April, 2016 – Graham Miln

First Steps Inside – Part 3.0

We visit the building site for our third meeting with the builder. The first blocks have been laid and our house is starting to appear.


Good morning. We are off to Vichy again. This time our routine is a little bit disturbed because of the national strikes yesterday.

Yesterday’s national strike caused our early morning train to be cancelled, so a little bit out of routine today.


We have eight minutes to collect our rental car before they close for lunch. Timing is a bit tighter than we would like but we are close enough.

We managed to pick up the car. Or at least we managed to get the keys for the car. Now we got to actually find it but the big rush is over.

We found the car. This week it is a Polo. Another nice small car.

We have just sat and had lunch in the car. We are just sitting next to this strangely fenced off park.

We are going to go to the land a little bit before the meeting. Hopefully we will get a chance to sort of wander around the site. Get acclimatised to the changes before we meet the project planner. We find that helpful for just being less surprised and less, well being more focused.

Let go and see what has changed on the land.

Oh, they have started.

We have walls. They seem to have actually constructed some. Yes, the block work is happening.


First time you have ever been in the house?

Yes, look at that. Great.


We are a bit early this week. Taken some of the measurements, checked a few bits and pieces. Yes, the basement section looks like the right size. So that is reassuring.

The soundscape is just birds. Just wildlife. It is incredible.

Cars pass. It is not isolated. We are not utterly deserted here. Which is good. One of the things we wanted.

It is amazing. Another big step forward.

Really good.

I know I say it every time. It is really great to see.

That is a great view.

Since we were last here we have got a new utility connected. They have dug up the road. There is a nice big scar across the road. We have got a new manhole cover. We will find out which one of those utilities it is. I suspect electricity. Could be sewerage but probably electricity.

Water has definitely been turned on. I can see a yellow pipe running from the tap to the building site. So they been able to do everything they needed to do on the site. For block work. For preparing cemente, etc.

Yes, quite a bit of progress. Good to see the raccordement, the utilities kind of getting done. It is nice to complete something at this stage.

Just had the meeting with the project manager and that went really well.

It was good.

Bits and pieces of language always seem to go over my head but generally you get it or I get it.

Between us we manage.

Thankfully there is a lot of paperwork and its with the paperwork where we are strong. We come well prepared. We have got questions pre-written. We have got copies for them, copies for us. We have got a routine of writing down the answers that we get or can glean at least on our copy. That methodology is serving us well.

Yes, really sticky.

Absolutely horrible.

OK, the third meeting on-site is done. The block work has started. We are actually seeing something of the house appear. So we are kind of out of the ground.


If you watch enough of these building programmes, you know there are two problems. Getting out of the ground and the windows.


And we have already dealt with the windows; well, we have told them about what windows we want. So will we wait and see if we have that problem.

So, yes. Everything from this point is in the builder’s control.


That was good. So, another longer gap than expected before we have to be on-site for the next meeting.

I think the first story walls will be done by then and they might be putting the floor on for upstairs.

Wow. See that is going to be good.

OK, we are back in Vichy. That was quite an easy drive. Bit tired now but end of a really long week. Going to return the keys to the car hire people then our train should be about three-quarters of an hour away from there.

Back to Vichy for the weekend. Back to Vichy, no! Back to Lyon for the weekend. A well deserved weekend as well.

Speak to you soon.