Wednesday, 9 April 2008


We sat in our local galette restaurant this evening debating where we are going to put the heat exchanger for our geothermal heating. I heard one in action a couple of weeks back and it was noisy. So we're rethinking the plan to have ours bang in the middle of the house in what's now the utility room, just behind the dining room and lounge. Perhaps the garage would be a better place?

Our architect, postponed a meeting last week and now is sick. We get anxious when he's not here to reassure us that things are on track. Something like installing geothermal heating feels like an "elephant task" and we fret about how it will all happen.

The plans for the changes we want to make to the house are now with the mayor of our commune for approval. The plans include: double glazing to keep the house warmer in winter; two new bathrooms so that when we have guests we're not queuing; a front door (which the house doesn't have at the moment, anyone new coming to the house wanders round, peering in through windows, not knowing how to get in); a new porch and connecting corridor that will integrate the apartment/gîte/whatever with the rest of the house; a new window in the kitchen to bring in more light and, of course, the geothermic heating with its noisy heat pump.

Over the last few weeks, our architect has been showing round "artisans": plumbers, electricians, carpenters, plasterers, heating companies to get quotes. General building firms are rare, so usually each part of the process is costed and contracted separately; hence our nervousness. How does it all fit together and in what order?

Closing the shutters tonight I came across our first glow-worm on the gravel path at the side of the house, its tiny light shining through the dark. Perhaps a good omen? A thunderstorm's just started, I hope she is safe and dry.

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