Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Renovation of an old barn - 2004

Some years ago we bought an old barn in need of renovation while we were in need of a roof. The fact that said barn overlooks Lake Geneva should be taken with a pinch of salt. The barn was in need of everything.

Three years or so after we took it on and started to live in and renovate it around us we decided it needed shutters on the front of the house. Some neighbours, Aurèle et Stéphane, watched as I struggled single-handedly to position and fix them eventually tiring of my growing frustration at my own ineptitude. They came over and took over. By this time, I thought the best thing to do was to go into the house and find a camera and record their endeavours. What they fixed is still in place and swinging open and closed as we desire. All I have done since is paint the buggers.

I was pissed off I must admit with the large patch of flat and ugly concrete above which was laid three rows of breeze block that had been mortared into place to block a gaping hole left where the original barn had been closed by some large door that would have opened onto the street outside. The amount of straw lying about when we took the place on suggested the upper part had stored hay and straw that fed the animals that lived below stairs... in the dank, dark and dreary space that now houses a bathroom, a laundry, two bedrooms, my office and a small wine store.

Only now have I had the real opportunity to get to grips with that ugly space...

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