Life in French France…

I had a shower today.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody, but I’m sure there will be one or two of you who are immediately thinking “well doesn’t he shower every day?”
You’re right, unless flying around the world long distance, being cooped up on an aeroplane en route say from London to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, having a shower is commonplace, generally once every twenty four hours or so.


The S Rate (showering rate) being a standard of S1.0 per 24 hours during the winter months, can be seen to rise exponentially to S2.0 or even S3.0 come the hot summer days when the need to cool down or clean up becomes an absolute necessity. A comment such as “sweating like a stuck pig” becomes standard fayre, as a phrase that accurately describes the state of my bodily moistness following a stint of sifting stones in the courtyard in 25⁰C heat… Will someone please wipe me down with a cool wet rag!


So your surprise at me taking a shower should at least now be somewhat nullified.
The reason for the showering announcement is more to draw your attention to the news that the bathroom has just acquired natural light. No, the lightning storm yesterday didn’t blow a hole in the roof, instead, we have just had two skylights fitted.

Ludovic the Artisan Roofer at work

What was a very dark bathroom has now been blessed with afternoon sun thanks to Velux and the fitting skills of our local roofer Ludovic who performed such a fine job on the Gatehouse early in the year. Although a roofer, Ludovic is not an internal decorator. There are other French Artisans for such tasks, so at the moment, now that I have remembered to remove the large instruction manuals that were stuck to each window that has had the unsurprising effect of letting even more light in, we are left with gaping holes in the ceiling and a view of insulation and beams in the void that is the attic space.

I note that a year or two back, Stephen (who I’ve mentioned in previous blogs), fitted the shuttering for the eaves of the main house to limit the birds nesting in the attic. This has reduced them to one or two nests although at one end, a hole has been chewed probably by bandit mice. With the attic not being hermetically sealed (which you wouldn’t want it to be anyway due to condensation build up), with the storm of yesterday, a couple of extra guests seemed to have made an unwelcome visit to the space up there. Wasps. As it is predominantly a dark space these winged disturbers of my peace have naturally migrated to the skylights and, in a fit of pique, attempted to headbutt their way to freedom through a unit that has resisted all their futile advances and resulted in their obvious annoyance.

Having entered in a state of undress to perform my necessary ablutions following the afternoon sifting shift, I am immediately thrown into a state of heightened awareness as my bodily parts are on full display to the pretty little creatures. Or angry critters should I say! Beating a swift, but composed, retreat in reverse gear I hastily but quietly closed the bathroom door and debated the possibility of a whole nest of them and the consequential inability this would render in the personal hygiene department. Strip washes in the kitchen sink are not my idea of fun, rustic living. If you recall, I’ve washed my clothes there for many weeks before the arrival of the washing machine and I have no intention of heaving myself into the sink to have a wash with my knees around my ears! Just imagine the humiliating sight of my bent double posture, should someone choose that moment to visit and peer in through la fenêtre de la cuisine !

Action was called for. Action of a kind that would mean I could keep my distance and remove the chances of getting stung. The skylights now open, any passing winged creature can come and more importantly go without getting themselves into such a worked up state.


This has left me in a position of needing to thoroughly check the attic space every time I enter the bathroom. With my ear close to the door, I crack it ajar and listen intently for any annoyed buzzing sound emanating from within.
Which reminds me of the time George thought it hilarious to get a buzzing sound on his smartphone and then inform Harriet that a swarm of killer bees were right behind her! Oh how we laughed at her shrieks of alarm as she ran away, arms flapping at the imagined threat!


Yes, not so funny now as I stand at the bathroom door, desperate to use the facilities and have to concentrate all my faculties for the possibility of an unwelcome intruder! Shower with care!

Carry on regardless!
DJ

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