FRANCE: WE ACTUALLY MADE IT…WELL, ALMOST
NOUS Y SOMMES ARRIVEES…ENFIN, PRESQUE
This is the new pool in my sister’s house in the south of France. So far nothing extraordinary, you’ll say; lots of people have pools, you’ll say; What so special about this, you’ll say.
Well, it’s a MIRACLE, that’s what.
The pool is not a miracle, the fact that it happened at all or rather in time for our stay in August, THAT’s the miracle.
This is a picture taken a few years ago of the spot where the pool was just put in. We went to France to analyse the sight a few times (from the US and Canada) to position, think, ponder, re-position, design, think some more, all the while pouring over catalogs and pools in magazines when we were back home; we went over every detail: do all the pools fixtures come in gray like the pool? can the pool look a little more like a reservoir and a little less like a pool? where do we stop the stone, how much grass area do we leave? Where will the lights go?
A multitude of emails and phone calls were exchanged. Sketches and plans redrawn.
All this seems pretty straightforward right? Well, when you are thousands of miles away and need to make instant changes or else the pool will not be ready, a little tension comes into play.
The contractor, the pool man, the electrician, all promised we could plunge in straight upon our arrival on the 1st of August -they were all leaving for their August vacation the weekend before.
BUT they came through! we plunged! well, the next morning, but it was ready.
We have had to adjust to the change in the scenery: less charm, in a way, with trees and century old walls having had to be taken down, climbing ivy torn off, and stone work where grass and flowers had been.
On the positive side: seeing the house from a totally new angle where we seldom stayed for any length of time: a real treat.
We had to immediately go to work looking for the style of lounge chairs we wanted, the right color and style pots for the area, the right color umbrellas, the right plants. Remember this was August when France is on vacation. ALL of France. And when stocks of pool stuff are very diminished, needless to say.
In the end, after many a trip to this nursery and that furniture store, it was all done.
Yes, the grass and the bamboo hedge need a little more time to grow and the retaining wall needs a little patina, the pool area stone work needs to be completed so as to extend along the house, and we will need to buy a long, long, long table and a lot of chairs for lazy lunches poolside next summer.
Being on the “wrong” side of the Atlantic has never stopped us before. We did entirely renovate the house in Morocco the same way.
Thank heaven for the internet, e.mail and digital cameras; and for trustworthy contractors and artisans! and of course, a little naive enthusiasm never hurts.
I am the enthusiast, my sister is the more reasonable financial officer…
Now, getting a pool built in Australia, THAT might be a totally different kettle of fish, so to speak.
But wait! I see it already, a lot like a large water hole in a quarry.
No, stop! I don’t even have a house in Australia…