- January
Posted By : Hester
Jan-8: It’s a wrap!

The roof

One of the most important parts, of course. And it is preferable to make a roof before it starts raining, so we have made it fast this week! On Tuesday morning Antonio came to bring the roof plates and seven hours later they were – provisionally bolted – on the roofs of the house and the gîte. The foil and stone wool underneath ensure insulation of both the cold and the heat. The whole is made so that no embers and burning leaves can blow underneath. Result: the houses are water and fire proof!

Dog update

The boys had a hard time switching from Picota to En Campagne and back again three weeks later. Carlos has a built-in clock and he mainly suffers from the hour time difference. But the new environment was also a challenge. Open barns that smell like cats are of course very interesting! The neighbors in Essubras – except Jean-Pierre – all like them very much. Back on Picota Carlos thought it necessary to bark all night … Fortunately he stopped after a week. Occasionally there is some rivalry between Carlos and Pluto, but it’s nice to see that they are becoming better friends and get along well.

How do they pay for all this?

Now some of you may be wondering “how do they pay for all this?” Well, first of all, we are in the luxury position that we do a lot ourselves. Alex has two golden right hands. His rule of thumb: one third of the investment is material, two thirds is labor. We have a goal and see it become more beautiful every day. That motivates and gives energy. Our fixed costs here are low: we have electricity from solar panels and fresh water that flows out of the mountain and that we heat with a solar water heater. Some things are expensive here, construction wood for example. Other things are very cheap: a cup of coffee costs € 0.60 and we can eat out together for € 15.00. Well, we bought 5 burned hectares with 2 ruins and made lawyer, notary and architect costs. That’s quite a nice sum, but in all honesty: for that money you do not buy a simple house in the Netherlands! Furthermore, we have spent quite a bit of money on the excavation work of Pedro, tools and materials and yes, the bottom of the treasury is coming into view. When the money runs out, we always have plenty of trees to cut. That only costs some sweat and muscle. And the reservations are already pouring in, so from May onwards we will happily start making some money on En Campagne. Money, which we will be happily spending in October on building our new paradise !!

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  • We are in awe of you both…such energy. You write a very interesting blog Hester.! We’ve loved watching your story
    Thank you for the photos of the party, and for the Christmas card. We had a good Christmas and New Year back in UK.
    Now we are back in Essubras….so, see you soon. Can’t wait to meet Carlos & Pluto.

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