Wednesday, 19 March 2008

No Workmen Today

It’s been very quiet today, as the electrician and plumber won’t be returning until Saturday. The cats have been ecstatic, lounging about where ever they feel and not shooting past strangers in a mad panic.

Since the plumber is moving the pipes around the sink I’ve brought forward the building of the new sink unit so he can plumb in the new sink as well. This entailed a dash to the shops today to buy a sink.

Being France there was a slight added complication. I had to go to Villeneuve first, (about 25 mins south of me) to explain that when my kitchen had been packed into my car a mistake had been made. I should have had one of those end of unit set of shelves complete with pretty little balustrades.. The balustrades come as a separate parcel but have the same order number as the shelf unit. I had been given 2 sets of balustrades but no shelves to put them on.

I thought about trying to explain this on the telephone but decided not to. I’m so pleased I went I to the shop; trying to explain did take a bit of time. Firstly I got told I should have 4 balustrades as each they came in 2 parts for each shelf – no it didn’t. Then they realised that they came as one piece so we went through what I had and what I thought was missing. I can see why some people complain that the French are just difficult. I have another spin on that. I think that the French education system while very good in some ways is actually quite narrow in others. Lateral thinking is not taught, no one thinks out of the box and they only deal with whatever is in their job description.

Once the sales person fully understood she then ‘phoned through to the after sales area and explained it all to the person there so that I didn’t have to go through it all again. Once it was all explained and understood everyone was so helpful. There were no apologies as you would expect, that is not the French way but my shelves are on order as is the piece that fits the feet to the units, I had found one that was broken – the after sales lady actually ordered 2 for me.

That done I then went off to get the sink; it required me to drive within half a kilometre of the house and then another 20 mins to the west. There they had to remove the sink on display as they only kept what they had on display and none in the warehouse. As it is ceramic, 2 large sinks and a drainer, it weighs a ton but the young lad who served me was kind enough to load it into the car and also practiced his English too.

I managed to get round both shops in the morning and then raced home for lunch. The reason for the hurry was that Regis was coming round to put the fertilizer onto the wheat. The soil has dried out but we have rain forecast for the end of the week so the timing is good.

Actually when I say rain I mean hail, snow, sleet and some rain thrown in. This is really worrying for the farmers round here as just about all the plum trees are in bloom and they could lose this years harvest. Lets hope that it’s not as cold as they forecast.

Talking of temperatures, I put the min max thermometer into the little plastic greenhouse yesterday to see what the minimum temperature was overnight. By the time I got back from my trip this morning the temperature in the greenhouse was sitting at 50°C! Needless to say, I opened up the front very quickly. Baked lettuce isn’t one of my favourites.


aims said...

Girl - you are brave! Trying to do all this in a country that speaks the same language as you do is difficult enough - but to do it in another language? Oh Yikes!!

Still - you don't know how proud I am of you. Any woman who will take on renovations - they get a big gold star in my books.

As you might not know - I do my own drywalling and renovating...I love it!! Of course I never say no to helping hands from my brother and The Man...

dND said...

Oh Aims, you are so kind. I admire what you've done and been through too. I have a feeling we would probably have been Pioneer women a few hundred years ago - what do you think?

It might also be that we are born survivors. I look at my breakdown as a gift in lots of ways. It taught me to look at myself and try to live by my ideals not others.

My Gran always used to say "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". I should be getting close to Superwoman by now!

Living the Dream said...

Do you know, just listening to you two talk makes me smile, I really feel as though you are my blogging family. DIY in France is a nightmare, and we have only just started. Great isn't it?? When can we see photos of the Big Blue Barn I wonder?
Have a happy Easter just up the road Debra.

aims said...

Deb - hmmm- sounds like we have more in common than being pioneer women - but I will not give anything away sooner - as we all know...I'm a good one for keeping a secret when it comes to my blogging...

And Hazel - some day I'll post some more pics of the barn...when it comes time to do so in the story...

Deb...stay strong...remember what it was like when you weren't.

Debra in France said...

Hi Deborah, isn't French DIY great! We have been here for just over 3 years now and have just about got used to the 'French' way of doing things. You can't get anything done in a hurry, and never forget the 2 and a half hour lunchbreak!