Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Never try to solve all the problems at once — make them line up for you one-by-one ".

The ancient Godin is finally maneuvered out of the upstairs kitchen. There is a moment of breathless excitement as one of the shaven headed lads loses his grip. Despite the best efforts of the remaining lads the old cooker falls and bounces balletically down the stairs. A beam on the terrace is broken by the shock of a ton and a bit of steel and brass landing on it.

The discarded kitchen units, the cooker hood and the venerable Godin are loaded on a trailer. It has rained overnight. The builders have failed to notice that the trailer has sunk up to its axles in mud. Their van tries to pull it out but it too gets stuck. Phone calls are made and cigarettes smoked. There is much shoulder shrugging.

More builders arrive. The crack in the terrace is deemed to be serious. The builders disappear. They return with half a dozen metal supports. These are put in place to support the terrace should it decide to collapse.

A mate of the builder has a Jeep Wrangler. This is called upon to pull out the van. It does. The trailer however is immune to being moved. '' It's stuck fast ".  The builders mate has a tractor. He disappears to get it. The builders cluster in a circle and smoke.

Meanwhile, back in the house the water has been turned off due to a tiny problemette with a burst pipe. The electricity is also off. There is a reason for this but Angus doesn't want to know what it is. Sophie is miffed that the builders haven't brought biscuits. Bob lets me know that there are people in the house. I explain to them that their vocal contributions to the days events is not helping their masters inner karma.

By six the builders have gone and the water and electricity are back on. The promised tractor has not shown up so the trailer with the venerable Godin continues to sink deeper into the muddy ox track. Bob settles down on his wooden table and sleeps. His sister, still turbo-charged after the days excitement, sits on guard.

The Rickety Old Farmhouse is now just that little bit more rickety. 'The Font' who is back in London phones to ask how the day went. '' Fine, just fine " I hear myself saying.


  1. Duke and Petite-Chose at 2GFebruary 18, 2015 at 8:26 AM

    Angus, we can't believe that 'The Font' has left you to cope with the builders shaven headed lads all on your own. That's too bad, but your description of the ballet dancing Godin had us laughing out loud - sorry! We really think that you should write a book about your adventures with the workers of your little corner of Paradise. Shame on the PON's for not being more support in a time of crisis!

  2. Time to invite the taxmen round to value the house?

  3. I think the Fonts got the best idea, leave the country as the builders arrive!

  4. Bertie has a good idea.....

    Perhaps you need another trip to the Nursery to buy plants, for when the trailer is removed. There are bound to be ruts.

  5. What a day. Thank goodness neither man nor hound were near the flying Godin when it touched down.
    That is a serious collection of props. I hope that they are going to repair the terrace for you.

  6. Oh dear. We had a similar problem here when the lorry delivering the skip became entrenched in the field. A few hours later, after the air was blue with expletives, a local tractor pulled it out.

  7. Can no repair go smoothly? And I wonder if the Font reads your blog? because then she will know all is not so fine.
    But she will also see the good photos of Bob and Sophie and all will be well.

  8. the mind simply boggles.
    are there no workers in france who show up ON TIME and are CAPABLE of doing even a rudimentary job?
    they all come off as a bunch of lazy bumbling cousteaus.
    i realize there is such a thing as charmingly laid back. but that is too much!
    where is my sense of humor? it's funny when i love lucy does it.

  9. HA!!! i mean Clouseau .. NOT Cousteau! if Cousteau had done it ... it would have been perfect!
    and look at that... i still don't even think i spelled the inspector's name right. i'll spare us all another try.

  10. You have the most amazingly bad workmen karma. Perhaps from a former life?

    Sorry, but I laughed out loud through most of that post. Hope the workmen-at-fault do and pay for the repairs on the terrace, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

  11. I couldn't laugh --- not just because of how these events must have made it a five glasses of wine night (or something stronger) for Angus -- but because we are about to embark on a major kitchen and bathroom renovation and, although we have as yet seen no shaven head lads who smoke, we envision a multitude of "minor incidents." Sending you all the good thoughts we can to fix your karma!!!! Joan and JH, who would bark his head off if a tractor were stuck outside his domain!

    1. You poor things. Our best wishes wing their way across the Atlantic ! There again what are the chances of finding French builders in Florida ?

  12. Oh how I wish my problems would line up for me one by one....what a miracle that would be.
    Wishing you the best as you fling yourself into the kitchen renovation....need I say "Have fun!!"

  13. Does the font read your blog? Might she notice the tractor and/or the ruts when she returns?