Thursday, 23 August 2012

Wednesday 15th August 2012

Wednesday 15th August
Got up early today following a text from my daughter, she is on her way to Dubai for a holiday (and the sod text me later to let me know that she had a 3 course meal on the plane, free drinks, a private TV and a chauffeur driven car when she arrived, and I’m excited about a flushing toilet???????) went to our lounge room to call her so as not to disturb John and heard a noise on the way downstairs, I’m busy trying to convince myself that it is only the rain, did I say it rains in Brittany? A LOT!!!! Went in to the lounge and came face to face with a cat, not sure who was most shocked, then realised it was the cat as it jumped and tried to run out of the window (unfortunately it was shut, so it just head butted the window) and then we stared at each other again before it ran around the room and out of the door, this also explains all the paw prints in the kitchen each morning (a much simpler explanation than my over active imagination had conjured up).
The cat started to get a bit braver during the week and hid on the small roof watching us, leaving food out for it helped, but didn't stop it coming in to the house and ripping the bin bags to pieces each night!
As we are up and about early we decided to go and get the bits and pieces we needed from the building suppliers, we went to the tip first and it was shut, it was 40 minutes late opening so we decided to go on the way back (there are very few people on time in France, especially estate agents) drove all the way in to Carhaix and everywhere was shut, so we assumed it all opened at 10 am, when we got to the E Leclerc’s and that was shut we knew something was wrong, it turned out that today was a bank holiday. The days blur in France and I knew there was a bank holiday on Wednesday, but thought today was Tuesday, it was only when we were at LeClercs that I checked what day it was, oops.
Be prepared bank holidays are taken as seriously as Sundays in France and everything shuts, thank goodness we bought food and wine yesterday!
Came back and Andy informed us that he had looked at somebody else’s electrics and they seemed quite strange, so we went on a mission looking at other peoples, saw 3 different houses with 3 different systems, one of which was the B&B which then resulted in a bottle of cider, lager and champagne, but hey ho it is a bank holiday and everybody insisted we shouldn’t be working.
Came back and spent the afternoon trying to rewire our wiring system, 

which was made more difficult by the number of visitors (closed doors do not stop people popping in). John with the little dog turned up with a bottle of wine for us to try and as he was leaving Theresa and Craig arrived to look at radiators and the house, this turned out to be a Godsend as he had a major tip relating to buying building materials (if your reading this, thank you xx).
Top tips
1.       Do not run out of food or anything else on a Sunday or a bank holiday.
2.       Keep a check on the days as there are a lot of bank holidays.
3.       Do not try to work on a bank holiday or after copious amounts of alcohol.
4.       When given advice ask at least 3 people the same question.


  1. Any tip about where is the best place to buy building/decorating materials?

    Would be interested to know!

  2. Hi Gerda

    we tend to use Brico depot, the one in Morlaix is a really big store with a timber yard next door (also plaster, cement, plaster board etc).
    we have bought the majority of our bathrooms from here also, but I would recommend having a look around at showers etc as we have bought items on special offer at Mr Bricolage (normally much more expensive, but their specials can be quite good).
    there is a shop called Castorama, which is also a lot more expensive (apart from their specials) we bought all of our internal doors from here.
    if you can bring paint from the UK, the french paint is not the same quality and very expensive.
    Biggest tip is try not to listen to a lot of the expat experts, who recommend to bring every thing over.
    Happy to discuss via e-mail if you want more details or to meet for a coffee when you come over.

    good luck :)