19th January 2014
Abraham Lincoln once said "Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." So, it was with dismay that a fierce storm at the start of January brought down our ancient willow tree. Trees are such spiritual things, the forks of their branches reflecting the way our lives are going. Though hundreds of years old, it's no more. In this vein I felt compelled to repair and improve. Our floor tiles were never screeded, making maintaining them difficult. So, off to Brico to find some floor polish. Soon discovered the French don't seem to call it floor polish, but 'revetement' (re-clothe). Armed with a 5L drum of huile de lin I've now 're-clothed' the salon and kitchen floors. Next, the front drive. Despite my home-made remedy of hot potato water, it still needed improvement so tomorrow 14 tonnes of white chippings arrive together with a Geotextil layer underneath. Not all things have gone right, though. The dogs have stained the bed mattress, so in a fit of zeal I used lessive de soude. Effective, yes, but on my finger rather than the mattress. A big burn that refuses to heal three weeks later. The branch of my life entitled 2014 has not started well.