When I posted last week’s blog, we were still offline and were relying on the kindness of our neighbours to allow us to visit a couple of times a day to download emails. I did say that we had an appointment with a phone engineer on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and that we would keep them all to ensure something happens.
Turned out to be a good idea!
Quick as a flash, no-one turned up on Monday. In our call to SFR enquiring why, we were told that this was a rendez-vous telephnique not an actual visit. We are still not sure what a rendez-vous telephnique actually is as nothing happened and no one called us – unless of course they tried to ring on the land line … We were however reassured that an engineer was booked for Tuesday.
Mid-morning Tuesday one of our phonelines came back. Brilliant, but we were concerned that this meant we wouldn’t see an engineer and we would never understand what the problem was. Thankfully however an engineer did turn up as expected and explained that he had repaired the wires which gave us our connectivity. Initially, in true ‘computer says no’ style, we were told that he could only fix the line that he had repaired and our second line, in Granary, would have to wait until our second engineer appointment the following day. Thankfully he was a pragmatic and reasonable guy and, after some discussion, he was able to fix both lines that day.
He told us that the problem lay with someone, which could only have been a France Telecom engineer, having cut through about 20 lines in the village’s exchange box. What he obviously couldn’t explain is why or, why when it was discovered, he couldn’t repair all the lines at once but had to go back and forth repairing as customers complained and, as we were with SFR and not France Telecom, eventually got to the front of the appointment queue.
So we are now back online – and it is a great relief, not least for our neighbours! It was also a huge relief for our guests in the family gîtes both of which have young children with them and Wednesday was forecast to be, and actually was, very wet so they needed access to t’internet for a day hunkered down in the gîte.
The lack of service does make you realise (as if realisation were needed) how dependent you become in internet access and how, 13 days without is pretty poor service. We have written a complaint letter to SFR not in the expectation that it will make a blind bit of difference but we felt better having done it!!
Otherwise the week has been a productive one progressing the cladding on Grange. Before the washout that was Wednesday I managed to get most of the back complete and what I hadn’t got clad, I managed to get the waterproof membrane on to protect it.
While Wednesday was a complete wash out for any outside work I wish that I could say we had an equally productive day inside doing useful things like advancing our French linguistic skills but actually we had a pretty gentle day. Having been offline for a while (have I mentioned that?!) we had some web-based work to do but other than that all I can say I achieved was that, under David’s instruction, I baked my first cake for years!
When the weather was dry again I managed to complete the rear of Grange and have now started on the front. One more day’s work and the cladding should be complete – very exciting.
The only other activity of interest was that today we visited an artisan market held in the grounds of the Maison Cornec in Saint-Rivoal where many of the local farms, artisans and producers set up stalls to sell their fantastic produce while the museum provided entertainment with musicians and historic films of the region. We bought some interesting books for the gîtes about the Monts D’Arrée – one of which has photos of our village baker and his wife in the Ty Forn Nevez.
Next week, after a day finishing the cladding my focus is mostly hedge cutting – again!!