Sunday, 5 July 2009

Time travel but not as we know it Jim. Neighbours

Now that I am even more confused as to the time / sequence of events I will attempt to get the show on the road but the road to Catchup City can be a long and arduous one, especially when your keyboard has a mine of its own.
Work began on clearing away all the debris and in smashing up the concrete flower bed which will be filled up with concrete to make a flat patio area.

Gradually the cement blocks for the shed rose in height and the three of us went into town at lunchtime to get a kebab.
The kebab place was closed so we had some food at a restaurant in the town centre.
Work recommenced and was going well well the neighbours whose garden the shed backs onto turned up.
I have been told that they stay there for about 4 weeks a year, and this was the first time that I had seen them.
There were two brothers and a lady who must be a wife to one of the brothers. They were of course, on the attack. What was going on? Who had given permission for the work? Where was the paperwork? Etc etc.
They told me how rude it was of me not to have discussed things with them first. In fact they kept on pressing home this point.
They looked at my official permissions. Who had passed such permissions…..
Monsieur had photos which show the height of the old shed etc etc. The height is not an issue. The permission is granted to build a structure under 10m squared on my own property. The sole stipulation was that rain water from the structure did not fall on a neighbours land.
I tried the old, “But you are never there so how could I talk to you about it”
This did not work as they said that I could have got their name from the Plan.
Since they were there anyway, I let them know about the other work that I had permissions for and work that I might do if I ever have the money.
Why had they not been informed about this work etc etc.
Eventually they calmed down a bit and were able to supply some useful information and verbal permission to put drainage pipe in their garden, running alongside my house and down to the nearest drain.
We discovered that there is a drainage problem at the rear of the house as rainwater from several neighbouring properties all channels into a blocked gulley that runs along the back of my house. One source of the dampness. I got the names and numbers of the landlords and the following week and had a chat with hi; with Madam in tow. Ilegally he has no guttering on the back of the house. The water is not a problem to my property he says as the ground slopes in the opposite direction. This is patently bollocks and I videoed the rain today for his viewing pleasure. The lady who rents the property at the back of me, has been trying to get her landlady to do something for the last 10 years about her house flooding when it rains. It is going to be tough to get any money out of these people to resolve my damp problems. In fact today’s rain showed me that rainwater from the whole area beyond even gutterless mans house, flows into the gully and past my house wall.
I had to get changed in a rush as I was scheduled to be picked up in town to go to see the town’s experimental orchestra who were performing at the Niaux caves.
My travelling companions were the husband and daughter of one of the ladies in the choir. She had been coming but had got her dates wrong and was due to help out another choir perform the same evening.
We were on the first bus from Niaux Mairie up to the caves and we arrived at about 7pm while rehearsals for the concert were going on. The concert was not due to start until 10pm so we had a bit of a wait.
The choir and orchestra disappeared and a small projector screen was erected. We were to have a few speakers talking about astronomy.

Unfortunately when you schedule such things a couple of days after the longest day of the year, you are always going to have a light problem.
Lecture cancelled. There was someone with a little telescope there (it was an astronomically themed evening). It was set up so that we could look at the sun. I could not see anything so will not be rushing out and buying a telescope anytime soon.
Next there was a musician with two strange instruments which he explained and demonstrated, then people could have a look at.
One was a theramin which he had adapted, and the other had been invented by someone whose name I cannot remember. It had a little keyboard and a pull out drawer with little knobs and switches on which when twiddled produced a range of electronic noises.
One man and his nobs.

Finally the light levels permitted a speaker to talk about the Niaux Caves. It was all about how they monitor the caves to ensure that no damage is done to the cave drawings etc. Now only about 40 -50 people can visit per day.
They had water infiltration problems, but these were traced to the fact that the vineyards which had covered the earth above the caves had been replaced by trees.
Finally the concert started. It was to be the first performance of a work created by the conductor, or it might have been the orchestra leader. It had taken four years to write and involved a choir too.
If I had not previously heard Gustave Holst’s the Planet suite I might have been well impressed as that was what began the performance. The plinks, plonks and weird sounds from the choir marked the change to the new orchestral piece. Its amazing what you can do with 3 cunningly angled Overhead projectors. Herer three artists did cave drawings simultaneously! Why did Jean-Michelle Jarre never think of that???

Once the performance was over. We located our torches and walked the 1,5km back down to the car park. For some reason the flare type torches which lined the side of the road were not lit until we had reached the bottom of our descent.
Another cultural outing completed.

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