Today I finally get to just write about the last week. I’ve been writing, renovating, and trying to stay warm. I’ll be able to talk a little more about some of the milestones from last week too.
The reason that I bought an 1896 edition of the Memoirs of Madame de Chastenay is that I’m working on translating them. I’ve really been enjoying the project and set aside time every day to do a little. This weekend I have reservations at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France to see her original, hand-written manuscripts. The ones from later years haven’t been published before, so part of my curiosity is to see what she wrote about my/her house here in Châtillon-sur-Seine. I’m hoping that those years can be something that becomes part of my translation project.
I met with a counselor from FranceRenov about my options for energy-efficient heating and insulating. I wish I was actually working on these by now. I’m still trying to just take the first step forward, which I now understand needs to be a soil survey to validate the possibility of installing geothermal heating. When I contact companies, I either don’t get a reply, they reply that it isn’t possible (for reasons), or they reply but the line goes quiet when I answer back. The same goes for trying to get my chimneys swept and my roof leak fixed. I’m hoping I’ll hit a point when things just start rolling.
Last night when I took a bucket up to the attic to place under the dripping water from the roof, I noticed what I thought were mouse droppings. I contacted a pets control company, who thankfully responded less than 12 hours later. When I sent him photos of the droppings, he told me that it’s from bats and there’s nothing he can do. At first when I looked on the internet, I was quite concerned, but when I found local information, it seems it isn’t a problem? I still reached out to the wildlife protection group for my area and asked about doing work on the roof and insulation if I have bats in the attic. They’re a protected species and disturbing them is discouraged. I must say that I am relieved that it isn’t mice. Hopefully the bats are eating any and all termites and other wood-loving insects.
My first order of insulated curtains arrived, so it’s been a project to get them hung. In the dining room, I basted the layer to the existing sheers and then hung them. The insulated curtains are too heavy (and expensive) to hang in pairs, plus they are a little short (even in the longest length available), so this solution hides those issues and looks pretty nice. In the kitchen, it’s just hanging there as a single panel, and it’s not really working for me. I need a decorative curtain to baste the heavy layer to, like the dining room, which also softens the look and adds extra width.
I don’t have a tall enough ladder to hang the pair for my room, or a decorative layer for the second window. For one window, I’m planning to baste the insulated layer to my vintage embroidered linen panel (not really a winter fabric, but it’s what I have right now). I got it at a Paris flea market a decade ago and this will be the first time to hang it in a window that is the right height for its length! More panels are on back-order, and those will go in the guest rooms.
The house is pretty cold now. It’s 17.1 degrees Celsius right now (less than 63 F) and I’m really wishing for my fireplaces to be working. I have a couple of small space heaters that I use in the bathroom, my bedroom at night, and my sewing room. During the day my sewing room becomes a warm refuge when I just need to warm up. Doing physical work on the house helps too. I can still work up a sweat doing that. A hot water bottle is the best at night.
I enjoyed a nice drive in my new car through the forest and across farmland to meet people from the region for a planned hiking day in Avot. I signed up for the 10k trail and while the first third was all uphill, it was really a wonderful way to spend my Sunday. Beautiful, challenging, and I loved going somewhere new.
And last but not least, I launched my YouTube channel, Chateau Living, where I’m sharing videos of my experiences restoring and renovating my home! I’ve had a very warm response from friends and family, and can already see strangers subscribing too. My hope is that I’ll eventually have enough subscribers and views that it will generate a little ad revenue to help with the work on the house. Check it out! Chateau Living click here
Oh my gosh! Almost forgot to add that I FINALLY started a new costume! I’ve decided on Puss in Boots for one of the parties at Carnevale. Yay!
So that’s been my week. I’m full of hope, happy in the work and activities of each day, and feeling healthy. See you next week!
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