Goodbye green flocked wallpaper

Goodbye green flocked wallpaper

Time to say goodbye to the green flocked wallpaper in our Gite. Decorating tastes of course vary around the world (witness the enthusiasm for Scandinavian minimalistic for example), but to my knowledge there hasn’t ever been a fashion craze for French decorating.  When we were house hunting to buy our Gite in September 2003 we saw a number of “interesting” wallpaper styles in the properties we viewed, and fortunately the Gite we eventually did buy was relatively “normal”. Except for the little girl’s bedroom in pink and purple that is,…

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Stepping up without sliding down

Stepping up without sliding down

I had to look it up, but it was back in August 2010 that we had a new set of railway sleeper steps built from the pool up to the garden and climbing frame. For some reason I never took any photos of the construction of the steps, so at the bottom of this posting I’ll correct that and share what I do have. But the topic in hand was improving those steps.  The steps were made of used railway sleepers so they were as tough as anything and certainly…

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Tiling the downstairs bathroom (part two)

Tiling the downstairs bathroom (part two)

Following on from fitting the new shower cubicle, the next job in the downstairs bathroom was to tile the other walls to match those of the shower cubicle. Here’s how it looked at the start, on the opposite wall is the toilet, vanity unit and washing machine, with tiling part way up the wall beside the toilet and behind the basin.   First job was to cut the silicon sealant off from around the sink, disconnect the taps, and carefully remove the sink.  If I had of dropped it then…

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Hole in the fence

Hole in the fence

The garden of our Gite is (or rather, was) fully fenced in. Here’s a photo taken from the country lane that passes by the Gite in 2016 after Toby and I had spent a week cutting down the pine trees at the end of the garden: Unfortunately that’s what things used to look like. This morning I received a text and series of photos of the garden today. Looks like someone has come down the hill, lost it on the bend, perhaps due to ice, then straight through the fence,…

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Church buys controversial statue in nearby Ploërmel

Church buys controversial statue in nearby Ploërmel

I was amused to read a news article on Connexion France about a dispute over a statue of Pope John Paul II in the town of Ploërmel – which is only 20 miles from our Brittany Gite. According to the Connexion article, a dispute had arose because the statue of the Pope had a cross on the top – a symbol that broke France’s 1905 law of separation between Church and State. The town council has agreed to sell the statue to the Catholic Church for €20,000. Buy buying the…

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Getting organised to go to France

Getting organised to go to France

The garage is definitely getting fuller as I start to get myself ready and organised for some more ‘holiday’ time in our Brittany Gite. As we don’t live close to the Gite, each trip I have to make sure that I’ve got everything I need to take with me. For the last few years I’ve been using Wunderlist which is a cross-platform ‘to-do’ list. I used to write down what I needed to take with me on a piece of paper but inevitably the paper would get lost, mangled or…

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Cheap foreign currency transfers, 2018 update

Cheap foreign currency transfers, 2018 update

Back in 2013 I last wrote about using peer to peer providers to transfer money from the UK to France, and in particular I looked at Transferwise and CurrencyFair in comparison to Moneybookers (now Skrill) that I had used up to then. I concluded that the peer to peer services provided a better rate of return, and that I would be using them going forward. Earlier in the month I needed to transfer £500 to my French bank account in order to pay the property insurance. In the last few…

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