Yesterday was a momentous day. I went out. As in: left the premises. And not to go to the builders' merchants (well, okay, I did go there. But only in passing ...), but to meet a friend for lunch, catch-up and general mooch.
It's ridiculous, but since January 1st I had (until yesterday) left Grillou just twice - on both occasions to gather building supplies and throw in a bit of food shopping at the same time. Friends didn't believe me when I told them. I don't blame them. I can barely believe it myself. But it's true. During the same period, sleep has been something of a rare commodity too. As, of course, has blogging.
The bottom line is that we've been working to a looming deadline. With the bulk of the building work in the guest accommodation finished, we've had a builder-free period of three months to get to grips with the finishing and decoration of the whole area - nearly 200 square metres - and that meant lots of making good of walls and woodwork, painting, colourwashing, limewashing, tadelakting, tiling, building shelving, sanding, staining and waxing the floors in two rooms, laying new floors in several other rooms, putting in skirting boards, fitting new lights .... It was a looming deadline, because The Perfectionist was due back last week to start major work in the last room - the dining-room-to-be, full from floor to (5m high) ceiling with assorted furniture, boxes of books, bedding, towels, a shower door and copious amounts of general toot of the why-on-earth-did-we-bring-this-to-France variety. All of which had to be Removed, so that The P - now without Pink Van Man, who has taken his pink van to pastures new - could make the sort of mess that only builders can. (Yes, I know, I'll pay heavily for that remark ...).
We made it. Just. As he was unloading his van, we were moving boxes into one bit or other of the new guest accommodation. It's good to have him back (did I really say that?), but the deadlines continue: restoring furniture, yet more bathroom work, stripping and laying more floors, restoring staircases, decorating and finishing the chambre d'hôte hallway and landing, making curtains and throws, trying to restore order into the grounds, redesigning and rewriting our websites in two languages ...
I'm feeling pretty tired, to be honest. (And just possibly a bit grumpy. But you'd have to ask Them about that ...). I know, because I'm fantasising about beaches, and saunas, and hot tubs, and cold beers. But. I went out. The sun shone. And here's the proof: a photo I took from the end of our track.
I'd forgotten, quite how lovely it is.