Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France

Week 20

Day 132, Monday 12th July

The day starts with a cold shower. And it is cold. Too cold for the Boss to have one and too cold for me to worry about shampoo and soap! But at least the shower is finished. As soon as we have hot water, we can start washing again.

Day 133, Tuesday 13th July

Time to plumb the washing machine. Finally with a flourish, we start is off. Well it fills with cold water, then pumps the cold water out and then keeps pumping. Time to try and read the book.

After a lot of experimenting, I decide its faulty. And I'm not looking forward to the phone call to the service department of the supplier. Out comes the dictionary, to look up some strategic words. I can't seem to find the phrase "My washing machine is b*%@>!&~."

Eventually they agree they will send an engineer, on Friday.

Then its off to Mick and Tracy's house for a shower.

Day 134, Wednesday 14th July

I start to connect the water heater. I've got everything, except the cable to the fuse box.

The cable runs inside special French regulation flexible (and I presume non-flammable) plastic conduit. The conduit has a draw wire through it for connecting the cable at one end and pulling the cable through from the other.

Easy to say. The conduit run is about 8 meters long. It takes me about three hours of sweating, swearing and retrying to get the cable from one end to the other. By the evening, it connected.

I switch on and all we need to do now to get hot water is wait.

Day 135, Thursday 15th July

Hot water! In the kitchen, the bathroom and presumably in the shower. Isn't modern living wonderful?

Just one thing. There is a leak on the water tank. So off goes the hot water, drain the tank, take the joint apart, clean it, use more plumbers sealing compound and back it goes. And it still leaks.

I can do it up tighter, but and worried about stripping the thread. I leave my plumbing spanner on the joint, tighten it a little, dry it off and wait. This last for about three days, with the leak getting slower and slower.

When I bought the tank, I knew it would need an expansion chamber. This allows the water inside to expand as it heats up, without increasing the pressure inside the tank. As I had looked at every plumbing shelf in every DIY store for 30km and could not find one, I assumed the tank had one internally.

As they say, to assume make an ass out of u and me. The water does expand, it does need some place to go, and at the moment it is onto my kitchen floor! And with concrete laid, no allowance for an additional waste pipe.

Day 136, Friday 16th July

The washing machine man duly arrives. As in Britain and no doubt many other parts of the world, "It needs a part", and of course he does not have one. Three or four working days.

The Boss is fuming. The cold showers don't do much to lower her blood pressure. She insists that as its new, we have to ask them for a new one, not a repair. I refuse because I'll have a little difficulty explaining the rationale.

However she tries. She manages to get the service manager, who has spent 10 years working in England and so speaks vastly better English than we speak French. Normally after 21 days, they only repair, but as we've had this in the box for 23 days before installing, he makes an exception.

Oh well, one success today.

And tighten the water heater connections a little more before bed.

Day 137, Saturday 17th July

Despite the increased distance to the croissant shop, its croissant day. Except as the oven is electric and not yet connected, they have to be eaten cold. The hardships we endure?

The Boss takes some more washing round to a friends (before it all gets up to walk there on its own). I connect the cooker, with the cable that took half a day to pull through 8 meters of conduit.

The dinners had better be worth the effort.

Day 138, Sunday 18th July

What did we do on that day? I can't remember, so off to week 21

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