What a difference a month makes! Over the past few weeks we have watched the walls go up, been able to walk around upstairs and enjoy the view from our windows, and now the roof is going on.
Remember those wildflower seeds we scattered on bare earth? Now it’s a sea of green punctuated by bright poppies.
And the fruit trees? Cherries. We ate the first ones off the tree last week.
The only problem has been the transport. The train strikes got so bad that we had to abandon a planned visit. We found an alternative route by bus, only to have problems with the car hire. The trains are supposedly back up and running again. Oh, I hope so! I want to be able to focus on the house, not how we’re going to make it to our next meeting.
Another round of train strikes made getting to Vichy difficult for the second site meeting in a row. We had a beautiful sunny day for our visit, and took the opportunity to scatter some wildflower seeds in our future garden.
One of Lyon’s metro stations, Place Guichard, has a stained glass wall. It is only really visible from inside the station, behind the ticket barriers. Just like the windows in a cathedral, it is dark from the outside. You need to see it from inside where the sunlight can illuminate it from behind.
I pass through Place Guichard regularly, but rarely have need to get off there. When I absent-mindedly got on the metro heading in the wrong direction the other day, it was a great opportunity to take some photos while I waited for the right train.
We had our third site visit last week. More of the utilities are going in, and the builders have started the walls. We’ve also been working on the bathroom design recently.
Kink in the Bathroom (video): Graham talks about the changes to the bathroom wall, and why it was so upsetting. Designing Bathroom Tile Layouts (video): I talk about how we are approaching our bathroom tile design. Going Up: A national strike made getting to Vichy complicated, but we made it, and got to see the walls for the first time. First Steps Inside (video): Our latest site visit.
As we sat on the early morning train between Lyon and Vichy last week, I wondered if it was getting light a bit earlier in the journey than the previous weeks.
We took that early train frequently around this time two years ago when we were looking at land in the area, and then when we were choosing the builder and designing the house. The train is at just the right time to observe the lengthening days as the seasons change. In winter, most of the journey is in darkness. By summer, the sun is already up as we wait on the station platform in Lyon.
My other marker for the lengthening days is my morning runs, and on Monday my suspicions were confirmed. I witnessed my first pink sky sunrise of the year. I’m always a little disappointed not to have my camera for those moments, so I don’t have a picture for you. But, I do have these happy daffodils from a recent evening walk to offer instead.
The excavations are done, the driveway is in, and string lines mark the outline of the house. We have visited suppliers to choose tiles, bathroom fittings, windows, and doors. It’s exciting, and exhausting, and all-consuming.