Posted by: kathandroger | October 14, 2018

Pool pointing and Descartes Flowers.

There is always something to repair at La Belardiere. Most of the things I can do easily myself, but others are more complicated. Such is our swimming pool. The terrace was laid by a local mason, and at the time we had no idea that he was particularly useless. It is always difficult in a new home to pick the best local workers, and we made a mistake. The paving stones, perhaps not the best choice, but cheap and presentable concrete slabs, were laid in sometimes wavy lines, and were not the best feature on our project. Now, after nine years, it is a bit of a mess, with stained slabs and the pointing loose in several places. So what to do? The Boss engaged a local reputable builder to come and give us an estimate. 15.000 Euros to replace the slabs and re-do the pool margins. Bloody Hell, I thought, that is a lot of Euros. “But we can afford it” was the voice of reason from the feminine one. Now I don’t think I am really a miser, but hate spending cash to see someone else do something I can do myself, although the task is huge. And one daughter is struggling for cash at the moment and the thought of spending that sort of money on tarting up a pool did not feel appropriate. So plans for the task have been made and work in underway.
One reason the wife used for my non participation was the strain on my prosthetic knees. No problem, the Prior portable de-pointing trolley was made.IMG_4072 This is the wheeled base from a generator with an old mould box on top, which enables the worker to move freely up and down the rows whilst sitting in great comfort. The cushion has yet to be fitted. It works superbly, and after buying a good dust mask, donning the ear defenders and glasses, work was begun.IMG_1851 Care has to be taken with the diamond cutter, and dust is a bit of a problem.IMG_1849 I am made to undress outside after each session, and severely scolded for getting too much dust on the pool cover, but progress is being made. The slabs themselves are very stained, and after some research on the internet I bought the allegedly best product for cleaning them for 50 Euros. Cobblers! The stuff is OK, but no better that strong bleach costing a fifth as much. After power washing the slabs post chemicals they come up like new! So Rog has his task for the Autumn, and has put off the time when labour has to be done by someone else!

We had a lovely walk through some woods the other side of the river yesterday. The weather has been amazing, 27 degrees in full sun, and we were plotting a route for the rambling club walk tomorrow.IMG_1854 The dog, who had decided to have a limp the day before and did nothing all day, seemed to have had a miraculous recovery and ran around like a two year old. She will be two next month! We reckon she may be a “Tamalou”. This lovely French expression means “tu as mal ou?”, meaning “where are your medical problems today”, and is used for whingers who take days off for imaginary illnesses.
We had lunch in Descartes, sitting outside in the hot sunshine and admiring the autumn flowers around the Town Hall.IMG_1858 This year the displays in October are still wonderful.IMG_1857 I must try to get to know the Head Gardener for some advice!


  1. Ingenious as ever — but what a lot of work to come!

    • One hour a day until we get it done…..a bit like your training!!

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