We got an early start to our tasks today…ok ok, my start was earlier than Craig’s…. naturellement. I found the coffee maker, plugged it in via one of Caryl’s “Mickey Mouse” fixes….an extension cord pulled through the kitchen countertop…and made our first pot of Carte Noir coffee. The smell of coffee woke Craig and we had a petit dejeuner (breakfast) of cafe and croissants.
Our first task of the day was to have a new hot water heater installed. Caryl had made the arrangements so all we had to do was let the plumber in and then let him out. Shortly after breakfast, two trucks and four plombiers arrived….none of whom spoke English, but we got by with our pidgeon French. The water heater is upstairs in the loft (remember…the loft is designed for Hobbitts). Craig showed them where it was and they, in unison, rolled their eyes; but they carried on…taking out the old water heater & installing the new one – all on their hands and knees. Two hours later, we had hot water again!
After the plombiers left, we started on our remaining tasks. Craig worked on the yards – watering and taming the overgrowth. I started cleaning and organizing the kitchen. Although Caryl had left the cottage very neat, I’ve never felt like a place is truly “home” until I’ve cleaned it from top to bottom. I soon discovered that “clean” and “1600’s cottage” is an oxymoron and decided to settle for “clean enough”. While emptying the cabinets and washing everything inside and out, I flashed on my modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances and up-to-code wiring and, for a brief moment (or two), wondered what the hell I was doing here. But it’s all part of the adventure and, after all, I’M IN FRANCE! So that made light work of the task at hand.
Felix is adjusting to his new French home….either that or he’s just happy that we haven’t put him on yet another mode of transportation (little does he know that there’s a boat in his future). He sits in the windows watching the world go by. The boats cruising by scare him….as do the bicycles, runners, walkers and occasional horses….when he sees these, it’s time to head back under the bed.
Speaking of Felix, he’s been a confirmed toilet-bowl drinker his whole life, but he’s not happy with these French toilets…the water’s awfully far down. As we try to wean him over to a water bowl next to his food dish, he has other ideas. The bathroom sink looks amazingly like a very high, very shallow toilet bowl, so he’s decided to make it his watering hole. We have to leave it stopped up with fresh water everyday….as I said previously, cats have staff. C’est la vie.
Our afternoon task was to try to find a grounded US/French adapter plug at the Carrefour store in Beziers (imagine a Super Walmart). Without it, we’re unable to recharge our laptop. After some en route discussion of directions (fyi – I was right, Craig was wrong….he was headed back to the Millau Viaduct but still hasn’t admitted it), we found the Carrefour and started our hunt. We found (at very good prices) an HP Printer/Scanner and (to help with our on-going effort of learning French) a Tape/CD player to play all of our French language tapes. Oh, wait a minute…. we left those at home so Felix could bring his cat tower over….c’est la vie once again. We packed up our purchases (bagging is self-service in France and you must bring your own bags…they’re way ahead of us in this regard) and headed home for another light dinner on the patio.
Felix was in the window awaiting our return.
Bonne nuit Craig, bonne nuit Gayleen, bonne nuit Felix, bonne nuit tout le monde