mardi 31 mai 2016

Back to France to find all the works undertaken by Jean Marc Sentenac complete. A few hours were required making cable connections and levelling the rocks and bits of concrete slab in the in the garage, whilst Susie set to tidying and planning the garden.

 Susie's Wisteria

Garage floor starting to be levelled out ready for concreting

Our first job was to prepare the walls of the gite for the chaux chanvre with a splatterdash coat of sand and lime which the french call a "gobetis" Susie and I donned our disposable boiler suits and glasses (the lime is quite caustic) and in an afternoon we had covered all the walls.

Susie and I putting on the the "gobetis" or splatterdash

Whilst we waited for it to dry and for the delivery of chaux and chanvre we tidied up around the gite, built a fence and set up some hinge pins where we can hang the middle shutters of the kitchen window when not required to open up the view from inside...a small but noticeble improvement tot he view from the kitchen. 

Middle shutters removed from the kitchen

External works at the gite

The tonne of chaux and 13 bales of chenevot arrived and after unloading and then transporting to the barn we commenced the chaux chanvre with Phil from the Moulin d'Aleu who I'd roped in to help us. Our first was carefully prepared following the instructions but was way too runny. We were at a bit of a loss as to what to do as it wouldn't stick to the walls. Eventually I went to see Lionel who was working at chez Philippe and Sophie's and he suggested pressing the mix onto the wall rather than throwing it. This seemed to work a bit better, but over the course of three more mixes and by weighing the chanvre, we arrived at a good mix which we can throw or smear as the location dictates. This first coat is 2-3 cm thick and left rough, ready to receive a second coat which we will have to polish with a "taloche" to make it smooth.

Chenevot or chopped chanvre

 First coat of chaux chanvre....what a job!

1 commentaire :

gabriele gray a dit…

Great progress in so many areas. The small version of the photo ( Susie and I putting on the the "gobetis" or splatterdash) has an odd feeling of being almost a painting, the way she captured the light illuminating you with the matt surfaces around you. My first sense of the scene was that it made it appear you were an alchemist studying some object, contemplating hidden secrets.
And in a way, that's true. Well, the secrets aren't hidden, just forgotten by most (the wall covering process: old in its history but new, green in its benefits).
And the wisteria representing hope, trust and beauty.
Perhaps I attribute too much to mundane things but if we don't respond emotionally to buildings, shelter, what makes 'chez' such a wonderful word then we lose something quite necessary and special. It's why I love following this blog. It's a privilege and I thank you (both).