June, 2016 – Graham Miln

Misdirection – Part 5.2

Continuing trains strikes prompt our trying a new route to reach the house. We try taking the bus instead of the train. Our day does not go entirely to plan.


Good morning. Something a little different today.

Thanks to all the train strikes that have been affecting our journeys these last months, we are going to try a new route to see the land.

Thanks to all the train strikes that have been happening recently, and them interrupting our last few journeys with various time table changes and last minute cancellations, what we are going to try today is taking the bus to a city about an hour south of where we want to be and then we are going to collect a car there and drive the rest of the way.

So we are going to take the bus from here, which is Lyon. To Clermont-Ferrand and from there we are going to pick up a car. It is a bit of a longer drive from there but it means no trains and with all the train strikes going on at the moment, that feels pretty essential.

And we have arrived in Clermont-Ferrand. That was a really good journey. You forget how beautiful the French countryside can be.

We have taken the tram from where the bus dropped us off and now we are heading to the car place. But that is quite a trek through car parks and commercial centres. Not particularly pedestrian friendly at the moment. We will find it. We will get there.


I am not convinced.

Has changed address. C***.


Well where the f*** is that?

The car rental place has changed address but the web site says this address. We have no idea where the other place is, well obviously the address is there but we are in Clermont-Ferrand. We do not have map. We do not have a smart phone.

Megan has just phoned Avis and they have just told us that they are at the new address, we think. They could not tell us how to get to them expect to take a certain bus. There were not sure which bus stop to get off at. We think it is near the train station. So we are now on a wild goose chase to find that.

Given all our timings today, we risk not seeing the land.

Not happy bunnies right now.

This is why we do these test runs, because they pay off. Next weekend we have a meeting, this weekend we do not. We can afford to have these problems this weekend. So we are going to have all the problems today. So that next time is OK.

OK, we have just got the bus. We have navigated the public transport. It is around lunch time. Our big worry now is that this Avis, as big as it is, is not actually open because of lunch.

If it is closed for lunch, it means it is closed for two hours. If it closed for two hours we can not get the car. We will not see the land today.

OK, we are in the car. We have got out of Clermont-Ferrand and we are on our way. We arrived at the car rental place as they were closing for lunch but the woman there was kind enough to serve us and to give us the car.

There have already got the roof trusses on site.

Just arrived. That was a long trip. That drive was not that fun. Quite a few wrong turnings. Few Saturday markets blocked roads that the GPS wanted us to go down.

But we managed. We are here and it looks like they have the roof trusses on site. This is another really good visit. This is another good. This is why we came. So much progress. So quickly.

Let’s go and see what is happening.

For the next hour or so we get to look at the house. We get to see all the progress in peace before the meeting. That is always useful because a lot is happening and you are not always adjusted to it all. The first few minutes you see it and you are having a meeting, it is all in French, and you are trying to discuss the details.

Having a week to look at it, absorb the change, it is very helpful.

It looks like in a moment we will be able to get upstairs. There is a runway. Runway? There is a piece of metal that bridges the trench between the front door and the bank.

So, with a bit of luck, I am going to be able to show you what it is like upstairs in a bit of detail. That is going to be fabulous.

So there has been a lot of progress. Most of the brick work looks to be done. We have got a retaining wall that is happening. The roof trusses are here. The blinds have gone in, as expected. Looks like we have got some window sills waiting to go in.

Next meeting is in a week’s time and I think they will probably have completed the brick work by then.

Are you going to eat it? Yes.

It is good.

Do you remember the wild flowers that we sowed? Some of the them may have started appearing.

Just one and probably not from our seeds but it is nice to imagine it is.

And we are back in Lyon. It has been a really long day. It has been a really tiring day.

But we have achieved what we wanted to achieve.