Saturday, 15 August 2009

A belated post 3. the first week

We have been here a week now and I no longer know what day of the week it is! After the rain on Sunday the temperature has steadily increased and today it was 38 degrees (and probably hotter in the direct sun). We have spent a week trying to get on with work in the house. Warren appeared on Monday with his small digger and dug up the drive to install the pipe work for the water and electricity. By the end of the week he had dug out the soggy earth around the house and laid two layers of drainage (with the aid of his assistant Alexandro, an unemployed painter and decorator who will do just about anything for 80 Euros a day in cash!) By Thursday the drive was back to normal and we are hoping for rain to test out the drains. Looking at the storm clouds on the horizon Ian thinks it will rain tonight but I am not convinced.
On Thursday we invited our neighbours round for dinner. This time last year we sat on a concrete slab and ate lunch in the dining room. This year we were able to prepare a meal for friends, sleep in our bedroom, shower in our temporary shower and flush our temporary toilet (into the field somewhere). It was just great to sit there and hear the cicadas and the owls. We also realised just how fantastic the sky is at night. We can see Venus from our room and the stars are amazing when uncontaminated by light pollution!
Talking of contamination our neighbours half a mile away kept us awake last night with a party! Here we are in the middle of nowhere and you realise that sound carries for miles without buildings to block its passage.
Today we got back to modern life by going to Bordeaux to visit various DIY shops for more urgent supplies and also to visit IKEA. We had meatballs for lunch and it was just like being in Croydon except the toilets were dirtier and the coffee was stronger!

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