About two weeks ago, Keith officially started work on the barn. We were hoping for some help from his friends who are experienced builders, but for various reasons they aren't able to come help. Although this may put some people off starting a project, Keith is in full force and has decided to enlist the help of several tradesmen in the area. I know he really wanted his friends to be here. He is taking it all in stride and has stayed positive despite this setback. Luckily we've found several people to help, especially Andy, who is helping with general work.
We are still waiting on paperwork to come back to us--we haven't turned in the official planning permission papers yet. We need the septic government guy (S.P.A.N.C.) to send us a form, that we then put with the planning papers, and turn in to the mayor. He first came to look at our plans in January. No one is really in a hurry--but now that we have someone who can put in the septic, and he can do it soon, we would love to have him start. But, we have to get approval first.
The secretary at the mayor's office said we could put down a cement floor without the planning permission, as it's a dirt floor at the moment. So, we have someone named Nigel coming to do that the first week of April. Then Andy the septic guy can do the septic tank after the floor is down.
Keith is putting up brick block work and filling in holes. He's also been on the roof to replace broken tiles and make sure there aren't any leaks.
Meanwhile, I've been working on my new website (www.lauraspringham.com) and a French C.V. to network with classical musicians in the area. I played recently at an open mic afternoon down the street at a local pub. It was nice to get out and perform, but what I'd really like to do is form a string quartet and play concerts. I'm going to French class twice a week, and this week's assignment is role-playing. I am going to stand up in front of the class and propose my idea to the directrice about teaching at Patrick's school for the fall. I'd love to have a small group of beginners who would learn alongside Patrick. I've just started practicing with him and I know it would help him so much to have a few other kids to play violin together.
Patrick seems to be doing okay at school. The last few weeks he's decided that he doesn't want to say "bonjour" to the teacher in the morning. It's slightly embarrassing but I know that if I push him to do it then he just refuses more! It seems that the teacher also understands as well. He seems happy to go and I'm glad he has the opportunity to be around other children. There aren't any in our hamlet, so we have to organize playdates so that he can play with other children outside of school.
We are trying our best to stay positive about opening the B&B this summer, but we just have to go with the flow...as with everything in a new country.