Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where Have I Been?

The short answer is nowhere!! What have I achieved? That feels! I cannot believe how long it is since I posted. Just trying to do too much as usual, be all things to all men. Wife, mother, nana, real estate agent, office worker, painter and decorator, friend etc. There are just not enough hours in the day and something will give at some point but not sure which at the moment.

GWE was home for the weekend from the UK last weekend and we had an invite to a 60th birthday party. Typically, for someone who never goes anywhere, life collided and I ended up chasing an offer for clients which didn't fly in the end, just late enough on Saturday evening that it wasn't worth heading out to the festivities.

It was cool and rainy weekend, so although we did manage to address some outside work, getting the leaves out of the pool and pulling out the tomato plants not a lot else was achieved and before you know it, he was back on the plane to the UK.

I have been busy helping daughter and husband whipping their place into shape and it is looking pretty good. We painted all the kitchen units and walls, including a fake brick wall, and it looks great. I think any prospective buyer will now just think "nice big kitchen" rather than "OMG we have to rip out the kitchen!" plus we added a wall in the basement to create a third bedroom and laid a good quality laminate floor throughout the basement to cover the tiled floor, never a good idea in a basement, as it makes it feel cold down there. The new floor has really warmed up the space.

Just a case of whipping the outside into shape now with some weeding and trimming. A bit more tweaking inside with tidying closets (buyers will open them you know) and it should be ready to go on the market. However they are away at the cottage with the in-laws this Thanksgiving weekend, so I will go over and have a tidy round and do some weeding on Monday.

My favourite role at the moment, of course, is that of Nana to the gorgeous but troublesome Annika. I know from the picture above it is hard to believe, but she is proving to be quite a handful in the evenings leaving daughter exhausted and tearful so I gave them an evening off on Thursday while they went out for an evening and I walked the floor with the screaming little madam. It is crazy to see, one minute all smiles - she loves the bath! and her floor mat - gooing and chatting at the smiley face above - hysterical - the next minute screaming as if we are sticking pins in her. However, I did manage to get her off to bed at 9.45 and she slept through to 6.30 apparently so not too bad. But when the screaming fits are happening you do feel helpless.

France seems a long way away at the moment and I was looking back at the old photos trying to my inspiration back. The next step is to restore the end wall on the ruin end, we have had quotes to get the ruin "tidied up" and made safe and the end wall rendered but leaving some large stones exposed. This will really help to restore the look and structure of the wall. But then we should be able to get back to the fun stuff inside, sand blasting beams and getting a staircase installed, etc. etc. While I was looking at the photos I came across these two below which certainly help to keep me motivated when I see the transformation that is possible.

Which do you prefer? Cold and scary .......or warm and inviting


The Green Stone Woman said...

Goodness, considering what you had to start with, really! The sink construction seems a little strange and don't you want a splash guard of tiles around there? But it definitely is a large improvement. You have a lot of courage doing up an old house like that. Hats off to you and yours!

softinthehead said...

Hi Irene - yes we will get to tiles and even paint some time when we next get back there, we were just grateful to have hot water ! :) And not from that scary looking hot water tank.

Maggie May said...

Warm and inviting any day! What a difference! That was a scary looking boiler.
I just love your expression *whipping into shape*.

Lovely little grand child.
Nuts in May

Elizabethd said...

Wow, that ballon is very scary! So typicl of old French cottages. Much better now.

Frances said...

Sounds like Annika is being quite a challenge, I bet your daughter really appreciates you helping out. Love the before and after shots - after looks very inviting, great motivation to carry on!