Painting…at least in Audrey & Liams rooms.

Rudy Quatrato started at the beginning of June with a ‘delivery date’ of mid September.

Here we are in late October and there is still much to be done. To be honest, the lateness is really down to the previous owner of this house the ‘Right Honorable C$$t’ Mister Carole of the French Army.

We both warned Rudy as to the terrible way that M Carole had undertaken work in the house; DIY was definately not his strong point. Our neighbours have all explained that M Carole was a tight git and that when the house was built he asked the builders to leave the interior decorating to him. The git [as we shall now refer to M Carole {can’t stand even saying his name never mind writing it down}] simply stuck polystyrene tiles on all the ceilings without even bothering to put an undercoat on to pretect the drywall panels. When you try and take these tiles off half the ceiling comes away with it; especially since the git didn’t even protect the joints of the drywall.  The git obviously tried it himself in the dining room and rather than repair the damage the git just nailed up wooden panels onto the ceiling. He did the same thing with every wall in the house simply sticking wallpaper directly onto the drywall panels again not even protecting the joints.

So, Rudys lateness, if you can really call it that, is down to the fact that he had to skim every ceiling [except in the kitchen and we’ll come back to that when it’s done] and every wall in order to put them right. It cost a few thousand extra and added a few weeks onto the schedule but well worth the money and Rudy is very good at what he does.

As the title mentions we’re now in the painting stage in the kids bedrooms. Ours is still the storage room at the moment but I hope to be back in it before Christmas.

Both Audrey and Liam chose their own colours [not my style, but hey if that’s what they want, why not] and Carine pushed them into deciding to have coloured bands across the walls. As you can see from the photos below it took a while to prepare the walls but the result is OK. The white bands at the top and bottom of the walls are there : (1) so that I do not have to cut colour into a white ceiling and (2) to protect the new skirting boards.


So, I’m left with the following to paint, at least an undercoat before the winter sets in..

1. Our Bedroom.
2. The bathroom when finished.
3. The toilet when finished.
4. The kitchen when finished.
5. The lounge and old dining room.
6. The extension across the terrace when finished.
7. The ‘wet room/utility room’ when accessible [another temporary storage area]

I’ve already gone through 20 litres of undercoat, 40 litres of white paint, 5 litres of aubergine, and a couple of litres of each of the other colours. And I’m only a quater of the way through…I’ll need to buy new rollers tomorrow and try to get as much done as I can before I go back to work next Monday.

H20 X5 – not bad

One of the drawbacks of not sleeeping at night is that one gets very quickly attached to the television; especially if you have cable TV as we do.

The other night I was watching one of those shopping channels from America dubbed into French. The guy was trying to sell an H2O X5 all in one steam cleaner. Apparently it can clean every type of wall and floor surface; mirrors and glass; toilets and taps; car wheels; etc. and even steam out creases in clothes.

The price was 119€ which seemed reasonable considering its enormous cleaning potential and the fact that we are still in the building stage; so the house is very dirty and dusty. Of course, it also seemed reasonable because the guy had me hooked on it after the first half an hour.

Next door to Castorama in Puget/Argens there is an “As Seen on TV” shop that sells this on-line stuff off-line.

Carine and I went yesterday to buy the paint for Liams beedroom [light green and light orange :~)] and whilst she popped to the loo I bought the H20 X5…ha ha…

Have to say it’s better than the last one that we had that Carine broke. Later this afternoon I’m going to put on the high-pressure nozzle and zap the bathroom sink. I know that in a months time it’ll be ripped out of the wall but I’ll see how clean I can get it.

More info here in French:





Musée Océanographique de Monaco

Yesterday we spent the day in Monaco.

My boss’s father lives there and he had a problem with his accounts software. On Tuesday this week he’s off to his retreat in Switzerland so he really needed to finalise his accounts before going. We couldn’t resolve the problem over the phone so we decided to go to Monaco ‘en masse’ and whilst I fix his accounting problem Carine, Audrey & Liam could wander around the Metropole Shopping Centre. We also felt that it would be a good idea to treat Audrey & Liam to a trip to the Musée Océanographique de Monaco.

We arrived on the Rock at about 10h30. We spent an hour or so wandering around the little streets and parks and went to the Palace to see the changing of the guards [missed that though] and to take some photos. There were litterally hundreds of tourists in the square [it was a beautiful day; about 27°; perfect blue sky] especially since there was a cruise ship anchored off the main Monaco port. We decided to quickly find a restaurant before everyone esle had the same idea. Good job too because by 12h15 every table in the restaurant we’d chosen was taken and people were being turned away.

After that we marched off to the museum.

As with all things Monegasque if you’re going to do something, do it well, do it right and, most importantly, make it interesting.

I have to say that both Carine and I enjoyed the day as much as the kids. A very well orchestrated visit taking in everything from giant turtles to sharks; from tiddly little coral reef fish to huge 2 metre long congers.

After the visit we went to our old town of Menton to meet up with a friend. After a couple of beers we decided to stay longer and go and eat in Italy. After all what with all the building work at home it would be better than eating dried pasta for the fourth consecutive day. So we went to La Vecchia in Dolceaqua where we had Audreys baptism. Still great food, although way too much and a great atmosphere.

Some pictures for your perusal. Please note that the quality isn’t that good because we’re not allowed to use flash photography and the fish are behind very thick glass!!!:


Operation Cont. Again…

Have just got back from seeing Dr Meyer this afternoon. Here’s the update:

Still got cramps in both legs albeit nothing like last before. Rather, it’s concentrated between the knees and the ankles, but it’s all day every day. My legs also feel quite ‘heavy’ at the end of the evening that Dr Meyer says is quite normal.

Newt week I’ll start the first of 15 physiotherapy sessions and he’s pretty sure that that will be reasonably painful. So, I’ve been signed off work until the beginning of November which is quite annoying given the problems at work.

Dr Meyer was very pleased with the X-ray. As you can see from the two pictures below he managed to get the ceramic disc slap bang in the middle of the two vertebrae L5 and S1.

What makes matters worse is that the building work around me is continuing at home but I can’t get on and do any of the painting. I’m going to have to organize putting everything back in place until such time as I can paint and then I’ll have to store evrything for a second time.

Bad timing, really.