Wednesday, 8 October 2008

1st October 2008 Wednesday

I am up 10 minutes early to make sure that I have showered (downstairs in the studio) and had breakfast in time for the builders starting at 8.30am.
At 10am the builder arrives and by 10:10 he is at work on the bathroom.
I decide that today is the day that I will start tackling French tenses. There are only a couple of interruptions. One when I have to go under the house to turn off the water to the flat, and one when I help him raise and tilt the shower cubicle on its tray, so that he can do plumbing things underneath it.
At noon he leaves for his lunch and he returns at 2pm. Progress is being made when at approx 2:40pm his mobile rings, and there is a lot of silence with just a few expletives emanating from the bathroom. A minute later my mobile rings. It is the builders wife, something about her son, his van and broken. I take my mobile through and hand it to the builder who is now finished talking on his mobile.
When he finishes talking to his wife, he says that he has to go. A woman driver in Varhiles has swerved to avoid a dog and has crashed into two vehicles, one of them being his camionette. The vehicles were parked and empty at the time.
The builder is rather distraught. He has appointments tonight, and tomorrow. I think he has plumbed in the shower but it is not finally fixed in place, the wash hand basin is not connected and the toilet has yet to be moved into position and its pipework (which needs some alterations as the floor level is now lower than it used to be) has not been touched yet.
He leaves his tools and says that he will see me later. Am I going out anywhere? I say no I am staying in.
By 2:50pm his van is disappearing into the distance.
I would not put much money on having any running water in my flat until tomorrow, never mind a working bathroom. But where there’s life….
Builder returns at ten to five and resumes work. He has an appointment at 6.15pm so this is when he leaves. The shower works and there is just a bit here and there still to do, but I can use it. The sink works. I have to wait until at least 8pm tonight if I want to use the toilet, so I think I will wait until tomorrow morning just to be on the safe side,
He will be back the day after tomorrow to put the finishing touches to the sink pedestal, put the toilet seat on etc. Then next week work on the kitchen and its skylight can begin as long as the weather remains dry.

There were a few empty seats at choir tonight, but still a large turnout. I handed over a cheque for 70 euros for the annual subscription and was told that later on there will be an additional 20 euros to pay. Something about debts from last year and sheet music.
Before the practice starts, the choir chief asks me to sing for him (perhaps he has forgotten that I did this 2 weeks ago). I decline saying that I have got a bad cold.

Details of the weekend autumn outing whose aim is to “reinforce the harmony that exists between us and to make progress in choral singing” are handed out.
There are various options, but if you go for the full thing, you stay overnight in a holiday village (bring your own sheets / sleeping bag and towels. This will cost you 30.50 euros and includes your evening meal on the first day and breakfast on the second. The evening meal on the first day will be preceded by singing festive songs at 3pm. Then there will be an aperitif at 7.30pm followed by the meal before a “peaceful and serene night”. Am I the only one who snores?
The walk takes place next day on the Sunday at 10am and lasts one and a half hours. Then there is a picnic at midday..We are advised that essential equipment to bring is a small rucksack, anorak, water bottle, walking shoes, things to snack on whilst walking, good humour and walking and drinking songs in equal measure. The final warning is not to forget to bring your meat with you to barbecue at the picnic.

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