Now what? Life in rural Ariege

Burblings about adjusting to life in the deep south west of France or "la France profonde" as they call it here and the challenges of restoring a ramshackle collection of tumbledown buildings. I mainly write about local festivals, events and celebrations and, most of all, the weekly ritual of combing vide greniers and brocantes for pre-loved vintage treasures.

6 December 2012

Today is F day

We have been waiting for today for many months. It is a milestone in our restoration project and between ourselves we have been calling it F day. Floor Day. Today is the day our "new barn" floor was to be poured. There have been many, many weeks work prior to today. Foundations have been poured, beams laid, all the piping and electrics have been run, the polystyrene insulating panels have been fitted and heavy metal grillage has been fitted supported on plastic "chairs" or spacers to position it perfectly in the centre of the concrete.

This morning our floor was fully prepped and ready to be poured.

We had already had a setback 2 days ago when we discovered that an essential piece of equipment we needed for today had been stolen. Jeff and Peter spent yesterday trying to replace the missing item and were forced to hire one so that we could proceed today.

It was a misty, cold, damp morning and only 3 degrees. Our regular team duly arrived sporting wellies ready to spread the structural cement to the requisite depth. Soon-to-be-published author Paul (right) was shod in navy blue wellies, Harry in Hunter green, Gareth in brown while Peter took a curious approach by having his jeans outside his wellies. "It's sexy" he told me.

Then the fun began. The pump we had ordered arrived as did the cheery red, white and blue cement mixer.

So far, so good. The team are great. The cement was good. The timing was good. But the pump was ludicrous. Not what we had ordered, it towered over our barn as the operative tried to poke it through the window opening.

OK, so it was possible to pump the cement into the building but the problem was that the flexible tube on the end of the pump was not even long enough to reach to the middle of the floor. This meant an unacceptable loading on the floor which could have overloaded the polystyrene panels and dislodged or even broken them. Jeff had no option but to cancel the pour.

The clammy mists hadn't lifted when we abandoned the site to return the hired equipment.

Today was F Day.
F2 Day will hopefully be before Christmas.