Day 8: The roofer came to call

We had arranged for the roofing chap to call on Friday morning so Simon and P set off for the house early and had breakfast there. A happy chap turned up a bit late, apologising that he wasn’t there on time and P made him a coffee – black with sugar. It was too hot for him to drink straight away so he set off with Simon upstairs to look at the job in hand.

We didn’t understand a lot of what he said, but he had put the roof on the garage, and the guttering at the back was fine – because he had put it on. He would come back on Tuesday or Wednesday to start the work; patch up the roof, sort out the chimney wall and quite possibly other stuff – no idea how much it is going to cost, but if the plumber is anything to go by, they are not out to cheat you over here and we would rather use local people to carry out repairs.

Now Simon was happy the roof is going to be sorted soon, P was given permission to start stripping wallpaper off upstairs – he didn’t see the point of starting that earlier if water was still going to be coming in. She decided to start with the bathroom, leaving the delightful tiles on for the moment until the room is tackled in full and by the time we packed up at lunchtime, a third of the room was stripped.

The afternoon was set for Saint-Lô – we were going to go on Thursday, but by the time we had lunch we wouldn’t have time to do it justice. We decided to have lunch out at Vire – at the bar we had stayed at when we had come in July to purchase the house. B was allowed to come into the restaurant – who could deny such a well behaved dog, and we had a filling three course meal with wine and a beer for Simon.

On the way to Saint-Lô we stopped at But to buy the gizmo so we could secure the dryer on the washing machine then off we set in the rain along another straight road. We arrived as the rain stopped and headed for the church Notre-Dame, which has a not to be missed external pulpit.

External pulpit at Notre Dame, Saint Lo Picture courtesy of Simon's Dad

External pulpit at Notre Dame, Saint Lo
Picture courtesy of Simon’s Dad

Saint Lo suffered terribly in June and July 1944 – 95% of buildings were damaged or destroyed and this church was no exception. Photographs show the extent of the damage resulting in one of its towers being destroyed and it was many years before some of the damage was repaired and in partly rebuilt in a more modern style as a monument to what had happened. Much of the glass had been removed to safety before the bombing took place and more modern glass has tastefully replaced what was destroyed resulting in a very calm place to sit and pray and give thanks that we hadn’t had to live through such a war.

After a short visit to a cafe, we then went to the Musee de Beaux Arts which had a collection of paintings by J B Jongkind, which P was particularly taken with. As always in art galleries, there were things that Simon liked and P didn’t or the other way round, but there was something for everyone and well worth the visit.

Mrs sat nav took us a very convoluted way home along roads we hadn’t traversed before, but farm machinery obviously had so our car now looks like a farmers in that it is filthy – we are slowly but surely integrating with the locals…….