Thursday, October 14, 2010

Keep Busy!

That is going to be my mantra over the next few weeks and months while I get used to life here in rural France. As you know there is LOTS to do on the house, but just on an everyday basis, there are plenty of things to keep me busy.

My new schedule starts each day a lot later than I am used as it is so dark and quiet here! After breakfast I take the dog for a good walk, usually around 45 minutes. The first few days here the weather was gorgeous, starting a little cool but perfect for a walk (always uphill as we live in a valley) but by midday it has been in the 20's so no complaints there. Then I have to clear out the fireplace and lay the new fire, as it cools off quite a bit again in the evenings.

Then there is laundry, or cooking or gardening to do. I am trying to be disciplined about shopping, not wanting to be constantly driving back and forth to the shops, the nearest of which is a 15 minute drive away. So I stocked up well and got gas. This new lifestyle is all about downsizing and becoming more thrifty and green.

Then in the afternoons I have been attacking the very long list of jobs that need to be tackled. The first day I just cleaned the house from top to bottom in an effort to get rid of a lot of dust and cobwebs.

I have sealed the old oak floor in the kitchen, it is not staying in the long term but was in a bad state and never looked clean, it is definitely an improvement.

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon cleaning up some of the walls in the living room, getting off some very stubborn wallpaper backing, sanding down some beams and getting them ready to paint. I can see the prep work is going to take a while but my goal is to get this one room decorated before our belongings arrive towards the end of the month.

Today I have had a lazier day, after the walk with the dog, I drove into the next town to pay some taxes, and have quick look in the local brocante, it is a great one. Whilst there I spoke to the owner about a broken finial on my lovely old bed and he thinks either will have a spare or be able to make one for me so that was a good morning.

It was very very misty this morning and only 4 degrees and it has taken until mid afternoon for the mist to burn off. It wasn't a lunch in the garden day as it has been the rest of the week.

This afternoon I got the fire going, I do seem to be using a lot of logs - even though I have the woodburner shut right down, about one an hour - can anyone tell me if this is normal? And of course a lovely conversation via skype with daughter and granddaughter (who thinks it is hilarious that Nana is in the computer).

So my next chore it to get some more logs in for the evening! Hubby will be back tomorrow and we have been invited up the road for dinner. And so goes my first week in my new life.

10 comments:

dND said...

Hi SITH

Like you, I'm a minimum of 15 mins from major shops so I make use of the 'publicity' delivered by the postal service(I recycle it in my village). That way I only shop at the major supermarkets when they have the offers that I want. Also since these shops are 15 mins in each direction I also make use of the French govt. website for fuel prices
http://www.prix-carburants.gouv.fr/index.php
and choose to shop where the diesel is cheapest.
Deborah x
PS Don't forget that 'gas' in France is butane/propane, 'petrol' is paraffin and 'fuel' is heating oil - I wouldn't want you getting the wrong stuff :-)

softinthehead said...

Thanks Deborah :) I am actually 25 minutes from major shops and 15 from just small grocery stores. Does that make me more rural than you?!

Maggie May said...

Thats certainly not bad for a first week! You sound very much at home.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Rosie said...

Hi and welcome to France! It is colder here too today. Mist (no fog this morning) has gone but it's still grey and cold. We have been spoilt for the last few weeks with the glorious weather. We are only about 5 minutes from the supermarket and the local town but an hour away in all directions from any of the 'sheds' for buying major stuff and BricoDepot which is the cheapest DIY store. We only have one neighbour across the valley though - does that count as rural :-)

Rosie said...

Welcome to France. Enjoy.

(I'm not sure whether my last effort got deleted or is on hold somewhere in the ether?)

We've been spoilt the last few weeks with the glorious sunshine too. But today the mist (no..fog) hasn't burnt off and it's freezing!

We're not too far from the local shops but an hour away in any direction from the big 'sheds' for major DIY stuff and bathroom fittings etc. which was a pain when we were doing up the barn but not so important now.

Him Outdoors says that your log usage sounds ok but it completely depends on sort/size of stove/log/room.......... He says he hadn't realised quite what hard work keeping yourself in firewood was. Which is why I am sitting here too cold because we are out this afternoon and it's not worth lighting the stove before we go :-)

dND said...

A bit :-) My nearest shop is 10 mins away, a couple of supermarkets at 15/20 mins and then the hypermarkets of Villeneuve and Bergerac are 25-40 mins. Shopping can still take up a major part of the day especially when some of the shops close for 2 hrs for lunch. But once you get used to it it's actually a relief when you can't go shopping.

The answer is store cupboard but you do need to beware of weevils, moths and mice!

Pearly Queen said...

Hi SITH

You commented on my blog about wool supplies! I mostly buy mine on the internet, but some if I am in a city or back in England. I can give you some addresses if you are interested - but France is not very good for wool shops! Bonne Chance!
Penny
x

aims said...

SITH!! You've done it! I'm so so jealous! And I'm so so happy for you! How wonderful that you are living your dream!

We are heading to NO for 8 weeks this year - leaving early December. I can't believe it at the moment but it's already booked - some of it anyway.

I will have to keep myself from looking at houses for another little while. But someday! Some day I'll be writing like you from NO.

So happy for you! You deserve this!

I LOVE FRANCE said...

Wow just catching up with you
Enjoy every minute of France
We are back home after a lovely ten days even with the hard work
I have posted on what we have done
Kitchen nearly finished
I am soooo pleased
Good luck you lucky thing
Wish i was back there
Andrea

I LOVE FRANCE said...

Wow just catching up with you
Enjoy every minute of France
We are back home after a lovely ten days even with the hard work
I have posted on what we have done
Kitchen nearly finished
I am soooo pleased
Good luck you lucky thing
Wish i was back there
Andrea