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Fires, floods etc

September 28, 2012

Progress is being made noticeably so we planned to relax this weekend and potter about making the guest rooms more habitable.  Potter about???  It took two days to tidy up the third bedroom and move all the boxes into the attic – it was exhausting. However, that room is now ready to start on decorating, next I have to do something with the office and relocate the computer; easier said than done as this room has the only working phone socket which I need for the ADSL Internet service. This is one of those problems I’ve been thinking about ever since we moved in and no-one (electricians etc) could offer a solution.

Tuesday was rush about day, doctors appointment, more decorating stuff, big shopping trip and visit to the pharmacy. Then we carried on with getting the rooms ready, putting up curtains, pictures, finding and washing bed linen etc etc. We had our plumber take a look at a tiny leak we have in the living room, he cleaned the pipe and put some stuff on it but it is still there – about three drips a day which is just enough to damage the parquet flooring should we remove the little plastic pot that is catching them.

On Friday I got another wall of the garage painted and we started on tidying up all the accumulated stuff and gardening tools. We have way too many – whoever is going to use lawn edge trimmers again and we have three! I can’t see any use for all these bits & pieces so I see a trip to the dechetterie in the near future. Next we’ll start in on the accumulated electrical bits – there’s three different national systems represented with plugs, sockets, wires and light fittings.

It’s a GP weekend so we do get to relax a bit but we still spent Sunday morning refinishing the parquet floor – it needs doing about every six months and takes about two hours with all the furniture moving. We noticed a small water leak in the boiler room – appears to be below the new sewer pipes so I was wondering if the fosse work had disturbed something – any way a call to Profosse and they said they would plan a trip to check it out.

Our plans for Monday were completely wrecked by a freak overnight rain storm which appears to have overwhelmed our rainwater drainage system. The garage was 2” deep in water in places, everything was soaked and it had got into the boiler room and the store room as well. The suspect leak in the boiler room was 10 times worse but it could not have caused that much water, the culprit seems to be the drain outside the garage door. We spent the entire morning in mopping up, removing all the soaking cardboard (used to protect things from the rough concrete floor) and hosing out the muddy water. The shop vac got most of the rest – but I had to empty it three times! Another more urgent call to Profosse and they agreed to come and check the drainage system on Tuesday – we have never had this problem before so something has changed. Then a trip to the dump with all the sodden cardboard made infuriating by road diversions and the fact my cell-phone packed up. I have been trying to get a man to check the garage door and every call has dropped or been hung up on, eventually did get to talk to them on the land line when I got home.

We had also booked the fireplace guy to come and supervise the first lighting and check out the noise from the chimney cap – he called to say he was running late and wouldn’t be there until 6:00pm. He finally arrived at 6:35 and showed us all the adjustments etc then put some compressed logs in, spead fire gel all over them and set light to it. Some further minor discussions and a small adjustment to the door and that was that. We poured out the G&T’s, added some more wood and sat back at watched. It didn’t take long to realize that the room was getting a little smoky – we put this down to the paint on all the new bits burning off, opened a few windows and blew it all out. Also had to do the same in the bedroom upstairs as there is a vent there as well and it was smoking pretty good. The rest of the evening was great, really warm and no more smoke so it probably was just the paint.

Garage door man arrived on Tuesday morning and basically said that all was OK apart from some lubrication needed (I did it) and he would get us a quote for a finishing piece to seal the top edge. He said the bottom edge was fine but we still had rain water in the garage again. Profosse could not come on Tuesday so when they do arrive I’ll have them check the main rainwater drains so that the garage entrance drains properly.

Wednesday dawned with torrential rain and my worst fears were realized – another flooded garage. It rapidly turned chaotic as a quick call to the neighbours for advice on finding a drainage company resulted in them arriving with drain rods – and we hadn’t even had breakfast! We did find a solid blockage about 4 meters into the drain but as that point is probably 4 meters below ground digging was out of the question. We went back inside and grabbed a quick breakfast, then I had to take June to the hairdressers and just as I’m getting ready to leave a text message from the gardener to say he’ll be there in 10 minutes! I left anyway, came straight back and got Malcolm working on the grass seeding – he also helped me sweep out a lot of the water but the drain was clearly blocked. So I went back to the neighbours to see if they had any new ideas and they said why not try our regular plumber – OK, he’ll be there in 15 minutes! Just as he arrives June calls and says come & get me, I leave David examining the problem and go get June. When I get back David is putting a drain rod in, and using a hose pipe to attempt to clear it. No go, he needs some special equipment but can’t come back until Thursday morning so that will disrupt the visit by my brother.

The rain persisted all morning and by about 2:00pm Malcolm was soaked and getting badly bogged down so he decided to call it a day, however we should still have enough warmish weather left after his next visit to finish planting the grass seed.  We picked up my brother and his daughter from the station in Vannes, drove home, cleaned up and then went to dinner at the creperie in St Ave – excellent as usual. A pleasant evening catching up on family stories, news etc.

David came back on Thursday morning and tried to clear the blockage with a power hose and special nozzle but no luck, so I called Profosse and let them know the nature of the problem – they have promised to come on Friday. We spent the rest of the day touring the area with an excellent lunch by the Golfe du Morbihan and a restful evening at home, playing bar billiards. On Friday we had to get up early as my brother’s train for Paris/London left at 09:50 and the traffic is always bad before 10:00am. However, they caught the train with no problems and on the way home I picked up the big brush cutter from the repairers. After a brief interlude dismantling the guest beds, we went out for a quiet lunch and a restful afternoon. However Profosse cannot come until Saturday at the earliest so now we are closely watching the weather forecasts.

Never rains but …………………………


David & June


2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2012 16:45

    Oh No, you have our deepest sympathies over the floods, good luck with the fosse guys, do you want me to send John around 🙂

    • September 28, 2012 16:52

      If he has the equipment to unblock a deep and hidden drain – yes please 🙂

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