Sunday, September 8, 2013

Getting ready for the cold season

As I said in a recent blog post [display], I've just built a new version of the small website for the Châtelus camping site of my friends Daniel Berger and his wife Michèle. A few days ago, Tineke Bot translated the text of the website into Dutch, which means that the website [display] is now in French, English and Dutch. Daniel was so happy with my work on the website that he insisted upon doing something in return... although I tried to make it clear that I certainly don't create website stuff on local themes with the intention of receiving any kind of payment. Daniel told me he owned a mini digger (which had played a necessary role in the creation of his camping site on the slopes of Châtelus), and he suggested that there was surely some kind of job to be done at Gamone with the help of such a great little device. I replied that it would indeed be good if the track behind my house could be modified a little so that surface water coming down from the slopes would not tend to leak into my stone cellar. Daniel understood immediately the exact nature of the task to be carried out. A few days later, after working late at night on my computer, I happened to sleep until the middle of the following morning. When I awoke, I discovered with surprise that Daniel had arrived early in the morning, with his mini digger, and completed the job.

Last night, there was a heavy storm at Choranche, and I was happy to find that Daniel's remodeled angle of the track has succeeded in bringing surface water directly down onto the macadam road, so that there's no longer any trace of moisture getting into the house.

The day before yesterday, I drove to Valence to pick up the final two sections of tubing for the chimney of my new wood stove. Consequently, Serge will be helping me to install the rooftop chimney in the next few days (preferably at a moment when we're sure that there's no rainstorm on the horizon, because we have to cut a hole in the roof).

Meanwhile, my neighbor Gérard has delivered my annual order of top-quality firewood.

This new wood supplements a big stack of dry wood (not visible in the photo) left over from last winter. And it's quite likely that I'll purchase a small additional quantity of extra-dry wood, for the new stove, from the high-tech Barraquand factory in the nearby village of St-Laurent-en-Royans. I now need a convenient roofed zone, alongside the house, to store all this wood. So, that implies another quite big construction project, to be carried out as rapidly as possible. Here are the six basic posts, ready to be set up in concrete-filled holes.

It's timber that I purchased about 15 years ago, when I was thinking vaguely of erecting a more elegant shed for my donkey Moshé. I've bolted a steel base onto each post, and painted the wood with a nasty-smelling but highly effective protective product.

Over the last couple of days, I've already got my concrete mixer back into action and erected two posts. (When the rain stops, I'll take photos.) The future construction will occupy an area 5 metres wide and 2 metres deep, with a sloping tiled roof (in the style of my carport), located to the left of Fitzroy's kennel (just behind the pair of old brown wooden doors in the above photo of the wood pile), on a flat site that has been built up, over the years, by landfill.

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