Fulminating in France. Weeks 8 and 9

In which truth , justice and the American way prevail over the forces of darkness.

The house

Well, it’s all over. We now have two functioning, non leaking, tiled bathrooms with shower screens and a new and beautiful summer kitchen.  Mario the plumber has been terrific. He arrives on time, does beautiful work and charges a fraction of what we would expect to pay in Oz.  And he cleans up after himself!  he brought a tiler around who said he would come Wednesday.

Through Thierry ,who owns a cafe in Uzes ,we got onto an electrician who arrived with a Chuppa Chup stick poking out of his mouth, had a look around ,made some notes in his phone, said nothing was a problem and by the way our circuit breaker setup was illegal and needed a master circuit breaker. He said he could do it Friday.  I think ‘laconic’ sums him up.  Parfait.  I used my copious free time to strip a table which the Vogts had left and which is intended for the summer kitchen.
So…..the tiler came with two assistants on Wednesday, but only after trying to put it off until Friday.  Lucia came to the rescue here with a perfectly timed phone call. She does not take prisoners, particularly French tradesmen.
Then on Friday we had the electrician and the plumber both going at it hard and it was all over by lunchtime. Except that we still needed an approach tunnel constructing through a built in cupboard in a bedroom to access a bathroom. We had had this job looked at by a local carpenter who failed to give us a price estimate when he said he would and then said he was sick and couldn’t do it. So I decided to do it myself. It is finished and i am quite pleased with it.
So it’s taken 8 weeks instead of 4 ,but it hasn’t cost more than we thought it would.   And we are thrilled with the result. In fact we can’t wait to come back here for a holiday! Francois Rosenblatt came around yesterday and photographed the house and the result is great.


The Livebox seems to be doing its thing, the phone works as long as I go out into the street and a card for the Decoder turned up.
On the social front we have been twice for lunch to the Bistrot du Paradou.  It’s an hour’s drive from here and operates on a simple formula of serving a no choice meal and wine for a fixed price.  Each day the main course changes.  The first day we went the main was cassoulet and on the second occasion it was a lamb rack. So you get salad, main, cheese, dessert and a good cotes du rhone (as much as you dare to drink)7for 45 euros. The building is beautiful and the staff are great. A top place.
On Saturday we were invited by Frederic to his birthday party in his apartment. There were about 30 people there . To our amazement virtually everyone smoked. It was like Australia 20 years ago. Smoking is banned in restaurants and cafes and the cigarette packets are covered in gruesome photos and warnings but they don’t seem to care. Very sad.

So , having got the house the way we want it we are starting to pack up to head home via Retromobile in Paris later this week.  We love the house and are very pleased that we bought it in the area we are in.
(This is a paid advertisement) the house is going to be available for rent about 8 months a year for about the cost of a deluxe motel room (with spa) at a Best Western in Dimboola.  If you or anyone you know is planning a European odyssey think about a short, or long sojourn at Chez Fitz in sunny Sanilhac Sagries.
Have a look at us on ourfrenchhouse.com.au.   The movie will be up shortly, just as soon as Mark and I can get it edited.
From now on I expect the blog to take on a more motoring flavour. I will report from Paris and then do a weekly blog from even sunnier Bunyip. This has been great fun to do and a good pressure relief valve.

Over and out.
John Fitz

2 thoughts on “Fulminating in France. Weeks 8 and 9

  1. Owen Mace

    John , I’ve just read your journal/blog from end to end. Fabulous, just like a Peter Maile book. Love it.
    Reg gave me the web address: we live in the same block of town houses in Adelaide.
    My wife, Delia, and I have a son who lives in London with his family and we plan to visit in May and June but with a longish stay en France. Exactly when depends on . We hope to be able to be definite on when we want to stay in France in a couple of weeks time. In the meantime, I look forward to your next blog (I’ve subscribed.)

  2. Colleen Cusack

    Am good friends with your sister Cathy had lunch with her yesterday. She is spending Easter with you hope you have a lovely time. We may be going to France etc this time next year so will follow your site carefully. Looks wonderful Rgds Colleen


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