Saturday, 27 June 2009

Running on empty

This is the bit in the reality TV show, just before the ad break in Part Two, where the indomitable couple have run out of time, money and energy. The presenter looks at what’s going on, turns to camera and says: ‘From where I’m standing, I can’t see how they’re going to pull it off’.

But if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know we’ve been here before.

Let’s look at what would have happened in Part Two:
o We bought The Shack and celebrated with home-made elderflower champagne from HFW’s recipe; one of two batches Her Outdoors made worked and it was excellent, if a bit sweet.
o We laid into The Shack with Tools; the internal chimney dropped off the ceiling in one huge piece, just missing my leg and nearly causing A Nasty Accident.
o Our world was rocked by the devastating news that one of our key allies and Genuinely Lovely Bloke, Marc Mercier of Developpement Perigord, died during a rugby match. He was the same age as me; had two young children the same ages as ours; and he will often and always be in our thoughts.
o We took it in turns to exhaust ourselves making and moving rubble (of which there is a staggering amount, even in a small ‘house’).
o I made a chainsaw-mate and we turned an inconveniently placed, overstood chestnut coppice into compost, kindling and firewood for winter 2012.
o Our tractor doctor surgically and brilliantly unseized our tractor in the field, which sadly re-seized and will never tractor again.
o Following an impressive piece of reversing, we took delivery of a sceptic tank and load of plastic pipes for a sewerage system we didn’t want, but which made it possible for Planning to say ‘Oui’.
o We asked the bank for ten grand so we can build the extension we now have permission for. It was a long shot (I don’t have a job). They said ‘Non’.
o The tractor doctor returned with this awesome machine...

...and we sat in the shade and watched as one small scoop for him saved a giant heap of digging for us.
o I then borrowed this machine from English-mafia Lee... dig a trench for concrete footings (at which point the presenter, headshaking, would have said out of the corner of his mouth: ‘And they call themselves environmentalists...’) for the bathroom walls we’re buying with money borrowed from our kids.

Tune in soon for what would have happened in Part Three.


dND said...

I know what you mean - everything seems to cost so much more, even after taking best advice and adding in 50% contingency) and take far far longer than estimated.

Going through a re-assessment here too as I really want to stay; so new priorities and direction.

So wishing you all the best

devolutionary said...

Thanks Deborah. I think the real difficulty here has been having only 200 euros after rent since February - not 200 a month... 200 since Feb. Some of the enormous amount of good news is, we'll be moving onto the land, finally, in just over a week. So no more rent to pay. And since the dole's kicked in, we're on the up and up the French way: slowly.

Here's hoping to have a roof for the bathroom by November.

Thanks for the good thoughts - and likewise, all the best to you with your plans.

Anonymous said...

Amazing guys that you're moving onto the land next week - love to you all. In sympathy, we're off camping for the week - we're hardening ourselves up, so that we can come and revel in luxury at your place in August.
We'll bring double cream - anything else?
Love to all