Back to the House


So, I subscribed to Charlie Hebdo and watched the march on TV. Little enough. I will never forget the site of those ill – clad Hebdo staffers — denim jackets in 40 – degree weather — the guys who really are Charlie, standing there holding signs with their own names on them. Those guys are tough. Plus maybe a little foolhardy, but I admire their nerve.

And me? I’m back at the house. My guys have knocked out the ceilings that did not have rosettes. They are framing for drywall. They will insulate the ceilings, wire for lighting, then put in the drywall and replace the cornices. Will we make that promised  mid – April completion? Nah, probably not.

7 thoughts on “Back to the House

  1. How high are your ceilings now? Just a thought: beware of high heating bills. We have a house with very high ceilings (3.5m) and when I got my first electiricity bill I almost passed out. All the heat went up to lightbulb level, costing a bomb but not heating the house at all. We’ve now put the original heating system back into use (wood stoves) and we’re warm and no longer subsidize EDF.

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    1. Oh, yeah, I can probably match you on the ceiling height. I went for heated floors. Supposedly they keep the heat down where people are; the ceilings can take care of themselves. We are insulating the ceilings between the first floor and the attic and also insulating the attic ceiling. In addition I popped for an aquathermal system, as the ground water level where I live — at the edge of the Marais Poitevin — is very high. At current prices the payback on the system is long, a decade or so. My hunch is that prices can only increase, so that’s worst case. EDF can take care of themselves, too.

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  2. The gas bills in Italy scare the pants of me. Our central heating comes on for 2 hours in the morning (I refused to get out of bed unless Mrs Sensible agreed to this) and to hours in the evening. We stay warm by slowly cutting the trees in the garden down and burning them in the fire, ooh and of course shivering. Which I was reliably informed not only helped to get you warm but also helped with weight loss..

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    1. Yeah, I keep hoping for the weight loss part of it, too. So far all I have is the heating bill for my little rental house. It’s terrifying! If that fancy New Age heating system doesn’t do the job — the French are big on passing off goals as reality, then saying “well, yeah, what did you think?” — it will be cheaper for me to close up the house and winter in Australia.

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      1. Our first house in Italy was a small one bedroom rental. Our first winter bill for 2 months was 940 euros…. After Mrs Sensible had resuscitated me, we went out and fetched a wood burning fire.


        1. I know the feeling. There’s a reason you will see no photos of the rental. Something to do with furniture pushed against the leaky windows, filling the undampered chimney… I will be there for less than six months — do you hear that builders? Otherwise I’d be looking at pellet stoves and all, myself.

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