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A new year, new challenges and resolutions
Last three years we have been living in a building site, with a never ending domino effect as we moved from space to space. There seemed to be a continual to and fro of cars, vans and cement mixers in front of the house. Never a dull moment. Along with having our friends and family staying, it was all a bit too much. Hopefully with the work done and extra rooms created, we will have the extra space in ourselves that we need.
So anyway, we smuggled ourselves in among the rest of the family in front of the door. He'd spotted Perry slipping behind the group with his suitcase and almost lost the plot as he saw Caroline among the smiling faces. We all walked along the Gein river for a spot of late lunch and a quiet evening at home, once everyone had gone. Monday, we did the sales and Perry caught up with his technical partner, René, in Amstelveen. All too soon, we were home again and back into the old clothes, noise and dust.
Adieu, dear Marie-Louise
Giving a new life
The old kitchen table that was left behind needed some TLC. Removing the old plastic, flower covered tablecloth, we found the table lined with old newspapers from 1948. We considered varnishing the pages to the table and sealing it, but there was too much damage. The table sagged too. The three drawers along the side had little in the way of support and a steel bar had been screwed along the length of the table. With Ernest's help, we removed the bar, cleaned the table of old newspaper and he inserted solid oak battons around the table to strengthen the structure and lift the surface by four centimetres. He also filled the gaps between the planks, and sanded it down without losing the patina. We added the varnish and placed it back in the kitchen. Perry's old dining table, which it replaced, will have a new life as studio table, back in the chai.
Still, the farmers are making the most of the dry weather and turning the soil in preparation. Last year some were very later with planting due to the very wet spring and summer. Now all are pretty well ready and wishing for rain, since the earth is now too dry for seeds to germinate.
Oh shit, Sherlock!
So Perry slipped his wellies on and investigated around the back, his worse fears confirmed. Blocked! He released the main access lid at the top of the drainage pipes and was doused under a flood of sewage and pulped paper. Once the excess had overflowed, he got an old garden hose and pushed it down the pipe towards the septic tank. He felt a few things move, but the water level stayed where it was. Pulling the hose back out, it snapped back to its rolled up state and sprayed Perry in excreta. The words used at this time coloured the air. Lifting the lid of the tank, he saw that it was full, to the brim. Accessing another downpipe, he tried pushing the blockage away, into the tank. That didn't work either.
That was Sunday. We called Michel Noguès, the man who had placed the system and he said he'd be there on Monday. Monday evening we called and he said he would come on Tuesday. Meanwhile we didn't flush the toilet, nor took a shower. We had to go behind the barn!
Tuesday morning, Noguès' assistant Alex drove up. He had his arm in plaster so had to give instructions as Perry digged and prodded. He came to the conclusion that the blockage was in the tank itself. "Tu as les gants? (do you have any gloves?)" said Alex. Hmm, time to find those old Marigolds. Lifting the lid, Perry then plunged his hands into the shit and found the downpipe. Twisting it back and forth he got it loose and saw the large chunk of toilet paper that had calcified in the pipe. With a couple of shakes and spray-through with the garden hose, he replaced the down pipe and the lid. Next time we know what to do when a ploppy decides to come back to visit us!
Until next month,
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|© 2008 Perry Taylor and La Baguette Magique, France.|