Thwarted?

Hmmm… I don’t know yet. My plan for today is (was?) to move my caravan from the bottom of my land back up to the top nearer to the road. The guys who laid the concrete base for my new tool store also did a bit of levelling of the ground up there with their tractor and shovel, both for the base and the adjacent area where I intend to site the caravan, and afterwards I spent an hour or so levelling it up a bit more and tidying it up by hand in readiness. However, this is the sight greeting me looking out of my caravan door this morning.

Looking towards the south.

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Looking towards the west, towards the top of my land.

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Looking north-ish.

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So we’ve got a very thick mist but even worse, we had a very heavy dew last night and everything outside is soaking wet, including the grass, which looks as though it’s been quite heavily rained on. And wet grass and muddy ground was just what I was looking to avoid by moving my caravan up the slope while we were still enjoying ‘good’ weather. But it looks, for the moment at least, as though the weather may have thwarted those plans, although not for certain. The weather forecast is for sunshine and a high of about 19 degrees Celsius later this aftenoon, so with a bit of luck everything may have dried out by then and the move will be possible, but I’ll just have to wait and see.

On a much more optimistic note, I had a fantastic meeting with my builders, Batim of Terrasson, yesterday afternoon and came away with a hugely positive feeling for my new house project and how they are dealing with it. Yesterday we went through the technical layout, plumbing and electrical services mainly, and materials and colours. I created my house design on my computer using an architect’s software suite and although it wasn’t up to full professional standard, it was pretty good. They, however, have taken it upon themselves to go to the next level and reproduce my model in much greater detail on their own professional system.

The results are similar to my own but to a much higher standard. By doing what they’ve done, Thomas, their technical guy who I worked with yesterday, had got to intimately know my model and had developed his own uncanny understanding of what I was aiming for. Therefore he knew all of the right questions to ask knowing that I would have all of the answers he needed to button the project up, which I did. So after just under two hours I came away with two detailed technical drawings of my new house and all of its internal and external systems and he was in a position on behalf of Batim to officially get the project underway.

The general layout and floorplan.

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The technical layout for the electrical and plumbing services.

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The only problem I have is with the lighting. I queried the kind of fittings that they intend to use and Thomas said that they’d be using what are described as ‘DCL’. He showed me a picture on his computer and I said that I had reservations and would have to look them up on the internet. In fact I will have to reject them because (a) I said that I want to have no hanging light fittings anywhere in the house and (b) I want the lighting in the living room and corridor to be LED inset into the ceiling and the other to be flush ceiling mounted. Here’s what ‘DCL’ looks like.

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It has a socket for a light bulb (5) that plugs straight into a ceiling fitting or alternatively the ceiling fitting accepts a plug into which a hanging light cord is connected which is then suspended on a ghastly hook (7), for goodness sake, exactly what I’m not looking for. I think I’ll have to have a word with Thomas.

I asked when exactly he thought that work would begin and his reply was that they are waiting on their own detailed soil study to allow them to exactly design the groundwork and footings of the house. This is because of the clay content in the ground and as it’s obviously in my interests for them to do the job right, I’ll be patient. However, he estimates that they should come onto site to begin work sometime around mid-end of November, which I’m pretty satisfied with. All-in-all, I’m very impressed with how they’re handling things so far and if their final build results are on the same level of their project planning, which I think they will be, I’ll have no hesitation in recommending Batim to anyone at any time.

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