Thursday, 31 May 2007

The house : Part V

I wish this was my garden (Site of last night's BBQ outside of Tournai, Belgium)

To clarify any uncertainty about what the letter from the mairie meant, we do have the demolition permit.

In the past couple weeks, things have slowed down (is it possible to go any slower???) on our chantier because the roofer can't start until June 15th. We have him booked...almost. The check and contract have been sitting in Jerome's bag for a couple days now. I asked if I could send it but he keeps saying he's taking care of it. Same goes for the plumber and the one-handed electrician we hired (yes, you read that right) who may be able to start the circuits before the extra floor is added on.

I haven't met the electrician, but apparently he's a legend. The guy has one hand and wears thick glasses because of eye problems from all the dust he's worked in over the years. I asked Jerome how a one-handed electrician could possibly do his work, but he assured me that he doesn't work alone.

All in all, we are over our budget by only 50%. Gulp. We are also way behind schedule...

While I was in Belgium for a work BBQ last night - a little farewell to my boss at a co-worker's parent's beautiful house outside of Tournai - Jerome was meeting with the architect/contracter/friend showing him the intricate schedule he worked on all day Monday. The architect wants to take the entire month of August off and be done with our chantier by September. Apparently my husband found some convincing arguments like if he does that, we will never have a house.

In the meantime, working with friends is proving to be complicated and I fear the crooked door frame is only the beginning. "Don't worry honey, no one notices except you" will only go so far...

Meanwhile, the structure for the kitchen extension is coming along. I'm dreaming up little details like a big sink with large drain to catch all the crap ... what I'd really love is a garbage disposal but, helas, France is still backwards in many ways. The deck structure is up as well.

I've also been dreaming about my mini-garden, the lovely roses or wisteria or honeysuckle that will climb the wall of our concrete jungle. I've also been wondering how the hell I'm gonna til soil that's been dead under a slab of conrete for 30 years....I foresee much backbreaking labor this summer.

I told Jerome how much I'd love to have a little sandbox for Suzanne to play in. His reply was, "of course, a giant litter box." I am obviously still not used to living with cats. Then again, Suzanne has already "sampled" a feline dingleberry (our older cat doesn't clean himself too well anymore) and litter, so what's the difference? Suzanne's immune system must be pretty resistent.

As for my July 4th party, it may be more of a Halloween party...
We could always pitch a tent in the garden and camp until winter since it'll probably be done before the house.


Reb said...

Damn, my English is really questionable. When I reread this, I actually wondered for more than a few seconds if the past tense of read is red. I actually had to look up the grammar!

Papadesdeux said...

Sounds like the house is moving along in "normal" fashion. In truth, my experience has been that the problems are not so different than the same process in the US.

And even in NYC you have lots of buildings where you can't but in a garbage disposal because the plumbing system is too old and mixted up to handle the solid wastes.

Just put a lid on the "giant litter box". It is the neighborhood cats you don't want contributing to a toddler's diet. The sandbox equals hours of free time to read a book. The only drawback is the same as the beach. Sand in EVERY crevice. Every crevice. :))

Reb said...

I remember trying to get sand out of my crevices after the day at the beach when I was little:)

Deb said...

I'm catching up on your blog tonight. Sorry, but I haven't been online much. And when I have been, it wasn't for long!

I'm sorry to hear that things are dragging with your house. But it will be done sometime this year. And if not a Halloween party....there's aways Thanksgiving! ;o)

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