Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Renovation project - new windows and more shopping - Monday 8th October 2012

Renovation project - new windows and more shopping - Monday 8th October

Today is spent shopping, it seems Monday has become the food shop day, but we also need some glass as John is going to replace the broken window panes and not the entire window frames. I am really glad about this as when we looked at new window frames we could not find identical ones. Not only would this have been a problem with the planning permission, but it would have also diminished the integrity of the house, this way we get to keep the original windows and still stay warm!

We head into Carhaix, which is a smaller town only 15 minutes away, the selection of shops is not as good as in Morlaix, but we were advised that the Brico Marche have a glass cutting department. Unfortunately we have forgotten to find out what window putty is in French so we have great fun trying to find putty in the shop!

We get all that we need and so head off to do some food shopping, and joy of joys we find a LeClercs and a Liddle, so we have been driving miles when we did not need to.

The final hurdle today is to go to But stores to find out why the payment has not been taken for the washing machine, fridge and bed settee. We opened a store card when we bought these items and were assured the full payment would be taken a month later, and after the issues we had with orange we are starting to panic that the payment has not been taken. There is a wonderful woman there who is fluent in both French and English, we do not see her when we enter the shop, so using my best French I talk to one of the girls at the desk, rude did not come into it!!!!! Her only reply when asked if there was anybody who could speak a little English was NO, I repeat myself a little differently and it is still NO, she is then a little more helpful (this is a big exaggeration of the word helpful) and states depot. We give up and go to the depot where the original helpful person’s husband works, we discuss our problems with the payment card and he explains that the payment is due in October, so there is no worries, though we have decided we are now not going to buy the cooker from But. There is nothing more I despise than rude shop staff, John thinks it is because we are English, I’m still convinced that they were just very rude and it wouldn’t matter where we came from.

Next job for me is to check the bank account on line to see if the payment has come out today, this is made harder because we can’t find our log in details, so a mad hunt is undertaken, still not found, so a methodical hunt is undertaken, still no luck. I have actually been very organised since being here and have a file with all relevant paperwork in it, so I can’t understand why this document is missing.

I decide to go to the bank to see if I left it there when we sorted out the telephone problem, turns out we didn’t, but again the bank is unbelievably helpful and changes all the passwords and prints off a new document. She also checks that the telephone and internet are fully set up on a direct debit, it is phew!

Back at the house and John has started on the window, I start to scrape the other one so they are ready for painting.

The window is finished and the orange tape is removed, we will be sleeping in an almost draught free room tonight.


  1. Jenny - a tip. Never start a conversation by asking if anyone speaks English; they will say no even if they do. I always rehearse things I want to say (if its new) by using Google translate - it even speaks it for you. We have found that even stumbling French works and people become more helpful.

    However, there are some very rude people serving in some stores - usually the more 'downmarket' the worse. Our Carrefour is great as is SuperU and Leroy Merlin. LeClerc, Lidl, Castorama, Bricocash are much worse and very unhelpful at times - so I avoid them. After life in California this took some getting used to :)



  2. Your story reminds me of when I was last in Paris. Our Parisian site MD was Italian. He specifically told me not to speak French to the locals but only to speak in English.

    He is converse in French but makes a point of replying in English.

    I tried not to chuckle as the locals spoke to him in French and he replied in English (with an Italian accent). They both understood each other but stubbornness won the day.

  3. I am struggling a bit with the language, I can read it reasonably well and understand quite well its the spoken word I have trouble with, think it is something to do with my northern accent!

    would love to be able to speak more than one language, never mind 2! ha ha