December 2nd 2008
There are things about living here that I really love....the mediterranean climate, the snowcapped mountains, the food, the relaxed way of life, the wine (obviously) but doing up a house in France? Forget it unless you fancy an early grave and a headful of grey hair. Today we went to pick up our new windows from a shop called La Peyre. If there were prizes for the shoddiest treatment of customers, rudeness and general 'couldn't give a *%$ attitude', La Peyre would win hands down.
Arriving back at the house with the windows and frames, we discover that one of the frames is missing, we have a box full of someone else's order and the handles that we asked to be flush with the unit are great big chunky clunky handles (sorry if this sounds petty but these things matter to me.) To add insult to injury, because our chief builder wasn't there to collect them and pay the balance, we lost the 400 euros discount that we got through him ordering them for us (even though his team were at our house waiting to fit them.) My initial instinct was to drive them back to the shop and demand our money back, but that means living in a dungeon with boarded up windows and no natural light for another two months. So we are biting the bullet, driving back there again, for the fourth time in a week tomorrow, to pick up the frame, and living with the aformentioned handles.
The builders broke a floor tile trying to fit them as they arrived with no instructions and Iain said he nearly burst into tears earlier with the stress. I am taking the path of least resistance and consoling myself with the fact that nobody died and I will never have to go through this again because I will be carried out of this house in a box. Hopefully not sooner but later.
My only consolation? I have found a fab hairdresser who still managed to make me laugh as he cut and coloured my hair while all hell was breaking loose downstairs.