These blocks of oak are 500 years old according to Stéphane, and were reclaimed from a floor in a grand old house in Loches that he worked on. They are quarter sawn and show a lovely grain known in French as maille ('chain stitch'). At 40mm, they are twice as thick as modern floorboards. Now, with their age, they are also extraordinarily hard. Stéphane broke several good tools working with this wood.
These particular pieces are two mounts that he fashioned for our staircase lights.
Tomorrow my mother is back into hospital to have an electronic ignition (known in non-motoring households as a pacemaker) fitted - Simon.