The Elephant in the Room: So all through this process, and all through writing about it here, I've been detailing the various practical challenges of managing a renovation remotely in a different country, and all the physical issues with getting out there as often as needed, juggling day to day work, getting things sorted out there, getting key items out there on time. I haven't yet touched on another big challenge: the 'doing all this in a different language' thing.
En Francais: I studied A-Level French at school (and did OK but not totally brilliantly - a respectable C). I have spent a fair amount of time over the years in France also - but nothing all that immersive. This means I have a certain (low level) vocabulary, understanding and communication. Darren never did French, so his French is picked up over the years, or spattered with the school German he did actually study (he doesn't actually confuse the two tbh). But in reality, my French continues to be always a beat behind. I understand largely what's being said, but a split second too late to formulate an appropriate response, translate it in my head and answer quickly enough for the lovely encouraging French person not to think I'm a total moron.
The Stone: We've both been using Rosetta Stone all year - admittedly of late, less frequently than we'd like due to aforementioned giant ongoing To Do List. It is a brilliant system by the way - can do it to fit in with normal life and (so far) it really does teach you to speak and understand a language. When this final mental end section of the build is over, we'll go back to the desk with it.
In the Meantime: But for now - our French teacher is the build. And weirdly know some of words better in French than in English...
Bardage - exterior cladding. Our new replaced cladding.
Jambage - I don't actually really know what this word is in English. It's essentially where the marble (or whatever material) kitchen work surface goes down the sides as well as on top. Like this.
Marbrerie - The marble worktop maker and fitting people.
Cheminier - The fireplace sellers and fitters. And people who make the chimney.
Poele A Bois - Wood burning stove. This is more straightforward, but I just like the phrase...