Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, October 26, 2009

French repairs required a trip to B&Q

Cordgrip Lampholder (without switch)
Sometimes (well actually quite frequently it seems) running a Holiday Gite can be quite time consuming dealing with a long list of little things that either need repairing or are not quite right.

Of course having the Gite in one country when we live full time in another just adds to the fun of the whole experience and every time we leave France it's with a list of things to bring back/buy/repair, and every time we go back to France it's with a car boot full of things accumulated since the last trip.

This week I had to go to B&Q to buy a new lamp holder for one of the bedside lights. When we were over last I noticed that the bulb holder in the light was damaged and as a result the bulb kept on popping out - unfortunately not a job for sticky tape, glue, wire and screws which are my usual staple diet of repair materials for the Gite. So I unwired the bedside light, left the lampshade over there, and brought the lamp home with me.

After dismantling the light I worked out that the whole of the inside mechanism (including switch) needed to be replaced, but that fortunately it looked to be pretty similar to a corded lamp holder. B&Q came up trumps, the mechanism was the same and the screw threads for the existing shade holder and the bottom of the lamp base fitted a new lamp holder perfectly.

£1.78 lighter than when I entered the shop the job was done and I was able to reassemble the bedside light ready to take it back to France when we're next over. I do wish at times I could get little things like this in France but electrical and plumbing fittings are often subtly different between the two countries and some of the prices in France are absolute extortion (see my earlier posting about the cost of replacing a toilet flush mechanism in France).

Last week it was the turn of a broken garden fork that needed replacing after some vigorous French garden digging broke the old one in two. Bought a new (OK second hand) 5-tine one from a car boot sale so that's another job ticked off the list ...



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