So, unable to stare at a screen for more than a very short while (see last post) I decided to get on with something requiring scaling ladders and handling raw materials; also something which was on the to-do list anyway: re-doing the mortar in our stone walls.
Having earmarked an outbuilding as a gite we'd already got some of the hefty work done - concrete floor, electricity supply ready etc, the rest of it is done to us as the budget is running low. Our son has taken a year out of his studies to help, partly as a learning experience for himself. Luckily, a stone mason friend of his came to work and teach us the basics for a week - valuable time indeed. We now know how to mix correctly the sand and chalk, how to free up the old joints, dampen them, whap in (sometimes with great skill) the new mortar and sponge/brush it out to provide a satisfying surround to the old stone.
It's a rewarding and tiring occupation - I sleep very well after several hours of the process - but something that can be done between preparation for our bed and breakfast room, and small bouts of computer stuff (hello!) My agent and I having amicably parted ways I am now starting the pernickety and occasionally exciting process of finding a new one. Watch this space as they say... back to the wheelbarrow and tools now.