Sunday, 29 July 2012

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

Mad dogs and English men go out in the mid-day sun; as do Brendan and Deborah.  We have often worked through lunches (the French stop religiously) and during sweltering weather (the French sensibly close their shutters and stay in the cool).  However, the last few days have been too hot for even the mad dogs to work.  We have been starting very early and doing a few hours before being forced to stop by the scorching heat.

I am sure all you kindly souls who volunteered to help get the tiles onto the roof are mightily relieved we didn’t call you to take you up on your offers.  The weather has been unbearably hot and I am sure you are far more comfortable sitting around your pools sipping cold beers.

The Meccano set
We hired a monte tuile (tile hoist) on Monday evening from Locatoumat.  We had planned to load tiles for a few hours that evening but when we collected the hoist it was loaded onto the truck in a zillion pieces.  I wished then I had played a little more often with my brother’s meccano as a child. 
Stacking the tiles
So my job title changed from builder’s labourer to tile stacker.  In this capacity I was to load the tiles into the box on the hoist and send them up to the LGB on the roof who then walked them to the various areas for stacking whilst attached to his climbing ropes.
We managed to piece it together fairly easily and got a couple of hours tile stacking done the first night.  When I sent the box up for a trial run the LGB was tweaking the mechanisms and left his finger in the way.  Naturally I got the blame for almost severing his digit.  He was bleeding to death etc. etc., you know how it goes with these men.  He soldiered on.  Granted there was a lot of blood.  I offered to dress it after he had washed it only to find a few pin pricks on each side!

Tiles en route

The LGB awaiting delivery

Up bright and early on Tuesday we worked for a few hours before surrendering to the heat of the sun.  I was feeling the heat on the ground but it was much worse for the LGB up on the roof.  This week the thermometer on the roof went off the scale at over 50 degrees.  Down below it was nearly 40 in the shade.  The heat on the tiles was immense; I really think you could have fried an egg on them. The same again Wednesday morning until I thought I could do no more.  Thankfully we had enough tiles on the roof by lunchtime.  Dismantling the hoist was probably harder than putting it together.  However, job done and what a time and energy saver.  I really don’t know how we (the Royal ‘we’ that is) would have managed to get them up manually.
Roped to the roof

Impressive - Making good progress

Off the scale
Thursday morning the LGB started laying the tiles.  At this point I had to admit defeat as I can’t work up that high without a scaffold.  So whilst the poor LGB worked on the roof I cleaned the caravan with the luxury of two fans keeping me coolish.  By 11.30 the heat got too much and the LGB came down.  I was so impressed when I went down the garden to inspect his efforts to see that he had covered a good bit of the roof even in a relatively shorty period of time.

I have explained our plumbing system to you before where we have roughly sixty miles of hose snaking around the garden heating the water from the sun during the day.  The water tonight was actually too hot for the LGB to shower in.  That tells you what the temperature was like today.

The Return of Dr Crochet
The LGB had an appointment with Dr Crochet that afternoon.  Et voila! The first thing he did was get out the dreaded crochet hook.  He told Brendan he should stop working for a while and watch the Olympics!  Pas possible!  We have our own marathon Olympics to contend with and many a hurdle to get over before we reach the finishing line and collect our gold medals.  But today there was nothing for it but to spend a couple of hours lounging on the beach (man-made) at the lakes.  The world and his wife had decided to do the same; I have never seen it so crowded.  So, I enjoyed my first swim of the year in the lake.  The LGB didn’t brave it; instead he knocked up a few well deserved zeds on the grass. 

Friday, like the trooper he is the LGB was back on the roof for more of the same.  Storms were forecast for today.  It was very humid and it did rain, but the promised storm didn’t materialise.  Again I was really chuffed with the amount the LGB got covered especially as he is suffering with his back and sciatica.

One side complete
Getting His Priorities Right!
He has had the petrol stone cutter on the roof where he has been worrying the bejaysus out of me cutting the tiles.  He told me he wasn't taking any chances on the roof and was confident working with the cutter up there.  He said if he felt himself fall he would just throw the cutter out of the way.  I was a little perplexed.  The night before when we were sitting on the ‘lawn’ enjoying a glass of wine the leg of the LGB’s chair went down a mole hole.  This sent him off balance.  He pirouetted, teetered, wobbled and doddered on one leg trying to keep the chair upright and prevent himself from falling off the chair.  This balancing trick seemed to go on for some time with him and the chair rocking to a fro with one of his arms furiously flapping around trying to regain his balance whilst the other arm stayed amazingly level.  I should point out that the balanced arm had a glass of wine on the end of it!  Finally the chair toppled over but the LGB still managed to go from a crouched position to fully upright with his glass of wine intact. 

Now you will be wondering where my perplexity comes into this long winded missive.  Well, he had stated that if he thought he was falling he would throw a few hundred pounds worth of cutting machinery off the roof to stay safe, but when he was falling off the chair there was no way he was letting go of that glass or even a drop of his wine!!  I wouldn’t mind but it was only a cheap bottle of fizz! 
The Jolly Chef

Vide Grenier

Vide Grenier
Sunday we visited a giant vide grenier or car boot sale.   ‘Vider’ means to empty and ‘grenier’ means attic so in fact the French empty their attics. The field had been recently mowed and the farmer had ploughed the lines where the cars could set up their stalls.  The French are so civilised; everything stops for lunch.  There are no fast food vans here, nobody walking around with a giant burger hanging out of their mouths.  The sellers have tables and chairs, wine, containers of prepared food and crockery and they sit and enjoy a good lunch.  The organisers have a barbecue on the go and tables and benches under canvas and of course a bar and likewise the buyers stop at lunchtime to enjoy a repast.  I didn’t break the bank, I bought a pretty blue pottery vase for 1€.

One person's rubbish..........

is another person's treasure

Thank you for all your feedback on the blog.  Whether you email, text, Facebook, phone me or leave a comment on the blog it is all much appreciated.  Thank you also for all your offers to lend a hand.  The LGB is a proud chappy and doesn’t easily or readily accept help.  I on the other hand have some washing, ironing, a few buttons to sew back on …………………oh, and twenty four windows and doors to paint!


  1. Hi Deb & Brendan,

    Wow! You guys are amazing hard workers. I hope that the house doesn't break your backs...literally. I'm sorry that I didn't get over to you this summer. It's been hectic here as I've been away in Germany, Ireland & Brighton. I'm off to Ghana on Sat 11 Aug for 5 weeks. Two weeks working as an Examiner again (which will be exhausting...mentally!) & 3 weeks holiday. Caragh is joining me for the last 2 weeks, so can't wait for that!! Hope to see you before the end of the year??? Ann xx

    1. Thank you Ann. Have a great time in Ghana. Hope to see you before too long. Thought of you the other night when we went to see a Salsa band. I so wished you were there to show them all how to dance!! xxx


Thanks for your comments. Nice to know there is someone out there!