April, 2016 – Graham Miln

Denied Dessert – Part 4.0

Two national train strikes alter our plans and we spent the night in Vichy. Our fourth site meeting and lots of progress to show you.


Good morning. We are off to Vichy today but we do not get to see the land until tomorrow. There has been a bit of a problem this week with the trains.


The national strikes have meant that we could not rely on our early morning train, so we are going to Vichy this evening, we are going to stay in a hotel, and we will pick up the car in the morning.

Again another change to our routine but this one guarantees we get to see the house, get to hear about the progress, and get to see everything that has happened.


Think we are having a bit of a crisis. We have just left the restaurant where we had our main course, we thought, well we will get some ice-cream at a supermarket. Just get a nice dessert from a local supermarket and there are none. They are all closed. This is not. This is not a city that never sleeps. This city definitely sleeps. Pretty early in the evening as well.

We have a lot to learn. Living in big cities for the last ten years has probably skewed our expectations.

Where are we going to find ice-cream?

I don’t know.

Are you going to be OK without dessert?


I have done bad. We should have had dessert at the restaurant but I said the supermarket would be open. It is not. Lyon, we would have a few open, at least. Vichy definitely goes to bed a lot earlier than Lyon.

I think we have been defeated. We are heading back to the hotel without dessert and I have one, potentially, quite upset wife with me.

She is quite upset.

It’s true.


I found another toy. Look at this. Power strip with one power socket, but you can move the power socket. Clever.

We are going to try a new bakery this morning.

They do not sell coffee but they do sell pastries. We have got ourselves, brioche. A couple of brioches; one with fruit, one with chocolate. That will be nice.

Now we have to find somewhere that serves coffee. That should not be difficult.

Nice easy coffee and right next to the station which makes it really easy for the future.

This week we have an Audi. I think this is the first Audi I have ever driven.


Just had the meeting with the project manager and the mason. That went really well. They have done a lot of progress. So the floor of the basement is done. They have finished off the walls of the basement. They have put concrete in. So they have put in the lintels.

They have put in the coffre, which are the square sort of free standing bits of concrete.

Inside is still drying. So we can not go in. That is fantastic. The inside looks really good. They have done the floor. It is all nice and smooth and that is a big thing.

Another change since last time is that we have got cabling for the electric now sticking out. This is coming out from under the house and it is ready for being put in a trench. And all the connections are happening up there by the gate.

Another of the bits that is getting done is the French drain. Which is the drainage you can see covered by the material.

This is a pit that is excavated. There is a tube in there with perforations along the top. There is gravel on top. And ultimately the idea is that water that hits the building. Hits the building and then runs down into the gravelled area, into the tube, and is evacuated out into the garden.


When we first found this plot it was absolutely overtaken by just nettles and long grass. That line of green is a line of nettles advancing. We are going to try and at least limit some of its progress by sowing some wild flower seeds.

A few less nettles would be nice.


That is the seeds sown. It is only thirty square metres worth of seeds, so it does not go very far but we will probably buy more and bring more next time and plant some more if we can. It may rain this weekend which would be great because we can not water them in.

The last time I was stomping through this part of our garden, we were looking for borne markers. We were just trying to work out the lay of the land. So it is really strange coming back having been through two years of just intense legal wranglings and have that be over and actually, have it.

I am not going to get tired of that view.


That was a good meeting.

It was good. It was very useful. Lots of helpful stuff.

Little bit sad to leave. Another meeting in about a month?


These are quite long periods of time between visits but the progress is good.


Because we could not get ice-cream last night, I have had to relent and well…

That is nice.

It is good.

Are you still upset about the ice-cream last night?


And we are back. It has been a really good visit. We will not visit again for another month. But, yes another good visit.