So it was that I returned to France quite soon, intent on spending a week on my hands and knees.
I quickly developed a system to help me through the boredom and pain. We had acquired a CD player and I had taken with me a selection of discs. I found that if I played some lively music, I could scrape away in time to it. When the CD was finished, I would take a break - a cup of coffee, a cigarette and Mars bar to give me energy - then change the disc and get back on my knees. But I didn't manage to finish the floor even working like this.
The floor at the beginning of the week . . .
. . . and at the end of it.
Mrs S and I planned to return during the half term week the following February, and we managed to persuade Chris and his wife to come with us. During that bitterly cold week, Chris and I spent most of the time on our knees, Mrs S froze while weeding the courtyard, and Mrs Chris froze while painting the window shutters and the shed doors.
By the end of the week, Chris and I had cleared the floor, except for a small patch in the middle which had defied all our efforts. We put a rug over that bit and called it a day.
And finally . . .