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Stuff & more stuff!

October 8, 2011

The dialog with the shipping company was due to the shotgun being part of the shipment – they already knew this and we had obtained advanced customs clearance for it. However, this wasn’t enough, customs decided to “sycoscan” the container and charged us €345 for the privilege – nothing untoward happened, it cleared customs and the container duly arrived on October 6th with all the seals intact. Then the fun began. 

The delivery crew were early, supposed to be there at 9:00 and they are on my cell-phone at 08:25 wondering where we are. When we get there are two trucks in the road, one 18-wheeler with the container on it and another very large removal van – crew nowhere to be found until we discovered they were having coffee with the neighbours. Only in France!  It turned out that the container had been driven down fromLe Havre overnight by one guy, the other truck was a local removal firm who were to do the unloading – this actually worked well as we shall see. 

The moment they opened the container the skies opened up and rain fell – great timing but it was only a shower or two, nothing critical. We developed a system by which they removed an item from the container, checked it off on their lists and then showed it to me to determine where to put it in the basement and then showed it to June who marked off our copy of the inventory. This sounds simple but turned rapidly into farce as there were missing numbers, duplicate numbers, unintelligible notes on their copy of the inventory etc etc. We also discovered that the loading crew were not very good. Many items that they wrapped and packed at their warehouse after leaving the house in Fallbrook were very poorly packed; they had stacked heavy furniture on top of boxes of breakables and not taken any notice of specific packing instructions. The billiard table is a case in point. I had provided them with detailed instructions (from the manufacturer) on how to crate the table, remove the legs, protect the top and packing all the parts around it in a case that should have been about 7’x3’x2’. They had simply pad wrapped it in heavy paper and then built a HUGE box around it with the legs in place;  the top was simply made of slats so it was open to the world. It filled the container from side to side, was about 5’wide and 4’high – thank heavens we hadn’t had to pay by cubic size for storage! Unloading it was another story, the table alone weighs120 kg and the crate must easily have added another 60 or 70kg and was built to use a forklift – we didn’t have one. 







Local company to the rescue. The second truck they brought had a tail lift so they backed it up to the container, pushed and manhandled the crate onto the tail lift and lowered it to the ground, they called their office and had a guy bring a hand pallet truck. Then they got on with unloading everything else and moving it into the basement – whole job took about three hours and when the pallet truck arrived it was relatively easy to maneuver the crate into the garage. They managed to hand carry my workbench and full tool boxes in and these had required heavy duty dollies to load them in CA.

Then June & I went to work looking for stuff after we had been and had lunch in the local creperie. The first missing items were the keys to the tool chests, I knew I had them with us but it took until the second G&T in the evening to remember where they were 😉  After that finding tools was relatively easy and to create space we unpacked all the garden tools and got rid of the packaging. There must be another box somewhere in the basement as I am missing some vital items like the big gasoline can and my back-pack sprayer. We spent the next day & a half moving boxes looking for things like clothes – (lesson one, pack work clothes separately and mark them), cleaning stuff etc. Heavy work in a dimly lit room with a 6’6”ceiling and the weather decided to turn cold. We have taken Saturday off to do the house work on the apartment and get the shopping done. We may go to the house on Sunday for more searching – then again we might not.

 Weekend planning has been altered as we have just discovered that the Japanese GP is on at 08:00 on Sunday so I’ll record it but there won’t be any English commentary as I normally get that via the Internet. We are also having Internet problems – it has dropped out every evening at about 8:00pm and returned in the morning. However the English speaking support team for Orange do not work weekends so that’ll have to wait for Monday – last time I called they were very helpful. I had also ordered a ride-on mower from an on-line store at a really good price but for some reason they have failed to deliver all the paperwork I need to complete before they’ll ship it. They also have an English speaking help desk and after a long time on hold this morning I think we have this sorted – they have promised to call me (in English) on Monday to confirm so we’ll see.

Everything else is working out, mail is being delivered, we have water and electricity and hopefully Marc will start on Monday with the reconstruction stuff. June and I will concentrate on cleaning and removing wallpaper etc ready for some decorating. We are also going to have to remove a lot of wiring which is all stapled or glued to the walls, previous owners had installed an alarm system, several telephone lines, webcams etc and it’s all coming out.

 We will be busy for a week or so 🙂

3 Comments leave one →
  1. dorothy murray permalink
    October 9, 2011 23:56

    Oh wow David & June ;

    Enjoying your adventures i pressume??

    Congrats on the house. Hope to see it in person


  2. October 10, 2011 09:06

    Hi Dorothy, The fun is just starting 🙂

    Come and see us anytime


  3. October 12, 2011 16:36

    Oh what a lot of work you will have ! But it will be worth it in the end. We are still searching but getting closer ,soon we hope… and then we can have the same fun you are having! Love the photos

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