!  So she joined us for the rest of the evening to partake in several mugs of wine (yep - no glasses either).  Welcome to France :)

Another transformation later in the week was the front yard.  Everytime we get there we have to cut back all the weeds so we decided to take the matter in hand and we totally cleared out the beds, and cut back all the unwieldy "shrubs", put down some membrane to inhibit the weeds and spread gravel.  It looks a bit clinical but we are hoping that the lavender we planted will eventually give the yard some colour.


Maggie May said...

You are getting there then, with the improvements. Very good. Bet you hated to go.
I would love neighbours like that! I can but dream......!

Elizabethd said...

Isnt it great when you can put your own stamp on the place, so exciting every time you come!

aims said...

The differences are incredible! What a talented son you have!

Well done SITH - on so many accounts.

Debra in France said...

You are doing so well with all your renovations. Good idea to gravel the front garden, it must be awful to come back to an overgrown garden each time.

You son is really talented to make a wash stand like that. It looks wonderful. Debra xx


Looking good
Our garden was like a jungle when we arrived in july
It was fight through the weeds about 5foot high
o hopefully in September Billy who refused to do any work in july will get his finger out and do the same as you in the garden Andrea

aims said...

Hey SITH - here is a link to the house I'm keeping my eye on and that we almost got caught trespassing in the back would have done the same thing wouldn't you have?

aims said...

Hmmmm - this looks the same as the one I left you.....

If it doesn't do the trick - email me on my 'contact me' - and I'll send it to you via email.

btw - left it on the other blog too!