Saturday 19th September 2009 – WELL, THAT’S ME SPENT UP!

540 euros in Brico Depot and not an awful lot to show for it.

Running through the list there’s

  • a pile of insulation – 20mm stuff because they had run out of 40mm and so I’ll just double up the thickness
  • some filler for the cracks in the plasterboard
  • some plasterboard tape
  • some fibreglass wallpaper
  • some fibreglass wallpaper glue
  • some blue wall paint (I forgot the gloss for the woodwork)
  • piles of tools for puttying and wallpapering
  • some floor tiles to build a plinth for the woodstove
  • all of the cement and grouting
  • some light switches
  • a telephone socket (and, yes, I forgot the telephone cable)

That was the first load. The second load was

  • 38 metres of tongue-and grooving – not the rubbishy stuff at 3.37 euros that I use for building or the better stuff at 4.95 euros (they had run out of that too – GRRRRR) but some other stuff at 6.17 euros
  • some wood battens for the tongue-and-grooving
  • some varnish
  • some nails
  • some underfelt for the laminate floor

And no woodstove either.

The cheapest on offer is 190 euros but I don’t much like it. As Krys suggests, Machine Mart is the place to be and Terry sent me a link to their site. And Simon is still in the UK. How can I contact him?

It’s a lot of money but realistically all that I now need for the attic is a couple of sheets of bare plasterboard for around the head of the stairs, and a supply of skirting board. And two panes of glass but I’ll explain that in due course (and no, I haven’t broken a window). I have everything else.

Outside in the car park I was doorstepped by a couple of Dutch people who wanted to talk to me about solar energy. It takes Dutch folk completely by surprise when I talk to them in Dutch (well, Flemish but it’s near enough).

But it’s a sign of the times that the Dutch want to become involved in solar energy. There is no word in Dutch for “cheap”. The word that they use is “goedkoep” which literally means “a good buy” – implying that if you do see something cheap you immediately have to purchase it.

The Dutch were the original settlers of New York, which is why I’m absolutely astonished that the USA is known as “The Land of The Free”. The problem with the Dutch is that they have no word for “gratis”.

Having said that, however, I sympathise with Michael Caine, who famously said in Goldmember “There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures – and the Dutch”.

Only one footy match tomorrow – in the Cup and at Briffon, a village in the foothills of the Mont Dore about 100 years away from here. I’ll need a native guide and a pile of native bearers to get there I expect.

By the way, for those of you who have been following the discussion and debate in the “comments” to some of the entries on my blog (and you can always join in), you will be delighted to know that the verb “to sand” in French is “poncer”.

I will be doing a lot of poncing next week.

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