Â Everyone has interesting neighbors, I dare say, and I think we do as well. One house, two down the hill from us, was bought by a family from the Savoy region of France in the Alps. They bought it from an artist who had tried to build it himself with the help of friends but in the end ran out of money and probably realized he was in over his head. He had once, on first meeting Maurice, told him that our foundation had been laid too quickly and would become defective which really made Maurice feel insulted. I didn’t understand the conversation really well so I’m not sure why Maurice felt this way but he did.
Â So when the Savoyards bought the house we weren’t surprised when all of the sudden there was all sorts of work going on. The husband of the couple was some sort of contractor so knew what he was doing. It looked like they had to do some sort of major work under the house in the foundation-ha, Mr. Artist-and we saw work going on every single week-end. The Savoyards didn’t live there full time but just made the long trip every Friday night leaving on Sunday night. Then it looked like that work was done and they were on to all sort of other things, adding a pool, then a retractable pool dome, a very elegant, wooden water collection tank which put ours to shame. Every Saturday morning we would wake up to the sound of a cement mixer going, or digging being done, hammering sounds in the air. It went on just about every week-end for over a year. Maurice would look at me when we heard the sound of industry going on and say, “The Savoyards are here.” What in the world was there left to do? I’m hoping to someday get invited inside to see what they did as I did have a brief glimpse of what the artist did at the beginning.
Â I had wanted to invite the Savoyards to our party so we could get to know them but, suddenly, they have stopped coming and several strangers have appeared in their place and we think that perhaps they have been working so hard getting the house in shape so that they could rent it out. We haven’t seen them at all this August which is unusual.
Â Maurice tells me that when he invited the neighbor who was involved in building our pool and who lives directly down the hill next to the Savoyards and mentioned that he had hoped to invite them to our party the pool man said he was glad they couldn’t come. He was tired of being awakened every weekend morning to the noise of contruction work, especially since his wife is so ill. And, the worst part, is that about 6 months ago the pool man was burning a pile of wood and debris and the fire got away from him. This is very easy to happen here as the wood can get very dry, there is often heat, and sudden gusts of wind are very common. The Savoyards saw what was happening from their deck and laughed as they watched him try to get the fire in control. In fact, he had to call the fire department for help which leads to a big fine so it pays to be very careful. The next morning the Savoyards were at his house telling him that his fire had damaged their pool cover dome and wanting him to get it fixed. Maybe if they had helped this wouldn’t have happened. Anyway, interesting, huh? Maybe one of these days we will meet them and maybe one day I will see the inside of their home, but I doubt it.
PS-the photos have nothing to do with what I have written. They are just some random shots of this and that. The first photo is the porch of a friend.