Friday, 18 January 2013

Renovation project - The easiest way to send birthday cards when you live in France

Renovation project - The easiest way to send birthday cards when you live in France

The house is still freezing and stays that way until we light a fire and as we are actually starting to run short on big wood, we do not light it till the evening. Not all that long ago we had a shed full of wood, so we are going to have to look at investing in a delivery of logs.

We are also reconsidering our ideas on heating the house, John has seen a la kit de distribution d’air chaud, which roughly translated means a box in the chimney with vents into other rooms, this means all the heat that is lost via the chimney will be re routed to other rooms, we have seen it in action in other houses and seems to be a very inexpensive way to heat the house. So we do spend a lot of time researching this.

It is also my daughters birthday tomorrow, I have managed to get a card sent to her by the internet site funky pigeon, we have realised this is great as we can just program all relevant birthdays in and they will send a reminder to us and post the card out, fantastic. Also managed to order some flowers to be delivered, at this rate nobody will believe they are from me as normally cards can arrive  a month before or after the actual birthday, this is not one of my strong points.

We also have our new cooker being delivered this week so it’s time to do some work on the kitchen floor, this involves me on hands and knees scrubbing each individual tile, but they do look good afterwards and I actually feel a little bit warmer by the time I finish.

We end the day with a nice meal, a glass of wine and a good film, we also rearrange our seating area so that we are almost sat on the fire and oh to feel the warmth, I feel the ice in my bones begin to melt and think I may actually have blood running through my veins again rather than an ice slushy.

All is well until it is time to go to bed and that means going to the top floor and trying to dive under the covers in as little time as possible, it does not take long for bones to refreeze!

Top tips

1.       Use an internet card site (inexpensive and guaranteed to arrive on time)
2.       Find internet flower delivery sites, it means those left behind can get a nice surprise and you feel part of any birthday celebrations.


  1. Hi Jenny,

    We have the vent system installed in our living room and one upstairs bedroom (which has a chimney breast). To make this work you really need a BIG stove installed with a "hot box" above it and ducts from that to the various rooms. It will need forced air to work properly other wise cold air falls quicker than hot air rises! It will be expensive - probably around €10,000 so I'd investigate some alternatives. We use oil boiler and radiators as background heat and the fireplace as comfort heat, seems to work well now the place is properly insulated and our oil consumption is half of last years (so far).

    Also watch out for those Internet greeting cards - many contain malware or viruses and usually get caught by good virus software.

    Good luck


  2. Hi David

    thanks for this, my blog is a little bit behind, we now have the vent in 2 rooms, its not really hot yet, we are having to decide whether to change the wood burner (beautiful to look at) for an insert burner (not as beautiful but more efficient).
    Hopefully once the house is fully draught and hole free things will improve :)

  3. Jenny, Look on AngloINFO, there is a guy there (Elsworth) who specialises in woodburners, inserts etc. He's not that far from you and he seemed to really know what he is talking about. Inserts are expensive but they do throw a lot of heat out so need to be in a big room (our room is 50 sq m)



  4. thanks for this info David, I am still getting used to just how friendly and helpful people are on the blog and other websites.
    over the next few days you will see the heating system grow and maybe I will stop complaining about the cold :)

  5. We understand, this house is about 100% warmer than last year. Just a tip, we have found that we get a better fire effect and less extreme heating by using smaller pieces of wood. The French typically use 50 cm long logs and leave them about 12cm thick, half that works great in our insert