Archive | January, 2013

Is there an electrician in the house?

27 Jan

In the Peace Factory we have 3-phase supply but we don’t have any equipment that uses 3-phase.

For some reason the supply trips out and we have to go the box by the meter to reset the switch. This is directly where the supply comes in from the grid.

The loading is 2 water heaters, 6 electric radiators, lights for 6 rooms and occasionally a dishwasher and a washing machine.

Clearly the installation is capable of handling much bigger loads (it used to have a foundry on the ground floor!).

So my question is: what could be causing it to trip? Could the trip be faulty? Could the problem be on the supply side? Do we have some faulty wiring?

Any advice would be appreciated before we call in an electrician.

We made it!

25 Jan

We made it to Montolieu. It took 20 hours but we did it. Two cars and a trailer, all fully loaded. 650 miles in one go.

We spent today unloading. We are quite tired so more of this blog later!


Last day

23 Jan

It’s the last day in our old house in Kent. Tonight, all being well, we will take the ferry from Dover. We will travel in two cars and drive overnight to Montolieu, thus avoiding the need to stop in a hotel and risk losing our possessions!

We will be sad to leave as we’ve had many happy times here. But we are excited by the prospect of new adventures and in living in a foreign country. New challenges like, what is the French for “please trim my beard but leave my hair alone”?!! And other useful phrases!

I’m not sure whether all the boxes we have to transport will fit into two cars and a trailer, but we will found out that later today!

We have let out our house to some nice people and they will move in on Saturday. So far, it has all worked out well!

Nick of time

17 Jan

Looks like we will get back to Kent just before the snow storm hits us. We are now on a ferry from Calais to Dover, having driven 650 miles from Carcassonne today in 12 hours.

My co-driver, once again is inspecting his eyelids. Note the (second) empty pint of Stella!


Made it

15 Jan

Well we made it. Despite the snow in Kent. We woke at 2:30am to about 2″ of snow. Undeterred we climbed into our van and drive to Dover without little trouble. We crossed in style aboard the newest ferry, eating bacon sarnies in the cafeteria.

We then drove south at a steady 70mph. Apart from a delay around the Paris area, the journey was as smooth as silk. We did 650 miles in 12 hours which is not bad for a fully loaded 3.5 tonne van!

We arrived at The Peace Factory just in time for supper.

My co-driver, alert as ever!


Weather watching

14 Jan

We are catching the 0420 ferry from Dover tomorrow. We will be in a long wheelbase, high top 3.4 tonne white Iveco Daily van with 2.9 litre diesel engine and six speed gearbox! (Trying to be precise here!)

I’ve been watching the weather with more than my normal interest as Kent Weather (@KentWeather) is predicting snow tomorrow and specifically between 3am and 6am. Would you believe it! But he responded to my question on Twitter and reckons that the snow will extend into Nord-Pas de Calais but will be more along the coastal areas. So assuming we can get to Dover to catch our ferry, we will head straight for Lille and then down the A1 to Paris.

I’ll let you know what happened!

White Van Man (again)

11 Jan

We drove down to Dorset today in the Fiat Tempra Estate car and retuned in a white Fiat Daily van! Bit of a difference!

We will load the office into the van tomorrow, piece by piece as we dismantle it!

Office going

10 Jan

We started work on dismantling the office yesterday!

First we packed stuff and recycled the rest which included old mobile phones going back to one if the first BlackBerrys!

All the furniture has now been unscrewed from the walls and so we can start work on dismantling the w roof and walls on Saturday.

We are going down to Dorset to collect the big van from Hugh. The plan is to pack the office into that and take it to Montolieu next week!


Preparation for letting

6 Jan

So that we can ask the tenant to keep the house in the state they found it, I have been working in the garden. We collected 10 bags of horse manure from our friends Frances & Martin using our new trailer yesterday. Today I have been pruning the bushes and trees. I bought a pocket chain saw recently and tried it out on the apple trees today. It was amazingly easy to use. Normally it would have taken me hours to saw just one branch but I managed to saw about 6 branches off in about one hour. I realised I had allowed the apple and fig trees to grow too tall so that you cannot pick the fruit so I have pruned very drastically this year and hope that they recover well. When I have finished we will be able transport all the debris in the trailer to the local tip.

I am also having to paint one bedroom as it has not been decorated for over 25 years. The problem is that it’s the room we are sleeping in and the bed is one that folds up into a cupboard fixed to the wall. Therefore if we are going to remove the bed before letting, we will need to take down the bed to paint the wall. But then we won’t have anywhere to sleep!

We are currently working out the logistics of dismantling and transporting the garden office to France. So far Richard has done a great job pulling a team together to help us. No doubt you’ll hear more about that next week.