Living and Building a home in the heart of France
3rd February 2006
Meeting the MD
On 31st January as a result of our letter listing the unfinished work, the director of Maison Provinciale came to see for himself. After a sleepless night rehearsing in French what I wanted to say, we pointed out to him the unacceptable work and the outstanding tasks.
He seemed to agree with us about the plumbing, but wasn't so sympathetic about the plasterwork. But anyway he went away with many notes and promised some action by Friday.
As expected, he confirmed that the completion date is delayed two weeks as a result of the bad weather last February/March, even though the building hadn't begun then. It had delayed the groundworks and therefore all subsequent trades. You'd think they could have made up 2 weeks during the last 10 months, but things don't work that way.
Snow ghoul !! Once white, clean and proud, it's facial features are now just vegetables in the gravel!
Now it's Friday and the electricians arrived, followed shortly by Monsieur Trichard, to our surprise. If he's had a telling-off by the boss he doesn't seem to hold it against us. We went round with him discussing what needs doing, and he passed on his instructions to the men. Very soon they'd run the electric cable from the meter box to the house so now we have power... and heating! That should make our painting a lot more comfortable. At present they're drilling new holes through the outside wall for the water supply pipe to be brought into the house, as the conduits laid in the floorslab were kinked and unusable.
We're told the plasterer should be here today too, and that Monsieur Raynaud will now be called in to lay drains, do the backfilling and make the driveway.
We also introduced Monsieur Trichard to the men currently installing the village's new drainage system. Madame Martin who with her husband the farmer owns the fields around our plot, also turned up and between them discussed and decided the best way for our house to be connected into the system. We just stood by, bemused. It sounds like we won't need a septic tank, nor a pump to raise waste water to the sewer pipe, but we might need to compensate the Martins for having our pipes under their field.... all was decided standing in the road surrounded by lorries and diggers!
Because of the slope of the land, M. Trichard suggests the pipe should go under the gravel drive of the gîte and I had to emphasize that they must not, absolutely must not destroy our one remaining walnut tree. I'm sure if he had his way he'd have every living thing pulled out - he keeps saying there are plenty of walnut trees in the Limousin.... yes, but not in our garden there aren't!
Pits are dug and filled with sand as a filter.
On the other side of the road the works for the new drainage system trundles on, working their way up the hill.