Saturday, 16 November 2013

Renovation project - the Clampets are on the move again!!!!!!

Renovation project - the Clampets are on the move again!!!!!!

Today is the day, I think today is almost on a par with having or first indoor toilet, I am so excited! We are going to collect the new suites.

We decided that it would be easier to hire a van and go and collect the last of the big items from the building merchant at the same time.

The local InterMarche, hires vans and these are fantastic value, the sign on the side of the vans states to hire from 12 euro’s (we have not yet found this one!) but for half a day it is only 25 euro’s plus diesel.

I really want to ask Theresa to come and hire it for us, as to be honest my head is hurting, I have been doing really well with my French, but I think this may b a little out of my league!

John insists it’s not, which I think is bloody good of him, seeing as how he will just have to stand there and throw an odd word in every now and again.

We eventually manage, this was the hardest thing I have done so far and it included having to write things down every so often so we could fully understand each other.

The other thing we realised was, that whilst the van is really good value during the week, there are weekend rates!

Where we were expecting to pay 25 Euros’ we are now having to pay 75, and we only get to keep it for another couple of hours!

One thing we learnt quite early is that if you want anything in France; always have the morning, because due to the lunch times the morning lasts till 2pm! (But this is Saturday and they don’t close for lunch on a Saturday!)

Hiring the van only takes about 30 minutes because we were prepared, we took photocopies of all our documents, this saves so much time, as the laid back feel covers everything in this part of France and there is no hurry if the staff have to take your documents and photocopy them for you!

We head off and collect our suites, I am wondering how they will fit through the door (this really is a small house!) my question is answered as the bloke opens the bedroom window! They are passed through and loaded on to the van, we are then invited in for a coffee, we accept and pass a pleasant half hour chatting (yes, it’s another French chat, I’m getting really good at this now!)

Next it is off to pick up our new windows and all of the wood for the new roof on our little barn, the van is loaded to the limit, I sort of feel sorry for our Volvo, it has carried everything so far and now we have the last lot we have forsaken it, I really hope it doesn’t realise and get jealous and decide to pack up to teach us a lesson!

We have also been told about a scrap yard near to the builders merchant, we have tried to visit once but it is only open once a week on a Saturday, we arrive and realise that it is only open once a week on a Saturday afternoon! How do these places survive?

We come back and don’t look like the Clampets for once, the van is unloaded, as we still have it for a few hours we decide to try and clear the garden, 

we manage to fill the van and only remove one pile of garden debris, we consider doing another, but we are knackered and our new settees are beckoning so we take the van back, grab a shower and that night we set out the settees and for the first time since being here, we are sat in front of the fire in comfort, I could so get used to this!

Top tips
  • If you need to hire a van, do it on a week day not a weekend
  • Take copies of all your documents (this is a tip for anything in France, always have a copy of your birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, driving license and anything else you can think of!)
  • Don’t try to hire a van if you are knackered (it’s not a happy experience!)
  • Don’t let your car know you have traded it in!


  1. Believe me I know that feeling that one might actually be getting somewhere!!
    enjoy your sofas and you fire- it all looks very cosy
    Isn't it amazing what a coat of paint can do

    1. thanks Gill
      it is funny how you can be so excited about something so basic, but being able to relax every evening is so nice, it makes the days seem a little easier