As I mentioned in my previous post, Sebastien and his team came and did their work yesterday and I’m very pleased with the results. Not overjoyed, though, because although they cleaned up after themselves pretty well, they’ve still left quite a few small logs and branches around the periphery of the cleared area and also a small heap of debris that they somehow managed to ‘overlook’, all of which I want to see gone.

I won’t pay, of course, until they are. I’ll probably tell him when he sends his ‘facture’ that if he’d like to come over and get rid of all that stuff I’ll hand him a cheque at the same time. I do have one disappointment, though, which isn’t his fault. At some time in the distant past it may have been that the land was used to grow strawberries on. Whether that’s so or not I don’t know but what we’ve found is that there’s a lot of black plastic sheet buried in the ground, something which is done by strawberry growers, and which is now being brought to the surface.

I have a rotavator which is now in storage and inaccessible so I may have to hire a largish machine to till the ground while it’s soft and see if I can get it all out. If I do that, it’ll also help to extract the roots of the bushes that were left in and also help when it comes to make a level area if I should decide to move the caravan back up there, which is by no means certain.

Here are some shots that I took this afternoon, starting looking back up the slope towards the road.

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The next shot was taken looking directly across to more or less where the northern corner of the house will be.

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This shot was taken looking back towards the same area but from slightly further up the slope.

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The next shot was taken of the cleared area from next to the road.

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This shot was also taken from next to the road but slightly further round.

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This shot was taken from the point next to the road where I want Enedis to install my electrical ‘coffret’

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The next shot was taken from inside the now-cleared area just under the trees looking down the slope.

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This final shot of the cleared area was also taken from further down under the trees and shows the previously invisible boundary marker of my land, or ‘borne’, the stick with a red top, which had been hidden in the trees.

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Now, if you’ve read this far you might be wondering to yourself what the heck does he have to rejoice about? Well, the answer is that it appears that my visit last week to Véolia’s office at Terrasson where I made clear what I thought about their service may have paid off, because while I was inspecting Sebastien’s team’s handiwork with him, a technician from Véolia turned up!

He was a pleasant sort of a chap as most of the non-office types are here in France but it didn’t help that almost as soon as he started talking a pesky fly flew straight into his eye, something that they always aim to do. He had copies of the papers that I’d provided and we started by looking at the valve (or ‘vanne’) that I’ve been saying all along is already on my land, which will make connecting up a water meter a doddle.

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He agreed, but whereas I said that this was the valve for my land he said that actually it wasn’t and that it’s actually for the house opposite on the other side of the road. This came as something of a surprise to me because I said that the plans show the water main running across my land close to the road. He said that that wasn’t the case. It actually runs down through the trees several metres from the road as can still just be seen in the final shot below by the ‘alleyway’ that was cut through and still exists.

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However, he said that it would be a simple matter to cut my supply in at that point and implied that if I only want my inspection chamber that will hold the water meter a metre or so in any direction from the existing valve, it would be relatively quick and cheap to do. Then came the reason for my rejoicing. I asked him when things would start to happen, and he said that he’d get my ‘devis’ (estimate) out within the week.

I don’t want to start my celebrations too early because that doesn’t mean that a van with an engineer will come trundling up the road to do the work any time soon, but it does at least look as though there are reasons for optimism that the estimate of 6-7 weeks made by the hatchet-faced lady at Terrasson last week might be improved upon. And maybe by quite a bit 😉

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