Â This has been a bad week. Most of it had to do with the house. Can you believe that you can have a bad time even when living in Provence? Indeed you can.
Â We are lucky enough to have a swimming pool and the water is always really clear and clean. However, when we had it built we just had the surface plastered, not tiled. In the States you can, and usually do, plaster the pool with no problems but, as I have said here before, the pool guys did an incredibly poor job of it and the surface was rough and Maurice especially hated it. So he decides to have it tiled. He emptied the pool the night before they came-always a risky thing to do in Provence-but they actually did show up. They did part of the job one week-end and returned the next to finish. Maurice wasn’t happy with the job after the first weekend. In fact, he couldn’t sleep he was worrying about it so much and in the middle of the night got up with a flashlight to go and look at it. He slipped and fell and disrupted some of their work and has some scrapes and bruises to show for his midnight adventure. (I slept through the whole thing). So they finish the job, we fill the pool and four little tiles promptly come off. Maurice can’t stand it and he empties the pool again to repair it himself.
Â Meanwhile, there is a cabana that we recently had built that needs painting. It is mostly just large timber supports with a tile roof with those pre fabricated sections in between that you can use to make fences with-just attach them to poles. Anyway, Maurice kept saying it needed painting. He had gone out and done the big wooden parts and they soaked up the paint like a sponge so we had to go buy some special product to paint the wood first withÂ a primer. And, by the way, the paint costs over 60 friggin’ euros a liter! “What is it made of, gold?,” I asked Maurice.Â No, oil in fact.
(Oh Home Depot, I miss thee! I miss thy broad hallowed aisles, thy cheap paint and brushes, thy hours of being open, thy helpful sales people.)
Â So, I get myself out there and start painting the sections that are pre-fabricated. They are made out of really cheap wood and there are all sorts of fiddle-ly parts and it overlaps all over the place and inserts on each endÂ and the darn wood has ridges-you know, likeÂ Ruffles Potato Chips-Ruffles have ridges!- only there is about 1000 yards of Ruffles, all flat. I had been out there about an hour when Maurice came out and said, “Oh, you’re painting that?” Excuse me? It turns out that he didn’t think we should paint them, just the other wood so now that I’ve started, I can’t stop. It took me days to just get the primer coat on and the whole time I’m kicking myself for even starting. Maurice is in the pool digging up loose tile and saying, “This is a disaster!” It turns out he is using the same dang guys who did the plastering-what was he thinking? And I am paintingÂ Ruffles with, “What was I thinking?” going through my mind. When I am all finished I will post some photos-and when the pool is full too.
I think this is Don Quixote fighting impossible windmills-taken in Paris.