In the Rat House


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #1

Last week I knew I had to go into the Rat House, I was afraid of what I might find. My dear hubby was back at work in Blighty and so with 2 tiddlers in tow I didn’t fancy opening the front door without backup.



Backup came in the form of my lovely uncle who came to my rescue (he hates being called Uncle!) but as soon as I opened the door, my heart lept into my stomach as I screamed ‘DEAD RAT’ whilst quickly hopping up and down.



I’d left my mum downstairs with the tiddlers so was able to jump about looking stupid without fear of injury. Our nosey neighbour was as usual standing on his balcony laughing probably at the silly jeune anglaise who bought the old winemakers house, rats, wasps & all…



My uncle dashed inside (well actually he was pushed) and pronounced the rat to be ‘well dead’. Arming himself with a shovel & broom, kindly left by the previous owners obviously for the purpose of removing dead rats before viewings… he scraped up the dried fossil which left behind half it’s fur on the tiles. (My husband later informed me the poison causes them to bleed out & this is why it left half of its body behind…nice thanks for that info).



Anyway after a couple more scrapes it was out & as I tried to stop myself heaving (blame it on the pregnancy) I plucked up the courage to enter la maison des rats.



After cautiously opening all the volets (scaring off at least 1 large lizard & goodness knows what else) we checked that all was clear. My cousin thought it was fantastic & went round peering in every placard he could find (he was welcome as we hadn’t been brave enough to look in most cupboards ourselves).



At this point I could see how high the ceilings are, I’d totally forgotten, I also saw how big the space was, again I’d forgotten and it had become smaller in my mind.



Entering the cave, my cousin peered under a trap door (which we only found the last time we were there & didn’t open) and found it was a wine vat full of ropey looking red vinegar (probably full of dead rats!).



The wasps were still buzzing & having fun but again I was impressed with the height & size of the place.



The garden was totally overgrown and I think the only option for this is to take everything out & start again so that’s another big plan to think about.



Saturday we met with our potential architect to discuss our plans and had a further good look round the property including in the roof which also has great height & in the caves on the ground floor which could be converted to living space onto the garden. Overall it has renewed our excitement for the project and I am convinced buying this house was the right thing to do.



So let the planning begin…


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #2


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #3

As you can see - it needs a bit of TLC!


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #4


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #5


(Lindsey Bee) #6

I called my house “The Spider House” after moving in as I’d never seen so many spiders - we would get rid of all the cobwebs one day and the next they’d all be back again! however I think I prefer spiders to rats. Your project sounds great - would be lovely to see some before, during and after photos … except perhaps not dead rats that need scraping off the floor :wink:


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #7

mmm not my ideal neighbours Jeanette and certainly will be most unwelcome when the house is renovated. Poor things will have to move elsewhere, I’ll direct them over to your place :slight_smile: