Orange/France Telecom turn up again. Engineer number 4. This time it’s only one engineer, but with a proper high-lift cherry-picker vehicle. I suspect he’s the divisional manager because he does a thorough job; undoing the work of engineers 1 and 3 and re-doing it properly by fixing metal extension arms to the EDF pylons so that the telephone line avoids the tree branches. This is handy because when the local roads department come past once a year with their tree-branch cutting machine, it would have been a certainty that our telephone line would have been chopped into little pieces in several places.
Other than that, our research on where we can get DIY stuff is proving to be very annoying. Shopping for DIY stuff in France is not simple. Unlike Britain where companies have websites where you can add stuff to a basket, click Checkout and it tells you how much delivery is, this is not the case here. Yes, all right, we live in the middle of nowhere, but still! Come on people, this is the 21st century after all. Take Leroy Merlin’s website as an example. Half the stuff we wanted is not available to buy online. LSS called them to enquire about delivery charges, and was told that it depends on how many pallets are in the order. To deliver one pallet: a massive 79 euros! She then called Castorama – they charge 160 euros for delivery no matter what size the order! The small company in Aubigny called Weldom offers a 30 euros delivery charge, so it looks like we’ll be buying stuff from them.
This obviously explains why so many people here have car trailers. It’s our intention to get one of these as well, but the car will need to be re-registered in France first (because we’ll need a number plate for the trailer). This process is in hand but like anything here, it takes time.
We were originally intending to get 4 x 1000 litre water containers for rainwater recovery; these turn out to be too expensive so we’ll get 6 x 500-litre barrels instead.
In between showers of rain we managed to plough up the vegetable garden using the rotavator. It was the first time LSS and I had used one of these machines but after a while we got the hang of it. Two hours later, we were rewarded by the sight of a large expanse of turned-over soil. It will need to be done a couple more times before we’re ready to plant anything though.
Following our dusty labours, we carried the bathtub into the kitchen and had a well-deserved bath next to the warmth of the wood stove. Note the steam rising from the bath, and the colour of the water.