Saturday, 1 March 2014

Oops...another setback!

The week started off well but it deteriorated! 

On Monday morning Danny woke up feeling less than 100% but went off for his French lesson as usual.  By the time he came back he was feeling worse and by the evening, it was clear that he'd caught the virus that John had had when he started with us last Wednesday.  (He was most apologetic for it of course!!).  Danny spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday in bed while I did my best to dose him up with various medicines, nourishing chicken soup and so on! 

And I was left in charge to deal with John and the issues that arose regarding the pool!  It all started off swimmingly (if you'll pardon the pun) and by Monday evening, John had erected the panels which will form one side of the pool plus he'd marked out the area that will be terraced and where he is going to have to cut away the level of the ground as our garden slopes quite a bit away from the side of the house.  And this is what the site looked like by the time he left on Monday.

So far so good!

On Tuesday, John continued to erect the panels.  Unfortunately, this was a job that Danny was going to help John to do but clearly he was too ill to do so.  But all is not lost as John told me there will be other tasks further down the line that Danny will be able to assist him with!  Nonetheless, by Tuesday evening we had three sides of panels erected...

(You can see from this picture, how much smaller the pool is compared to the size of the hole!  You can also see the rainwater which we are having to pump out on virtually a daily basis!)

Now this is when things took a nose dive when John discovered that the wrong steps had been delivered!  Remember, the pool kit was delivered some seven or eight months ago so it was a nail-biting time while John spoke to the supplier to find out where we stood.  To add insult to injury, it turned out that the manufacturer no longer makes the steps in the necessary dimensions and we had to wait until Wednesday evening before we knew what would happen.

In the meantime, John went ahead and laid the concrete for the steps...
....... but we had to decide on what to do next.  In the finish, John said he would leave the pool and make a start on the work to put the doorway from the kitchen to the garden.  This job had been planned for the time when we would be waiting for the pool liner to be delivered but obviously for us it was better than have John disappear off to another client!
I had to ring our plumber and beg and grovel for him to come round to remove the kitchen radiator on Wednesday evening so that John could make a start on the doorway on Thursday.  Luckily, the plumber is such a lovely man who gave up his time to come and do this for us after he'd finished work on Wednesday.  He will of course be coming back to put up the new radiator and to alter the pipework so that it runs underground.
While he was doing that, we got a phone call from the swimming pool supplier.  Luckily they were accepting liability and would replace the steps.  But they are going to have to be specially manufactured because, as I said, they no longer supply these same steps!  Of course, we all waited with baited breath to find out how long this will take!  But we have been told we should have them in a week!  (My fingers are crossed!)
So, come Thursday, work started on creating a doorway from the kitchen to the garden.  I am so excited about this as it's something I've wanted from the day we moved in!  I think I've spoken before about the thickness of the walls of our house and clearly this is going to be one hell of a job!  The house was built in the 18th century and we believe it would have been the original farmhouse of the hamlet in which we live.  Houses would have been built from the granite and stone that was cleared from the land around the area.  They are varied in size from huge to not so huge and are just erected in a pretty higgledy-piggledy way.  So after a full day of drilling through it, this was the hole at the end of Thursday...

On Friday, John removed the kitchen window......

....and has left it boarded up while he continues the work.  He is working from the outside so there is practically no mess indoors (yet?).  Danny (who was better than he had been but still a long way from full health) and I went out Friday and bought the door to go in the doorway.  I had hoped for double doors but it is not going to be possible so a single 80cm wide door will suffice.

John should resume the job on Monday but in the meantime this is my boarded up window (it's SO dark in the kitchen!) and the bigger hole in the wall - seen from the outside, that we're left with over the weekend!

One good thing we've discovered is that the rendering on our house has been done particularly well!  John was suitably impressed with it, as he was with how well the window had been installed!  As good as these things are, it just means his job of dismantling them is made harder.  Ah well, you can't have everything can you!  As we say here in France, c'est la vie!

Enjoy your weekends, folks..

À bientôt


  1. Hi Roz, that's a pity about the steps but I'm pleased the company are going to accept responsibility. Soon when you are swimming in your pool this will be a distant memory.

  2. I feel for you! 2 projects on the go at one time - very brave. Hope Danny is feeling better and that the rest of the project goes as planned. When things run smoothly - it isn't that memorable. You'll be laughing about this soon enough when relaxing with a wine around 'the pool'.