When we first explained to our builder that we wanted all of the bedrooms to have their own bath or shower room, he smiled and said it was very English!  Is it an English thing or is it just me living out my own issues of not wanting to share facilities with anyone other than my nearest and dearest?

We now have five "salle de bains" under construction, the sixth shower room is not being gutted like the rest. By giving each bedroom its own facility, opens up the opportunities for using the house in different ways. If the house is rented as a whole in the summer, then guests have their own washing space. During the spring and late summer we may think about running courses or events for different groups. We would like to invite artists, yoga enthusiasts or other shared interest groups, so again the private facilities would work, a bit like a hotel.

One consideration has been whether to make all the bathrooms the same and to use the same sanitary ware and style for each room. I have seen this done very successfully in an old house. A quick survey of family and friends resulted in a 50-50 vote. However each bathroom space is turning out to have its own characteristics, features and plumbing constraints and there is always "the budget" to consider! Choosing the right style and ensemble for each separate space feels right at this point.

We have decided to get most of the bathroom goods in France having weighed up costs, convenience and transport. It has meant that my french vocabulary for all things bathroom, has improved considerably in the last few weeks. We have been busy choosing all the toilets, basins, baths and taps. There have been lists, plans and catalogues littering the lounge in the gite. The computer has groaned under the weight of all the different open tabs, representing a mass of French sanitary ceramics. It could be considered a little stressful, and at times it has been, as the arrival of the plumber is on the horizon. I have felt that our decisions are cast in stone, well porcelain from Jacob Delafon to name but one! I went into Lauzerte bathroom last night to find that the concrete floor had been dug up ready for the toilet, I can't change my mind where that goes now!

The planned shower room in the Grenier remains a mystery at the moment as there are no stairs in the house, just ladders and scaffolding. I took my life in my hands a couple of weeks ago, when I had to climb up the ladders to the top floor to discuss where the Velux was going. After a recent accident involving a ladder, I'm not climbing up there again. 

In the last thirty three years I have refurbished three bathrooms, now in one year, I am renovating five. Waiting for buses and them arriving all at once comes to mind. Well, next stop, wall tiles.

Top: the new window in Tournon and the entrance to the bathroom. Bottom left: the velux in Tournon bathroom. Bottom Right: the shower room in Montaigu. The steel has gone in for insulation and to ensure straight walls for tiling.

Feb 2016. Top left: the snow drops are out, notice the bee! Bottom left: first blossom on the plum trees. Right: The bee hives across the field.

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