Today, He Who Won’t Be Rushed finally got around to a job in the b&b that I have been pestering him about for years. The back wall in the kitchen has rising damp, like many ancient stone houses built without foundations. For reasons known only to themselves, many [French] compound this problem by adding layer upon layer of any type of cladding, usually plaster board, hoping it will go away. However, our humidite was going nowhere except up the wall. Unfortunately, previous occupants had thought a block wall would do a better job than plaster board, and added a layer of concrete just be sure, the type they use for resurfacing the M6 I think. So this is the state of play currently, He Who Won’t Be Rushed having taken refuge in a part of the house where I can’t reach him with his nice bottle of Corbiere, definitely not for sharing it seems.
The spiral staircase in the kitchen of the B&B is a lovely feature that no-one has had time to pay any attention too until today. Was it bolted into the stone wall or into the brick / layers of cement that we were dismantling? This part of the house was once a separate dwelling which explains this second staircase; the old villagers refer to it as the Priest’s House. If the old stones could talk they would be thanking me for letting them breathe again. The wall is not a particularly pretty sight, they were never meant to be exposed, they are literally cobbled together, which is probably why they are a metre thick, the torniche, (wattle and daub) still visible in the deep recesses. How I would love to know about who built the wall hundreds of years ago, wonder how I would go about that?