March, 2016 – Graham Miln

We have foundations – Part 2.0

We visit the building site for our second meeting with the builder and afterwards return to the bathroom shop. There we check our floor tile choice and try to narrow down the bathroom tile choices.


Good morning. We’re off to the land for our second on-site visit with the builder. After that we’re going to the bathroom place to look at more tiles and to double check our selection.

Every morning that bakery tempts us.

Le destination de Clermont-Ferrand depart six heures quarante est annoncé voie B.

Back in Vichy. Going to pick up the car.

Ok, we’ve had our coffee. Now it’s time to go to the land.


Au revoir.

We have a Volkswagen Up this week. Different car every week. I think I’ve driven this one before. Just got to find it first.

Looks like the project manager’s on site and waiting for us. We’re ten minutes early, so he’s even earlier. Second meeting. Here we go.

The meeting’s done. We met with the plumber, we met with the bricklayer, we met with the project manager. Yes, it was a good meeting, a lot’s happened.

Hello. Removing mud?

Removing mud.

We spend about five minutes just cleaning our shoes after leaving the site at the moment. The soil is really clayey and it just sticks all over the sole, but … Won’t be too many more visits like that, I think.

It’s great.

Ok. The first meeting with the masonry guy, and the plumber, and the project planner is done. They’ve been looking at the plans trying to work out where piping will go, where the pompe de relevage will be situated.


There seem to be a few concerns about routing pipes through the building. They’re going to propose a few things and get back to us. But, the foundations are done. That’s the first payment we have to make now.

Yes, progress. But, we don’t meet on site now for another month?

For a month, yes.

Yes. They’re not going to start doing the walls immediately. I think… What? They’re going to start…

I think they’re going to start in two weeks, doing the walls.


And then our meeting will be two weeks after that. So, we should see the walls next time we’re here.

Which will be fantastic.


Now we’re off back to Vichy to look at the bathroom place.

Back in the tile section, about to confirm our selection.

The photos keep making it look like this darker, but it’s actually quite a fairer colour.

It’s good. The tile’s ok.

Yes, it is.

The floor is ceramic, it’s not wood.



This is crazy. All these are ceramic tiles made to look like wood, and they’re really effective.

We’re back in Vichy. We’ve been really luck with the weather. While we were at the bathroom place it absolutely poured. But, it hasn’t actually rained on us yet. We’ve got a couple of hours until the train, and I imagine we’ll get rained on it those two hours. First though, we get some food.

Back at Vichy train station waiting for our train back to Lyon. It’s been an ok day. I don’t think it’s been outstanding.

It’s been quite stressful today.


We’re both really tired as well though. It doesn’t help.

We couldn’t spend as much time at the bathroom place as we wanted. They were closing for lunch.


Actually a lot of places were closed for lunch today as we walked around the town. Yes.

Yes. Maybe fifteen, twenty minutes in there. So, we got a quick look, but difficult to really see much.

We did confirm the floor tiles are good. They’re the ones we want.


There’s a good selection of bathroom tiles and colours for us to pick from.


I think the bathroom design is just going to be just challenging. So many permutations, so many options, so many different ways of doing things. But, our next land meeting is surprisingly far away.

It’s a month away.

A month.

The beginning of, the very beginning of April.

But when we go back in a month, they think they’ll have the walls either mostly done or done.

No, not…

Not done.

Not done. They’ll have started the walls.

Oh, they’ll have started the walls. Ok.

Because they said it’ll take two months to do them.

Two months from… yes… ok so that’s good.

While we were discussing the plans with the builder on site, they mentioned that they have some changes that they need to do with the balcony, with the steps coming down off the balcony, terrace, into the land, onto the land. So we’re not quite sure what that is going to entail, but they’re going to send us drawings, then we’re going to probably have a bit of back and forth in the next few weeks. I don’t really welcome the unknown, but I think that’s part of the system. It’s unavoidable. The plumber and the mason were really good. They seemed to be quite good at voicing opinions and actually discussing how best to do things.


I found that reassuring. Because up to this point we’ve been given quite a few times when it’s just like well, whatever we want, and we don’t know. We’re not builders.

For things where we don’t really know what’s best, or how things work. Things we don’t feel we have the information to make a choice on, so.


So, it has been good. It’s easy to let the little things pile up and feel like they’re overwhelming you, but yes, we’re pretty happy with it.

Madame, Monsieur, dans quelques d’instants votre train arrive en gare de Lyon Part Dieu. Correspondence pour le direction de Paris depart dix-sept heures trente-quatre.

Every time we leave the commercial centre and it’s been busy, it just feels so good to be out in the street with less people around us.

And the contrast with the countryside is amazing. You know, we’ve just spent the day in Vichy where there are just a tenth of the people around. And we come back to Lyon in the evening and it’s packed. So, it’s a nice reminder of the life that’s ahead of us.

I think the next thing for us to do is probably to brave Ikea on the weekend and have a look at some of our choices there. How do you feel about that tomorrow?

Well, it has to be done, but ideally not on a Saturday.

They don’t open on Sundays here.

Saturday it is.

See you there.