Living and Building a home in the heart of France
4th April 2007
As our pumpkin saturation levels had fallen a bit, we took the knife to our last pumpkin, the biggest we grew in the veggie plot last year. It's lived on top of the freezer in the unheated utility room, but the time for its sacrifice has come. Some is now soup in the freezer, some went to friends, more chunks wait in the fridge for the next meal. This year, we'll just plant butternut squash - much easier to use.
While we have some warm and sunny, blue-skied days, we've also had frost until recently. A big cloud of fleece we'd tied around the young silk tree was acting like a sail and blowing the sapling sideways. So I made four little fleece one-fingered gloves to cover the budding branches. With ties made from hairy green string. How Tony laughed, but it works.
A long-overdue invitation for an apéro went out to our close neighbours in the village. Our five French guests came for a drink or two, savoury nibbles and a varied conversation, most of which we understood. Claude is very concerned about our waterlogging problem (more later...) with much shaking of his head. The lovely people brought me a very fine pot of flowers, how kind are they?
We took a copy of the invoices we've paid for the repairs to the barn wall in to the insurers, AGF, in the hope of prompting a response. It seems the assessor's report has been received... and forwarded with our claim to somewhere in Bordeaux. Good grief! We still don't know if they'll cough up.
Following our well-crafted letter to Maisons Provinciale, the managing director, no less, made an appointment and came out to inspect the vacuum pipes, still half-full of water. He suggested condensation. We disagreed and made it plain.
We showed him photos of the lawn on the upslope side of our house, grass semi-submerged, taken during all that rain last month. It is now obvious that the vacuum pipes not being waterproof is minor compared to the realisation that the rock in the subfloor becomes waterlogged at high water-table, that the groundwater rises above ground level, and sits in great shallow puddles on the uphill side. Insufficient drainage, to direct water around the house and off down the hill. His solution? For us to claim on the building insurance......
The boss man cometh