Or, as my dearly beloved would say, “God, you’re stubborn!”
So, the saga of the space behind the wall in the street-side bedroom continues. Our return to Sainte-Foy this summer marked the commencement of chapter 2. Once we had Les Terraces prepared for the arrival of summer guests (I’d rented us out of the house!!) I went and bought some paint-stripper to remove what we strongly suspected was several decades of (flaking) lead paint from the doors we’d purchased at Easter and see what lay beneath. Commercially produced paint-stripper is expensive: a 19€ pot didn’t even get the front of one of the doors half-way bare. Our neighbour, Anne-Marie, spotted me hard at work in the garage one morning and stopped by to see how I was faring. She declared the doors and their frame to be “trés jolie”. Anne-Marie & her husband, Michel, have very successfully renovated several very old properties to a standard that has left us astonished, so their advice is always well-taken. She recommended “lessive de sud” (that’s what it sounded like) to remove the paint, but cautioned that I must be properly protected with overalls, wellies, gloves, mask and eye-wear before commencing. I thanked her, finished what I was doing and went home to do some research. Her solution turned out to be a caustic soda solution (lessive de soude). The necessary bits & pieces were duly purchased and Mme B- kindly opened the door to her buanderie (this week’s word is laundry-room) so that I had access to running water.