Back in Normandy for the final push on house restoration. We left rain-swept England just before the Jet Stream started to move north to its rightful place. In this final 2 weeks of July we are basking in sunshine, it is an instant summer. There is much to do indoors in terms of reinstating furniture in the bedrooms and unpacking boxes. But we also spend some time outside in the garden, pulling the largest weeds, clearing round some of the orchid seedheads and Nick mows wherever he can. We just need the seedheads to ripen brown and split, then Nick can give the lawn a complete mowing and he will gain much satisfaction from that.
A quick tour of the garden captures some of the form and colour of our flowers. In the last week of July the weather becomes less clement and Nick and I are taut with anticipation as to whether the builders will complete the work before they break up for August. We have booked to return to WK on the 1st August in expectation that work will cease on the 31st. It is a relief to find that work will continue until Friday.
We leave with some painting to be done and the wood burning stove awaiting installation. It is with great delight that Nick finds a message on his smart phone as we drive home from Maiden Newton on the evening of the 2nd. Francois has sent us a picture of the fireplace with stove in situ. The house restoration is finally complete after two and half wearing years during which Nick and I have felt adrift, as if at the mercy of wind, tide and current, like pelagic marine life forms, Janthina for example. Whilst the forces of the big cheese builder, insurance companies, adjudicating experts and dry rot treatment operatives have progressed (actually, you could hardly call it that :() the builder’s claim for all the work involved in uncovering and treating affected areas,under his 10-year guarantee. Happy are we that Nick found the tell-tale mushrooms 9 and a half years into that guarantee period which we acquired when we bought the house.