In Bayeux for the holidays, we started the demolition of our first room.

Wallpaper, a thick layer of plaster and another in clay… it felt amazing to rip those layers down.

We found little twigs and rocks inserted into the walls and some of the clay was covered in bits of newspaper. I tried to find a date on the newspaper but the closet thing I got to pinning it down was a classified ad that advertised an apartment rental for 14,000 OLD francs (that’s the franc before the franc). My mother-in-law said at that price it probably dated back to the early 1940’s.

We took a look at the ceilings and found that the ceiling rafters (which looked healthy and in good shape) were covered by a false ceiling made of little wood slats. This was a technique used in the 1930s-50s to get the plaster to hold.

It took my husband and I three days of hard labor to clear out one room. It was a mess! We were exhausted but incredibly excited to have finally begun.

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