Monday, October 8, 2007

Roadworks at Gamone

Recently, in email discussions with Australian friends visiting France for the rugby, I pointed out vaguely that I might be hindered in meeting up with them because of impending roadworks at Gamone, demanding my presence. Last Friday, I noticed that a crimson arrow had been drawn, with a can of spray paint, at the point where the macadam is to be extended.

This was a sign that the work was about to start. Sure enough, this morning, the calm of Gamone was shattered by the arrival of trucks, a roller and a mechanical shovel. Now, the reason I'm concerned by these operations is that I want to take advantage of the presence of the mechanical shovel in order to remove the tip of the following embankment:

As soon as the workmen arrived, I explained my wishes [which I had already transmitted to the firm by phone], and they gave me rapidly an affirmative reply. So, I got to work instantly on the demolition of the sturdy woodshed that I built a long time ago:

The general idea is that the removal of the earth and the woodshed will open up a large roadside space, enabling me to build a garage for my automobile.

This afternoon, I interrupted my demolition work in order to drive to Tain-l'Hermitage to meet up with my Grafton highschool friend Cathy Prowse [née Fuller] and her husband Vernon, who are participating in a rugby tour that stopped at the Chapoutier cellars in the celebrated wine village. [These winemakers have bought vineyards in Australia.]

Pleasant surprise. When I got back to Gamone, I discovered that the operator of the mechanical shovel had already started to remove a lot of the earth. This was unexpected, because we haven't had the slightest discussion yet about the price of the work. Tomorrow, I'll be up at dawn to continue my demolition of the woodshed. In the afternoon, my South Grafton friends Andrew and Ingrid Pollack will be arriving by automobile, to spend the night here. I've already organized a fine evening dinner for my guests [foie gras de canard avec pêches, as invented by Paul Bocuse, followed by canard laqué]. When they arrive, in the middle of the afternoon, they'll probably find me in dirty work overalls on top of the carcass of my woodshed, with a mechanical shovel scraping away alongside me. How's that for rural authenticity?

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