A week or so ago I had reason to visit the cave only to find one of the hot water pipes was leaking. I can’t remember why I needed to go down there, but it’s a good job I did.
The piping is all copper so there was nothing I could do to fix it. If I’d wanted to do a hatchet job and tape it up I’d have had to go to Brive-La-Gaillarde for supplies and it would have had to wait until the weekend. Now it wasn’t a huge leak, but you wouldn’t want to leave it.
So, a plumber it had to be. A quick search on Google located Bugeaud et Fils, Hautefort in Hautefort as the closest plombier. In spite o my lack of French they were very accommodating and were able to send someone the following morning shortly after 8 am, soon the issue was rectified. We’ve yet to find out how much it cost us. Unlike the UK, where you (have to wait for ages for a plumber) have to pay at the time, in France everything is done with “la facture” (the invoice). We’ll have to wait and see.
That was a couple of weeks ago. This weekend has seen us back at the plumbing again. In the kitchen we’ve two ‘points’ to take water for the washing machine and the dishwasher. When we were here in June both of these worked, but for some reason one of them has blocked up meaning I had to pull out the dishwasher and swap the water pipes between dishwasher and washing machine depending on the demands of the day.
This time we did take a trip to Brico Depot in Brive-la-Gaillarde to get plumbing supplies, a Y splitter, and also a new gas pipe for the hob. Today has seen everything pulled out in the kitchen again and the splitter connected to both the washing machine and dishwasher. So far the washing machine is humming away so we’ve only to test the dishwasher and all should be good.
The other job completed today was replacing the gas pipe between the valve and the hob. We knew this would have to be done from the surveys we had before we bought the house. Managed to replace the pipe today, and glue the valve back onto the wall, so now we have a working hob again which gives us another option for cooking.
It’s still more than a month until we’re back in the Dordogne so I’ve been experimenting with digital watercolour using Artrage 5. Here’s a painting of the house painted on a Lenovo X1 tablet with a Wacom Bamboo Smart stylus.
Brive la Gaillarde is our nearest decent sized city with loads of retail opportunities. The visit to Mr Bricolage was principally to look at wallpapers and we’ve got a few likely candidates picked out for the kitchen and sitting room.
We also picked up some cleaning stuff so after our lunch at Flunch we headed back to the house and began the job of cleaning up. The house has just been used as a holiday home for many years and hasn’t been lived in for some time. So you can imaging there’s a bit of cleaning to be done.
One of the things we knew we’d have to attend to was some woodworm infestion, in particular in the cave behind the chimney breast in in the floor of the top room. Nothing too bad; but it needed to be treated.
While we were in the contract stage we’d arranged a quote from Callisto Systems and organized for them to come out as soon as we’d completed the purchase. So we pitched up to the village for 11am expecting a technician to call to do the work.
As we waited we supped coffee under clear blue skies and beautiful spring sunshine. As a result I got a decent sunburn on my head. But the coffee was lovely and so was the sunshine so we didn’t mind waiting.
Eventually the technician arrived and did an excellent job injecting the beams and spraying the floors while we ate a cracking plat du jour at the local restaurant.
The reason for coming to France this week was to sign the final papers and buy a house here. We visited the house this morning to check everything was OK (not having seen it since last November) and this afternoon at the notaire’s in Montignac we signed the purchase contract.
So now we own a little piece of France. The house is in the village of Badefols-D’Ans in the north east of the Dordogne. The village itself only has around 450 inhabitants (plus 2 more now) but has a restaurant /café and a tabac.
Now our life in the Dordogne really begins. Here’s a couple of pictures of the house from the outside.