Sunday, 10 April 2011

8th April

Well it has been a mixed week! On the postive side, we very much enjoyed having Lucy and Andy here to stay for 5 days and they were lucky enough to have the most wonderful weather. Hardly a cloud in the sky all week and temperatures in the upper 20's. They enjoyed the rest, but also helped us a lot by digging over the vegetable patch and lugging a load of earth up from the pool area to create a new flower bed behind the patio. They also put together our new garden bench - see above! We also had a very French/English evening when Jean Paul and his daughter Marine joined us for dinner. The girls and Andy managed to understand each other very well - in fact both Lucy and Andy spoke more French than they have done since leaving school!! We ate roast chicken and sticky toffee pudding, then managed had an entertaining game of Pictionary with the help of a dictionary!

We had hoped to lay the screed on the base of the pool this week, but despite the hot weather, the soil in the pool is just not drying out enough. We realised we would have to put in a better drainage system, so we (actually, mostly Dave!) have been digging more trenches around and inside the pool to allow the water to escape. Thankfully this seems to be working, so now we just need a few more dry days to finally lay the screed. We almost a had a problem when the sand for the screed was delivered, but it was happily sorted out in a typically Ariege way. We asked the lorry driver to dump the sand down by the pool which he was happy enough to do despite a bit of shoulder shrugging and hand waving, but sure enough the lorry got stuck in the soft earth! However, the driver just smiled, shrugged his shoulders a bit more and suggested we get Denis from the farm with his tractor-whom he just happens to know well. Denis was more than happy to help - so after several minutes of hand shaking and discussion of 'boys toys', the lorry was hauled back up the garden and everyone got back to work.

As for the garden, the grass and everything else is still growing rapidly. Dad's rockery now looks a picture with the tulips out and the snowy Pyrenees behind (see photo above).

We don't feel we have made much progress this week with the pool saga, but in fact we are still moving on with the Pyrnees Suite and laid the concrete base ready for the patio this week, so hope to get that finished very soon - again, weather permitting!

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