The French Wreck

Will it ever be done?

I've been pretty gung-ho this last week, very positive and absolutely sure that next year the project will be well under way, if not complete by next Christmas.

So what happened?

We had a chat with the architect about the specification and budget!


One and a half hours later, I decided that the task ahead is monumentally not doable as planned! Panic has set in yet again!

Him in doors was not phased, no, Mr Teflon coated, found it all very 'normal' and 'not a problem'. Me? I headed for pre renovation therapy!

Is there such a thing? There ought to be!

The issues are many.

Firstly, my thoughts about moving in and making do would cost an unnecessary fortune and as our architect rightly reminded us, the house as is, is not fit for human occupation.

I guess he's right. On the first living floor, for instance, the floor beams are rotten and full of woodworm. The floor is only in place with the help of acre props right now. No weight can be placed on them. That makes the house pretty dangerous and his idea of storing our belongings in the house, is thankfully not happening.

There is also one full gable wall of water ingress, mould and fungus everywhere and I can't imagine putting my health at risk, just trying to save a few pennies, can you?

My hypothetical plan is actually bonkers in reality!

Okay, so back to the drawing board.

I now realize I absolutely have to go into a short term Gite, possibly 6 months to ensure the first stage is complete ie: the barn. Then I will have somewhere decent to live until the big house is ready. All makes perfect sense.

Of course during the conversation, I realized that the Specification also isn't going to be done in minutes few either. Each room, floor, inside and out needs a lot of thought and consideration. The men lost me when they started talking about the cellar being tanked. I was baffled and beyond bored! I perked up somewhat when we started talking bathrooms and the kitchen but then it was all choices, choices and more decisions.

Sadly, they lost me again with downpipes, drainage, plaster and power points. I just want to jump straight to interior design please!

What is clear, is that, the whole place needs to be stripped back to bare walls, as soon as possible. Repointing done and anything that can harbour moisture taken to the tip tout sweet!

My mind is a little overloaded right now!

I believe I am now on the rollercoaster ride that is major renovation in France.

The budget appears to be 150k out!

Him in doors has tried to convince me that it will come in under our projected budget but that all eventualities have to be thought about and planned for.

The bank of course is insisting on French registered artisans and I can just feel the euros flying out of the window in gay abandon! Our own bank have decided not to play with Brits and their projects at the moment. They give 'concerns for the future' as the reason.


The budget needs to be higher, that much is abundantly clear. Of course I realise that tax is higher in France, than it is in the UK. However, quotes generally appear to be double what I would expect to pay!

I have the usual language concerns, of course.

Anyway, to get ready, I've started reading project management self help books and my son has offered to have a work flow chart made for me to work from. I do feel very out of my depth and we haven't even started yet!

Oh well.

This really is the oddest Monday/Tuesday ever! Bank holiday weekends really throw me out of routine. Also I'm as stiff as a board today from over exercising or I guess, recently under exercising.

In other news. The dogs got an overdue grooming last night courtesy of him and I! After a lot of fighting with Fizzy the pond dog, she finally gave in and let me sort out her frizz! It took forever, but with lots of rests we got there in the end. All that baby fuzz is now gone and she looks ever so pretty! I for one will be glad not to have to hoover 4 times a day but I think I pulled my neck and shoulder trying to hold her still! Be so much easier if she liked people and I could send her to a groomer!

Anyway a few aches and pains are nothing that a few tablets and stretches can't solve, I guess, but my mood is another issue! Maybe shutting off the British news might help! I'm so sick of 'Little Britain Borisy Brexshit'! Oh and poor Harry, caught between Hollywood, Royal privilege and the snarky British media eh! If I were him I'd buy an island and live there in peace!

I really, really wish we could stay in Europe and life go on as before! Then I might sleep soundly at night, knowing that our investment in France will be worth it in the end!

D x

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