Thursday, November 27

Wading Through Cement

27th November
Life has gone all turgid. I’ve been trying to get some quotes to lay a concrete floor so we can set up a studio in the barn adjoining the house. The landlord has agreed to pay half the costs and I want the job done before Christmas. I’ve completely failed to get a French builder to turn up. A very tall English man came, measured and sent me a quote but I need at least one more. The only other person vaguely interested in the job used to be a hairdresser in the UK before he moved here. He made and cancelled several arrangements but finally turned up this morning. Unfortunately he didn’t bring any measuring instruments with him. He seems to have learned the building trade by watching car mechanics - a sharp intake of breath, then gravely shaking his head and telling me what a difficult job it’ll be.


  1. I love your blog - it's one of those where you end up just HAVING to read all of it from the start. So I'm going to have to come back at the weekend and settle myself on my computer and simply...enjoy. Love this post. V funny. It makes me think of the weeks and weeks it took mum to get anyone to treat the wood in her house. Mum says she visibly ages between getting things done over here;)

  2. Now I know all about crumbly old houses in France :) NO NO NO (sorry to shout) don't use unexperienced builders.

  3. Hi Henry, nice to see you. You're mum's dead right about the correlation between workmen and the ageing process.

    Hi Sally - don't worry the tall man was great I just need other quotes to show the landlord I'm not just overpaying my mate. I'll send Mr. Hairdresser Builder round to put your hair back on - or maybe not I've heard he's hiding from a stream of angry bald women in the UK

  4. I was once told, the ideal family includes an attorney, a doctor, a cop and a contractor. Hopefully they all like one another!

  5. Laughed at your clever blog and then sympathized with you - we have been trying to get a plumber to tend to what WAS a minor leak with the tub but said tub is thinking of expanding it's flow to greater measures since four months have passed. Two plumbers have promised to show but none yet. I think we women ought take basic plumbing and electrical (and concrete laying) workshops and not have to wait for the job to be done!
    ps - thanks for visiting the blog, Lulu!
    Bill, I agree that there are some occupations nice to have in the family but god, what would the holiday get-togethers be like?!

  6. Hi Bill - I'd include a car mechanic in that list.
    Welcome Deb - I sympathize about the plumbing, I've also had a long running plumbing story going on here.

  7. Oh Lu, don't get me started about the years I must have wasted waiting for a French builder/tiler/roofer/anybody really to turn up. They go on here about the British artisans coming over and stealing their work but sometimes it's the only way to get anything done.

    Good luck with getting it all done before Christmas - hope Mr Brit does a good job (I'm sure he will)

  8. Have you thought about installing radiant heating when your concrete is being laid?
    My studio is an older building and despite the gas heat the cold seeps up from the floor and chills me to the bones to where I have to go in the house to warm up after two,three hours....

  9. Hi Ms Fancy - Thanks for the good luck wishes, I guess I'll need them.

    Hi Debs - you're dead right about how cold it'll be but we're just renting here and we can't afford to do more than the minimum.


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