Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Assumption of the Plaque de Platre

A post-Spectacular hush enveloped Leran on Monday. The village was exhausted. By a stroke of pure dumb luck, it turned out to be one of our best moves yet. We had scheduled a delivery of 18 sheets plaque de platre.

This was not your ordinary 'curbside delivery'.
We had to shop
around all the bricolage magasins to finally source out who could accomplish our objective: raise them up to the level the deuxieme etage (our American 3rd floor) so that we could just pull them through the window. Voila! No hoisting them up several flights of stairs, bashing them into walls, railings and other obstructions along the way.

The search to find our miracle worker took some doing. This being mid-August, it was only natural that Mico would be closed for an entire week and couldn't deliver until later in the month. After a few other strike-outs, we finally approached one of our other favorite places to spend money, Chausson, in Mirepoix. No one there speaks any English, but they have always been helpful beyond belief. After a lengthy dialogue and photos of the front of our maison, we came to an agreement. They had a piece of machinery at their store in Pamiers that could lift, rotate and swing the plaque de platre into position so that Doug and I could pull it through the window. Now we're talking......all for a very lovely price, one that nearly shut down the entire operation. Then we thought about times we have carried drywall up single flights of stairs, when we were 10 years younger, and whipped out the Carte Bancaire. Brains won out over brawn.

Tomorrow is Assumption Day, August 15th, yet another one of the major saint's feast days celebrated with great relish in France by closing all stores and government offices. It's just too bad that it occurs during August, when most everything is already closed. In our own sacrilegious way, we participated in an "assumption ritual" on Rue du Four a little early.


Anonymous said...

Luke thinks she knows a little bit about the part of the pageant that included the "cute little old lady in the military uniform and the people dresssed in the 1870's era costumes". There was a Franco-Prussian War from 1870-71, which I believe was started by Prussia's attempt to take the Alsace-Lorraine area of France for themselves. This was historically a contested area between the 2 countries. I don't know if there was a specific event tied to someone in Leran, but I definitely would assume this section of the story was associated with the brief Franco-Prussian War.

On another more current subject...did your neighbors enjoy watching the "high-tech delivery of your plasterboard? Was Mr. Fumeur on someone else's stoop watching while he smoked?

I am anxious to see the results of this remodel of the deuxieme etage! How much more time do you have before your visas expire? So much work...so little time!

Enjoy the Feast of the Assumption.

Anonymous said...

Assumez-vous mon famille!
Yeah Brains, way to win this round!

Nigel/Barbara said...

A great way to get your plasterboard upstairs but it still doesn't beat my way of getting the beds into ours. Can't wait to see the finished product-you will have finished by the 10th sept won't you ?

Doug said...

My sister is arriving on Sept. 7th so if it's not done we're in trouble. But we should hit the mark. Nancy is beginning to work on finishing the plaque de platre as I write.

nancy said...

Nigel & Barbara: If I remember correctly, somebody "assumed" your beds with the bucket of a front-end loader being used to remove the roof tiles next door to you??? And the guy stood in the bucket with the beds during the assumption? Bet you got away paying alot less than us. Too bad there were no roof repairs going on when we needed it most. Looking forward to seeing you back in town next month.

Noah said...

That thing is incredible. It looks like a giant transformer.
This picture brings up a question I have had for a while, what do the two numbers on the back of the trucks mean? Is it a minimum and maximum speed or max speed on side roads and highways? What is it?