May 31, 2021

Here’s the problem

Today was Bedroom Window Day 1 and Wim had kindly agreed to give me a hand after having only arrived back home yesterday evening after a few days away with Sophie and the dogs in their camping car, so I had got everything ready and had already made a start cutting the old frame out by the time he arrived. The new bedroom windows, which have been standing outside under a plastic cover for about six months, are nothing like as unwieldy as the patio door that we did together at the end of last year but are heavy enough to need the two of us to safely lift them.

We really wanted to split the window section from the frame but as the manufacturer hadn’t included any instructions and there are also none on their web site, we had to work out how to do it. It took us several minutes but when we’d cracked it it turned out to be really simple to do. After we’d carried the window section up to the bedroom Wim went back for the frame while I carried on cutting around the old frame with a cutting disc on my small angle grinder and slicing through the three metal brackets on each side that attached it to the wall.

This made the frame really loose and after Wim had cut through the bottom section at each end, the whole frame came out with very little damage to the surrounding wall. If only the ‘expert’ that I’d hired to do the three bathroom windows had done the same he’d have saved an enormous amount of time and heartache (on my part!). It was then time to offer the frame into the window aperture and see how good and effective my measurements were. The answer was perfect! The frame sat beautifully in the window aperture with almost perfect gaps on its sides and bottom (the top ascended into a gap above the aperture as the old windows had done) and I could see that there would be very little making good to do.

Having started at 9.00 am we’d got to this stage by only 10.30 so after a cup of coffee, Wim was able to leave as I could handle the next steps alone. Unfortunately I found that the screws that I’d got from Brico Depot over the week-end were nowhere near long enough for the new frame so I knew that for starters I’d need to go back again and this time try to get hold of the special screws of the right length that are available for fitting replacement windows. After clearing a few things away and just moving my ladder to the back of the house I left for Brico Depot with the bedroom window wide open of course, at about 11.00 am.

And then the usual old problems started to rear their ugly heads. Yes, Brico Depot did have some of the right length screws but, naturally, none of the special wall plugs that are needed for them. So I set off for home without the latter thinking that I’d stop off for a bite of lunch and then head down to Briconautes in Montignac to buy some there. However, at the roundabout just before Briconautes the turn-off had a ‘road closed’ sign, and so did the next one from which you could double round to get to Briconautes from the opposite direction, so I was stymied!

Nothing for it but to head off down to BricomarchĂ© in Sarlat, another 25 kilometres or so in the opposite direction, where I did manage to get what I needed. However, it was pushing 4.30 pm by the time I got home again, so the whole exercise as well as adding something like 60 kms or more to my car had wasted going on for 6 hours of what should have been productive work time. And this always seems to happen – one store never seems to have everything in stock that you need to do a job and you end up spending hours driving around half of the Dordogne to get what you need.

The ironic thing was that my problems didn’t end there. It turned out that the walls either side of the bedroom windows are made from terre cotta blocks which I know from experience are hopeless at taking wall plugs after you’ve drilled them. And such was the case this afternoon. It turned out that although the special window fixing screws worked fine, the special wall plugs that I’d spent hours driving around to buy were ineffective.

So after drilling the side fixing holes I then had to completely remove the frame again, use some larger wall plugs that I already had which fitted more tightly and then replace the frame as accurately as I could to make the holes and plugs line up again. I managed to do it, mainly because the old frame had caused so little damage when we’d removed it earlier, and I did the minimum of making good necessary to make the job weather-tight.

As the window section is pretty heavy for one person to man-handle, my original idea was to wait for Wim to return before refitting it. However, I thought I’d give it a go and after a couple of missed shots lining up the bottom pin that slips into the bottom pin, I was amazed that I managed to do it. It was then only a matter of closing the window and carefully jacking up the window section in the frame to line up the top pin that slides into place to hold it in.

Once it was correctly aligned, it slipped in surprisingly easily and to all intents and purposes the job was done. I’ll leave all of the final making good and sealing until both windows have been done but for now, here are a ‘before’ shot taken of the window in the other bedroom and an ‘after’ shot of the window that was put in today.

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I’m delighted with the results and I just wish that the person who I entrusted to replace my bathroom windows had done an equally good job. So now just the second bedroom window to do and a new electric hot plate to go in and I’m all finished. I’d like to make some phone calls tomorrow to do with the new house build and as I’ve been working flat out without a break for several days, I’ll probably then take it easier and just get the other bedroom ready for its new window on wednesday when Wim will be available again. And if it makes as little mess as the work today did, I’ll be very happy indeed 🙂

May 29, 2021

At long last!

I made another early start and spent another full day working on the caravan’s ‘salle d’eau’. To say that I’m fed up to the back teeth of it is an understatement but at least at long last I’ve now finished the unit I’ve been building to house the Porta-Potti chemical toilet. It isn’t the thing of beauty that I hoped it would be but at least it should be functional with its built-in locker to house the toilet’s chemicals.

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Here’s a closer view of the locker. I’m very disappointed because I had a terrible time fitting the lid. The screws that came with the small brass hinges that I bought the other day in BricomarchĂ© in Sarlat were so tiny that the heads mashed up while I was trying to attach the lid to the main body. The problem was that I couldn’t see what I was doing due to access problems and I ended up having to throw them away and grind down the heads of some large screws that I could screw in using a normal size phillips screwdriver.

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The other problem is that because I didn’t cut my straight lines straight enough and because I made the lid from a different sheet of plywood from the main unit, which was slightly warped, even though I’ve eased it as much as I can, the lid is staying slightly open. I think that I’ll probably have to fit a magnetic latch as the pressure needed to get it to sit down is only very small and leaving it the way it is will annoy me. The other side is just blanked off to make the space into which the Porta-Potti slides but even that took me most of the day to complete.

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Now the money shots with the Porta-Potti in place.

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I’ve still got the sealing to do – the whole ‘salle d’eau’ as well as the unit itself, to make sure that no water can get where it shouldn’t – plus I’ll need to install a shower curtain arrangement as I described in my previous post. And I’m still waiting for my electric water heater to arrive that I’ll need to fit to make the whole thing viable.

The unit will do its job but what disappoints me is how long the job has taken. One of the main contributory problems is that the caravan is in the far corner of my garden and getting to it from my workshop involves a round trip of about 100 metres. Not only is this time-consuming and tiring, it’s also very tedious when I have forgotten something and have had to go the whole way back to my workshop to get it and then walk back again to the caravan.

I’ve just this evening spotted another newer, larger Fendt in my price range on Le Bon Coin. However, although I think that the caravan I’ve got was definitely a mistake, I think that I’m now too far into it to take a different direction. I’ve just received the material to do a repair on the door and I’ve also ordered a new 220v fridge and common sense tells me that it would be too much given the time that’s now available to take on anything else, given that I’ve still not started to make the necessary preparations to leave my house and arrange for someone to do what’s necessary on my land to site the caravan – ground clearing and levelling and connections for electricity and water. There’s much still to do and time is ticking away.

May 27, 2021

Pressing on

I’m continuing to work on the caravan and the job in hand is the ‘salle d’eau’ or toilet for the non-French speakers. When I acquired it there was no toilet – just a wash basin – and I will need both a toilet and a shower facility. Originally the caravan would have had a fully fitted toilet, probably a Thetford model, but someone must have removed that a long time ago and built in a horrible flip-top cupboard arrangement in its place.

The trouble was that as well as the cupboard not being waterproof (and also most unhygienic), whoever did the job also left a gaping hole in the side wall of the toilet compartment into which the original Thetford would have fitted, as shown in the following pictures.

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My aim was to come up with an idea for some kind of unit that will not only provide me with a toilet but will also rectify the above and will be waterproof so I can take showers without worrying about causing damage through water seepage into the toilet compartment walls and floor. It has taken me several days so far to do it and I’m not yet finished, but here’s the state of play as of today.

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I recently acquired a Thetford 365 Porta-Potti chemical toilet (much loved by caravanners) and eventually it will sit on the main platform with a small cupboard with a flap-up lid on its left as you look at it, for the chemicals and so on. Getting to the present point has been the hardest part of the project and from now on it should be plain sailing to finish off the build in-situ.

Everything will have been varnished to make it waterproof and all that will then be necessary will be to seal all around its joints and edges with waterproof mastic and fit a couple of shower curtains, one shorter one to pull across in front of the toilet and the other full-length one to cover the toilet compartment door. I just hope that I haven’t overlooked anything in my plans 😉

May 25, 2021

So near…

The more time I spend working on the caravan that I bought a few weeks ago, the more I am becoming aware of its shortcomings in respect of its suitabilty for living in for an extended period of time. It’s a bit smaller than I would like and due to its age, its design leaves something to be desired. I could do it, but I’m becoming less keen.

My friend Madeleine frequently has the knack of getting immediately to the heart of a problem and when I mentioned this to her a week or so ago she said, simply, “OK, then why don’t you just get another one.” I guess that with this subconsciously in my mind, even though I’ve got the one I bought on my front lawn and have been working on it, I still left my search up on Le Bon Coin and have been checking to see what’s come up every day. And yesterday, a bank holiday here in France, I spotted another Fendt.

This one was bigger than the one I’ve got, 6.5 metres long compared to 5.95 metres, newer, more modern and, from the photographs that I’ve shown below, much better fitted out.

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On the face of it it would have been a much better prospect as a home that I could be living in for more than a year and to cut a long story short, I was due to drive down to the Aveyron just after the time I started typing this. It’s only a 100 miles or so but about 2Ÿ hours drive each way, to see it and if I’d decided to go for it I’d have had to go back with the Kia to pick it up tomorrow.

Having the two caravans would create more new problems for me but I have a feeling that ultimately it would be the right way to go. I’d just have to finish the work I’m doing on the old one and resell it before I leave Plazac at the end of June. However, the decision was taken out of my hands because although I’d arranged with the seller to meet up at 11.30 this morning, just as I was about to go out of the door I received a message saying that the caravan had been sold.

I DO wish people wouldn’t do that after you’ve made an agreement. I was disappointed but lucky for me that I saw the message before leaving as otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it until I’d arrived at my destination. But maybe I’ll just keep looking though, having come this close…

May 22, 2021

It’s official!

We’ve got yet another miserable wet day today and I’m beginning to get worried by the amount of time I’m losing getting myself ready to move out of my house. I need to be out in the garden cutting up metal bits of old aircraft to take to the dĂ©chetterie but I can’t do that while it’s raining as I’ll be using an electric angle grinder.

I’m trying to make the best use of the time that I can by doing stuff that I need to do in the caravan but even that’s not easy as I have to keep crossing the garden and going in and out in the rain which is both messy and time-wasting as I have to keep waiting for the rain to die down a bit if it’s raining really hard. It looks as though the weather might change towards the end of next week but if anyone knows how fickle and unpredictable the Jetstream, that’s causing all these problems is, it’s me.

Today I’m working on installing the Porta-Potti chemical toilet that I got hold of on Le Bon Coin a week or two ago. While I was heading to my workshop to pick up a couple of things I thought I’d check my mailbox and inside was a large brown envelope headed Mairie de Fleurac containing the following.

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So at long last it’s official! I can now go ahead and finalise the purchase of the land for my new house and start talking seriously to contractors. It has also brought home to me how much I still have to do before moving out of my current house. Time is passing very quickly and I will hardly be able to take a rest until I’m actually installed in my caravan so I’d better knuckle down and get cracking installing this ruddy toilet 😉

May 20, 2021

Turning up the heat

I’m beginning to think that the old caravan that I bought wasn’t that good an idea as there are quite a few things that I need to sort out in (and on) it, all of which are costing money, and since I got it, several other newer vans have come up on Le Bon Coin, many at lower prices than I paid. But I guess that you can’t win ’em all and I’ll just have to bite the bullet and make the most of it, because at least it has proven to be leak-tight in the dismal wet weather that we’ve been having for practically the whole of this month.

Today as it was fine (very warm actually) and I could work outside, I decided to turn my attention to its heating system. Remember this?

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The caravan’s gas powered heater was removed long ago and replaced with this, how can I describe it… object. It’s an electric fan heater that has been designed to look like a miniature wood burning stove. For the life of me, I can’t imagine what kind of person would have bought this thing back in the day, but someone did and after cutting a hole out of the panel where the gas heater had once been, they had literally stuffed ie wedged it, in its place.

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You can’t see it very well in the above pic, but there was a gap either side of the thing through which you could see the caravan’s wheel arch and where it had been wedged in and, presumably, subsequently removed at some time, the woodwork along the top of the hole into which it had been shoved was split and very ugly looking.

Well no more. How anyone could have lived in the caravan with this monstrosity I do not know and I decided to make it a priority to replace it with something more practical, more effective and with more eye appeal. When I leave my house, I’ll be taking with me several electric heaters that I acquired not long after I moved in that can be either floor or wall mounted, so it made sense to use one of those for the caravan.

Unfortunately, I long ago mislaid the left-over wall mounting brackets so I had to make up a set. The aluminium that I used was a bit flimsy but I’ll have to see how it gets on and for now at least it seems to be OK. I made up a new panel from plywood to mount the heater on and also patched up the holes in the floor that had been left that were invisible as they were behind it but which I just didn’t like to leave. Everything was varnished and I was very pleased with how the job came out as the match is incredibly close to the existing woodwork, as the following shots show.

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I know the heater works but can’t try it out for now as I had to cut its plug off to push its cable through a hole to the back of the panel. I’ll have to get hold of a new one to finish the job off. There’s also plenty of space in the cavity behind to take the water heater that I have on order and as the pictures show, there’s a hole in the woodwork to the right of the new heater where I’ll be able to fit a switch for it, making everything look very tidy and much, much better than before.

Anyone want a fan heater that looks like a miniature wood burner? Very little used, only one owner… 😉

May 14, 2021

Big sigh of relief!

I made a fairly early start and went over to the Mairie at Fleurac this morning. As I half-expected, it was closed with the door and windows all shuttered. However, as I was silently cursing my luck and thinking that I’d have to wait until Monday at the earliest before I’d be able to get more information on the status of my permis de construire, the door opened and the mayor emerged. We greeted each other and as he knew why I’d come, he invited me in so he could show me the ‘arrĂȘtĂ©’ that I was talking about.

It turned out that things had become quite complicated. Les Architectes des BĂątiments de France had given a thumbs-down to my house because of its modern day ‘pavillon’ style ie not sit-up-and-beg traditional high roof Perigord, and also because it is in the shape of a ‘V’ and the mayor showed me their letter that expressed their non-approval. However, he had told them that as the area is NOT a protected area despite being one that BĂątiments de France have designated as being ‘of special interest’, as far as he and the commune were concerned, my proposed design was perfectly acceptable.

I said that I was not interested in the complicated details and that all I wanted was a simple answer to a simple question. Will I be getting my permis de construire? He said that yes, I would be, but as shown in the final section of the ‘arrĂȘtĂ©’, it will be subject to certain conditions to keep BĂątiments de France happy. These are that I conform strictly to the approved colours for my facades, ‘menuiseries’ (woodwork, window frames, shutters) and roofing and that my roof has a minimum pitch of 35%.

I was fully aware of all of these and took great care to incorporate them in my plans, so I’ve already taken them into account and they will not inconvenience me in the slightest. So I’ll be getting my permis officially in about two weeks time, which is a HUGE relief. It means that I can not only now finalise the purchase of the land but can also start to make other detailed plans in relation to placing the caravan on it, finding a contractor and moving out of my present house.

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Unfortunately due to the time of year and the steps that will be needed to progress the project, I can’t see any building work getting underway until the spring at the earliest so it’ll be in my interest to get myself nicely settled in the caravan and as comfortable as possible – ‘as possible’ being the operative words 😉

May 13, 2021

Still much uncertainty

As it’s more than a month since I lodged my ‘demande de permis de construire’ at the Mairie at Fleurac and I have received no response, especially no negative response, I thought I’d contact Urbanisme at Rouffignac to check on progress. I thought that this automatically meant that my ‘demande’ would be approved, but still subject to the ‘normal’ 2 month timescale for a ‘tacite’ agreement. However, it appears that this only applies for ‘small’ works and that I must wait out the full 2 months before I can assume that I have a go-ahead. More importantly, a turn-down is still possible at any time during that period.

However, I was heartened to receive a very prompt reply to my email which not only included the above information but also said that an ‘arrĂȘtĂ©’ had meantime been sent to the Mairie for signature and that I might like to contact them for more information. An ‘arrĂȘtĂ©’ is a legal pronouncement or decree and it’s the official response that you receive to your planning application. Here’s a copy of the one that I received three years ago for my house extension which I never went ahead with.

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Having been told that, for a short time my heart leapt. That was until I realised that you also receive an ‘arrĂȘtĂ©’ when your application ‘n’est pas accorde’ ie has been declined. So I’m still no further on this morning and won’t be either until I can get advance information on the contents of the ‘arrĂȘtĂ©’ or I actually receive it by post in the fullness of time. And I say ‘fullness of time’ because as the example above shows, after being signed by the Mairie it then has to be sent to the Sous-PrĂ©fecture at Sarlat, stamped by them and returned to the Mairie before being sent out to me, a process which takes up to another two weeks.

Today is a holiday in France (Ascension Day) but the Mairie at Fleurac would be closed anyway until tomorrow. So I’ll be going there tomorrow morning and just hope that they won’t still be closed with a ‘fermeture exceptionelle’ to give themselves a long week-end, which is what happened at Easter when I lodged my ‘demande’, losing me a week right at the start of the process.

So the possibility still remains that I could have my house build plans turned down, meaning that I’d have to cancel the purchase of this particular terrain and launch an urgent search for another. The only certainty at this point is that I must be out of my present house by the end of June, so there’s a distinct possibility that I could then be homeless without even any land to park my caravan on in which to live.

MCA, my original choice of house builder, has much to be held to account for as I’d never have been in this position if they hadn’t footled around and lost me three months from the beginning of January until the beginning of April when I eventually kicked them out and took charge of my project myself. I wish now that I’d done it sooner but as it is, I have no choice but to live with the consequences and the uncertainty that’s arisen as a result.

May 11, 2021

Almost there

It’s taken blood, sweat and tears – well blood and sweat anyway – but I’m now at the point that I’ve only got to install the two new windows in my bedrooms and I’ll have completed all the work that I promised the buyers I’d do. That will have to wait for the next spell of good weather, which could be a week or so away, so in the meantime I’ll be able to think about starting to clear all of my possessions that I want to keep and disposing of the stuff that I don’t.

Here are the shots that I took this evening of the now finished bay window and bathroom.

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It’s now over a month since I lodged my ‘demand de permis de construire’ for my new house at the Mairie in Fleurac and as I’ve not received a negative response, this officially means that the demande will be granted and that I can start to move my plans forward. As soon as the purchase has been completed, which I’d like to do as soon as possible (although the seller still thinks that I should get confirmation first from the DĂ©partement d’Urbanisme at Rouffignac, so I sent off an email this evening) I can put up a ‘panneau’ (panel) detailing the work that’s planned and start work as from 9th June.

In the meantime I can resume my search for a builder and press on with my moving arrangements, so much still to do. I try not to lose sight of the idea that as with all things, this too will end and my life will revert back to being tranquil and ordered. But there’s no chance of that just yet… 😕

May 9, 2021

Ironic

When I first moved into my current house nine years ago in 2012 there was an awful pong in my bathroom and when I exposed the pipework by breaking away the boxing around them at the foot of the wall, I found out what the reason was. A joint in the plastic waste pipe had not been made correctly and had been leaking for years but as I needed to put in an electric water heater (what is referred to over here as a ‘ballon’) and make connections for my washing machine’s water supply and waste, it was a simple matter to do the repair of the waste pipe at the same time.

And that’s how my bathroom has remained ever since – with the pipework exposed and the bottom of the wall broken away to get at them. So it’s a bit ironic that after all this time I’m now doing the making good that will end up making my bathroom look quite presentable again, work from which I will derive little benefit as I’ll be moving out in the not-too-distant future and from which my buyers will get the main use and enjoyment.

But that’s viewing things with the benefit of hindsight. My intention was to do the boxing-in of the pipework and the making good after I’d installed the new double-glazed windows in the bathroom and, of course, I bought the windows before I knew that I’d be moving, as I did also the new patio door. But having told the buyers that I would finish installing the new patio door, put the new windows in in the bathroom and do the making good, now I’ve got to stand by my word and do it.

I started on the bathroom work yesterday and made good progress before eventually running out of plywood. This morning from 10.30 am was my friend Victor’s birthday celebration and as Brico Depot opens on Sundays only from 08.00 am to 01.00 pm, I had to make an early start to get over there and back in time for the festivities. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to do any work in the bathroom at all today.

I wasn’t able to get cracking until after lunch so it wasn’t until this evening that I was finally able to finish up and call it a day. Boxing-in pipework can be a fiddly, tedious job as it has to be done accurately and this is very difficult in a house like mine in which nothing’s vertical and there are no right-angles. So although I was feeling very tired at the end of it, I was very pleased with the results.

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Now there’s just the final cosmetic making good and painting to do. I’ll be able to combine the latter with doing the walls either side of the patio door so hopefully if things run smoothly, I’ll only need another couple of days or so to get both jobs buttoned up. Then only the new bedroom windows will be left to do but I have no intention of tempting fate at this stage by saying how soon I think they will be in, bringing to an end all of the ‘building’ work that I said I’d do

The weather has taken a turn for the worse now (as I was typing this earlier, rain was pounding against the new patio door) and it will remain bad for the whole of the coming week. With a bit of luck that means that I’ll be able to spend some time on ‘moving out’ stuff. I’d like to think that I might be able to get some packing started of stuff that I don’t have an immediate need for and I have to start thinking about clearing out the stuff that I’ve put in my ‘grenier’ upstairs as well as what was left by the previous occupier. I’ll have to see how things pan out.

May 3, 2021

Ta da!

OK, done. The walls either side of my new patio door have now been plastered. And it was every bit as tough as I thought it was going to be. But never mind, the whole job’s not finished yet but its back has been well and truly broken. Just some finishing to do with fine filler here and there and then just sealing of the new tiles, painting and sealing around the frame with a mastic bead to be done.

Here are the walls as of this evening. Yes, they have lots of irregularities and humps and bumps but they are supposed to have, because that’s what the walls are like in my living room. I’ve not been able to match the existing texture exactly, though. I’d have needed a ‘mate’ assisting me to do that. I think the original decorators applied the plaster as I have done spreading it on like butter with a small trowel. Then they applied a texture to it using a stiff bristled brush while it was still soft. I tried to do that but the plaster was going off so quickly that by the time I got round to it, the plaster I’d put up was already too hard.

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So when the patio door is completely finished I’ll be able to return to the making good along the foot of the bathroom wall. And when that’s done, I’ll only (only he says…) have to install the new windows in the bedrooms and I can start to think about the process of moving out. To quote Mr. Barnier, the clock is ticking…

May 2, 2021

Slightly unconventional

Before I could embark on replastering the walls either side of my new patio door I had to make a new corner on the wall on the right hand side. This was because the old rendering on that side was far too thick (because of the old metal door hinge having been buried – see earlier posts) with almost the whole wall on that side needing to be cut back to the original stone. Unfortunately when I chipped it off, although I’d tried to retain the whole edge up to the corner of the wall, quite a large portion broke away. This needed to be replaced in order to give me a full edge to plaster up to and this was today’s main job.

But before I started, I needed to zip across to Brico Depot after Wim and I had enjoyed our regular Sunday morning coffee together before they closed at 1.00 pm. I went there yesterday without checking on the internet only to find that they were closed for France’s May Day holiday, so had to go again today to pick up some plasterboard tape to finish off the ceiling above the patio door. So it was already early afternoon before I got going, later actually, because after I’d had a salad for lunch when I got back, I connected up the caravan’s gas for the first time and tested the hob, which worked OK I’m glad to say.

Usually when you plaster up to an edge or a corner, it’s a good idea to nail some kind of board to the wall to give you a solid edge to work to. I didn’t want to do this, firstly because I didn’t want to bang any nails in and risk having more plaster come off and secondly, because the walls in my house are all let’s say, irregular, because of the house’s nature and character. So I decided on a rather unconventional approach and just mounted a board vertically against the edge of the wall without actually fixing it.

The material I used for the job was the plaster that I originally used on the new bathroom window surrounds that went off super fast. That was less than desirable for that job but was just what I wanted for this one provided that I could get the plaster mix into place quickly enough. In fact, before I did the corner I used the same material but in a more sloppy state on the by now taped ceiling board and although I’d cleaned the bucket out before adding new plaster to do the corner, there must have still been enough old plaster left in it because when I did the corner, the plaster went off super super fast!

Here are a couple of shots of the corner with the board in place ready for me to start plastering. I’d placed a couple of small wooden blocks at the bottom of the right thickness to get the board standing vertically against the wall.

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And here’s the corner with the plaster already cured and hard just a few minutes after I’d completed the job. So unconventional my approach might have been, but the final result turned out pretty well. If someone had said to me that this was as good as I’d get and offered me it as a final result before I’d started I’d have bitten their hand off accepting it!

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And finally, the ceiling board. I used fibreglass tape because it’s stronger than paper and likely to give a better long term outcome. And I think that it was the right decision because with a bit of sanding, now both the ends and the let’s say, more ‘problematic’ centre area, are perfectly acceptable and ready for painting.

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The last shot above of the centre section shows up as a bit grey because it was still moist and not fully cured. When it has gone off completely it will be pure white like the ends. So today was very successful. I also managed to get a very short drone flight in before Wim arrived this morning and to fit in an hour’s baby-sitting of my neighbour, Chantal’s little dog, so successful and also busy. Now I’m all ready for the main attraction tomorrow – plastering the walls – and I’d better get a good night’s sleep in tonight so I’m totally zoned-in and in the right frame of mind for it 😉