We’re in the middle of a period of bright, dry weather that won’t last forever, so I thought that this morning would be a good time to repair my bedroom window that I had to break to get back into the house when my car and house keys became locked in my car. I don’t know whether I don’t enjoy glazing work because I’m not that good at it, or the other way around, but it wasn’t a job that I’d been looking forward to.
I still had some putty that was left over from the other glazing jobs that I’d done in the past (repairing a pane in my front door that’s nailed up and also a pane in my back door that was damaged just over a year ago when it fell on me and I’d put my head through it) and I almost expected it to be dry and over-the-top by now.
But it wasn’t. This was probably because when it was ‘new’ it was incredibly moist and sticky, much worse to work with than any putty that I’ve ever bought in England, and as soon as I began to work it, I found that it hadn’t changed in character all that much ie it was still gooey and sticky. I wouldn’t mind if it used its stickiness to adhere to the glass and window frame, but it doesn’t. It sticks to your hands and fingers like the proverbial wotsit to a blanket, but as soon as you start to cut it in and smooth it with your putty knife, it peals away from both surfaces.
So the air around Le Bousquet was blue once again today. Not to say that I didn’t complete the job, but only after quite a bit of commotion and disagreeable language, I have to say. I also had to scarf in a few centimetres of new wood in the horizontal glazing bar to replace a section that had rotted away. This was due to the bottom putty in the pane above having dropped out many months, if not years ago, thereby allowing water to get at the wood that was exposed.
My windows are all of the usual French type, opening inwards. So at least I could work from the comfort of my bedroom and not from the top of a ladder, which was a small consolation, I suppose. Anyway, here are a couple of shots showing how the job finished up for today.
I’ll leave it for a few days and then whack a bit of paint on to make it a bit more weatherproof. But hopefully, if things go smoothly and the developments I have planned for my house go ahead as planned in the spring, the ‘repair’ won’t have to last too long in any case.
The next job was to get on with cutting and stacking more wood in my wood store for the winter. I’d ordered 4 stères from M. Dumas, the wood man, which he delivered on Tuesday. Tuesday happened to be a perfect flying day and Wim had added insult to injury by flying low over my house in the Red Baron and waving at me while I was waiting for M. Dumas to arrive. So I was not in the best of moods, the more so because M. Dumas said that due to having been ill (hmmm…) he couldn’t supply all oak, but could only offer a 50/50 mix of oak and chestnut.
I was rather dubious, because even I know that chestnut is nowhere near as good for burning as oak. However, M. Dumas had assured me that it was good and dry and not only was it OK for burning but that he was even using it himself (again, hmmm…), so I rather reluctantly agreed.
I’ve been spoilt in the last few weeks by the pine that my old next-door neighbour, Benjamin, gave me before he left. People say to steer clear of pine, but this stuff has been excellent. It has been seasoned for 4 years, I think, as Benjamin cut down the trees in his garden before I came to France, and as a result it’s really dry and oil-free. It has been burning incredibly well, throwing out a lot of heat and leaving very little residue, so I’ve had nothing to complain about and have been very satisfied with it.
This evening is the first time that I’ve been able to give the new wood a good go and apart from its taking longer to get going, it does now seem to be throwing out some more than half-decent heat with the stove’s bottom shutter closed. Not as much as the pine, but enough, so if it continues to perform in the same way through the winter, it should at least do the job that it’ll be called upon to do. But I think that most likely M. Dumas’s days as my wood supplier of choice are now probably numbered.
So those were today’s two ‘W’s – window and wood. But I also managed to get one other task under my belt in my spare moments. I ordered a new Electrolux built-in oven for my kitchen that should be delivered in the next 8 working days. That should give me time to finish off cutting and stacking the rest of the wood and on its arrival, I’ll be able to turn my attention back to my kitchen. I should still have plenty of time to get the jobs that I need to do finished before family arrives for Christmas and I just hope that nothing goes wrong to throw me off course 😉
I’ve just taken a look at the weather forecast (ha ha – another ‘W’ for weather) for the next few days and here’s Saturday’s.
If it stays that way, I really must get some time back up in the air. All work and no play and all that – and after flying only one day in each of September and October, I didn’t get up at all in November. So Saturday will be a ‘must’ – and I can hardly wait 🙂