It was that time again to go to Fitou, France, to continue working on our ruin. Last time we rid it pretty much of everything possible and only walls and floors are still standing.
This time, it was all about levelling the floor in la cave (a.k.a cellar) as well as getting started on building a wall.
Building a wall
The wall has a long-ish story. The short version is that our house and our neighbour’s used to be one bigger house, but somewhere along the times of history it was decided to be split into two, so everyone could get a piece of the pie. The existing wall, however, is only 5cm thick (or thin!) and we can at places look through to the neighbour’s side. Let’s not even mention the quality.
Let’s say that the neighbour doesn’t fully understand that one could do a proper division together, so we decided to build a wall on our side for stability, peace and quiet, and a proper separation. After that we won’t need to worry about humidity and concrete floors from next door affecting our side.
My husband and Hagen prepared the concrete foundation for the wall whilst my mum and I spontaneously went to Art Basel. To be fair, we wouldn’t have been much help whilst that was being done, so it all worked out.
After the foundation dried, my mum started building the wall with cavity bricks, some metal pieces and mortar.
Here is a quick tour of what the cellar looked like after our days of work, with all the materials we’ll need for the wall.
Levelling the floor
In parallel, we (Hagen and I) have been hoeing and digging and shovelling our arms off! There was (and still is) so much earth and weathered stone (most likely because of the humidity). In total, we went at it for a whole 5 days out of which I spent 3 days digging, shovelling and carrying buckets, which makes for a great whole-body-workout routine, to the tips of your fingers.
It’s also very therapeutic should you need any quiet thinking time, have too much energy or need to take out some aggression.
Of course, doing work like this requires well-deserved couple of hours at the beach (swimming, sleeping, repeat) and good food and wine. Honestly, I am already missing what I did a week ago and wouldn’t mind picking up a shovel first thing tomorrow morning and letting the sweat run down my back. It feels rather satisfying to have done physical work.