Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Pow Wow

No builders for the last three weeks = one irate Hubs. He finally blew his gasket on Monday evening. Et Voila! Dani (our builder) appeared yesterday to book us in for a Pow Wow this morning. Attending Pow Wow: 10. Dani, Jean-Louis (his bruv), Stephan, the electrician, the roofer, sundry other male workers, Hubs and me. The ration was two English to eight Spanish / French. Did not bode well for a smooth Pow Wow meet. But possible probs diverted by Pow Wow member number ten: James. Whose ability to act as a go-between made the Pow Wow meet do-able for its multi-national members.

Decisions made at Pow Wow: Electrical wiring to be put in under floor in half barn before the pouring of the concrete. Good job it hadn't been done already. Last Pow Wow result a few weeks ago decided electrics were to go in a trough round the edge. "Oh no" said the electrician, or rather "Ce n'est pas possible" (because he is French and doesn't do English). Electrics go under floor. So hose pipes have to be laid to carry the cables. Apparently, when the cables are to be connected they are pushed through the hose pipes. As I was saying to Denise over at Much Malarkey Manor today, I see probs ahead with that. Feeding a cable through a pipe for several metres and it not snagging somewhere en route feels like a stressful exercise to me. I have memories of feeding elastic through waistbands, which is theoretically the same process, and most times there were probs. Perhaps the ton of concrete lying on top of the pipes will hold them rigid enough for the cables to be pushed through successfully. Maybe this is something I shouldn't involve my head with.

Guttering: To be put all round, apart from the sides and front apex of the roof. For this the roofer received my blessing. Hubs had been on a mission to have the front of the roof overhang the house. I think this would make the house look like it was frowning. There has been much debate in the Coe household about this. But: decision made. Roofer took control. No overhang. But guttering. Good solution. Rain water can be collected, rain splash down the front walls can be avoided, and the house can keep on looking like she is smiling.

Back Wall: Which is non-existant. Much debate with Dani and Hubs about steel tie-in bars to hold the wall together. When it gets re-built. Result: it was going to be done anyway. Breakdown of French / English translation on last Pow Wow.

Small Pow Wow in office. Members present: Dani, Hubs, Me and James. Under discussion: money. Result: Good. All being well, it looks like the roof is not going to cost a huge amount more than the original price quoted by Dani, despite some add-ons by Hubs. Half barn is paid for.

Pow Wow concluded. All on good terms. Cup of tea all round. Lots of bon hommie. Estimate for conclusion for roof: two months. Concrete to go down on floor tomorrow. This is providing the weather does not stuff up the project.

Meteo weather forecast for our area: Storms tonight, rain tomorrow, and then next day, and the next, then some sun, then some more rain, etc.

Things I have learnt today: That a female person can lend calmness to male unrest and argument. That a cup of tea at the right time can divert all manner of possible negative outcomes to Pow Wow's. That one has to have a nap in the afternoon after the busy-ness of a Pow Wow. That one must not mind if one's Hubs is out of sorts with the World because he is trying to get a roof on his house and he hasn't got enough language skills to make himself understood with the men who are going to get it done. That it is alright to hope that things will be cracking on a pace now. But that it is alright if there is a break in the pace while the heavens open and soak the ground. After all, it means I can dig, plant more seeds, and not have to water.

Head Gardener Hubs taking his lawn mower for a walk after having just sharpened the blades of the machine. Bless.

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