Blog Archives

Still Diggin’ Trenches and Laying Pipe

Sunday and Monday was spent finishing the trenches. We needed to dig them a bit deeper so that when the pipe was in the ground and covered, it would be deep enough to go over with the car on a daily basis without risking the pipe cracking.

The trenching wouldn’t have been so bad except that our entire yard (and pretty much all of Provence) is entirely made of rock. We ran into rocks continuously and it really slowed our process. Both Dude and I couldn’t believe the size of rocks that were coming out of the ground. By the time we were done digging, we found enough rock to build a whole new house!

The good rocks were transported to the back of our lot and we now have a rock garden. We also found asphalt, dishes, roof tiles, a fossil and some bones. Man, the crazy stuff you find in your yard when you’re digging around!

Once the trench was to the depth that Dude thought was good, 25 centimeters on the down side by the gate, we put the pipe together and checked to see if it was level. We had to check, trench, check, trench and check and trench some more before we finally got the pipe to lie correctly so the water would flow properly. Then we wrapped the pipe is some weed barrier to stop the dirt from getting into the holes and only allow the water in.

Then we proceeded to start covering everything back up.

On Monday, Dude connected the pipes together at the entrance of the gate. Since we have two pipes running parallel the length of the drive way, we needed some way to connect them so that they would eventually hook up in one spot with the pipe the city would put in.

After spending some time on that, and a few runs to the material store, the connection was complete and we proceeded to cover the remaining pipe and start to level out the terrain.

Around 3pm, two men from the building department arrived at our house. I had gone to the building department last week to have someone come out to the house from the service technique so they could see the street leading to our house. I mentioned in my last post that one of our problems was that the water can’t exit our property. There was never any drainage put into the street by the city when they made the street and also, the street is now so old and bad that all the water runs into our property instead of away from it.

We showed all of our pictures to the city workers. The ones of the flooding and the ones of the work we had done. They were very nice and surprisingly said that someone would be out to survey the street and to evaluate what needs to be done for proper drainage and water runoff. They made no promises of when the work would be done, but at least we got the ball rolling with them (that’s what Dude said).

Once they left it was back to fixing the terrain so the water would flow properly (as much as possible) in the correct directions and down the drain pipes. Dude also cemented in the drive over drain box that we put in next to where the rain gutter ends.

Now it looks like we were ready for the 10 tons of gravel to arrive!

Visions of Sunsets and Boats on the Mediterranean Sea

Sunset in Cassis

Sunset at Les Lecques near Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer

La Cadiere sur Mer

Another view of the sunset at Les Lecques near Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer

Ile du Petit Gaou near Six-Fours-les-Plages


Near the town of Aix-en-Provence, rising out of the landscape, you will find the Aqueduc-de-Roquefavour. While on an outing to see the town of Ventabren, we happened upon it.

Even though I lived in Aix-en-Provence for two years and the aqueduct is situated only about 15 kilometers from there, I never knew of its existence.

It was built between the years of 1840-1847 by a young engineer named Franz Mayor de Montricher. The reason for its construction was that the surrounding area (mostly Marseille) which was continuing to grow at a rapid rate was having trouble getting access to fresh, clean water. They needed some way to bring the fresh waters of the Durance to the town. An epidemic of cholera a few years before construction began was a major pushing point in getting the aqueduct built.

It measures 393 meters long and 82 meters high and is comprised of 3 layers of arches. There were around 5000 workers who contributed to its construction. Today it is classified as an historical monument.

To see the aqueduct up close, you can park your car just under the railroad bridge and there you will find access to some steep and narrow steps. Once at the top of the stone steps there is a path just up to the left of the aqueduct. The climb up this rocky path is pretty steep but it gives you access to the next level on which you can stand and see a wonderful view of the surrounding area. Unfortunately, the entrances to go under the arches are now gated and you can’t pass through to walk across, but you can still walk around the area to see different views of it. If you’re like me, you will love getting up close to be able to touch it.

It is in near perfect condition and looks as if it were built recently (except for the architectural style). It is definitely worth a stop if you are on your way to one of the surrounding villages.

We enjoyed a lovely afternoon there and were blessed with great weather, as well.


Summer Storm = Stinky Me

Yesterday we had a terrific lightning and thunderstorm. Early in the morning hours I woke to a torrential downpour, blinding lightning and deafening thunder. It was so cool! I love that stuff. For the better part of the morning and afternoon this beautiful display of nature continued. Since it was pretty intense Dude decided to turn off the some of the breakers in the house just as an extra precaution in case we got nailed by lightning during the day.

Ok, by me.

In the evening, when we returned home, we switched back on the breakers for the oven, washing machine, TV, etc…, etc…, etc… I love The King and I, sue me. Everything worked fine and we were confidant no problems would arise since the storm had passed and we now had blue sky.

Towards midnight, off to bed we went.

The next morning I awoke and was ready to shower before my day at work. To my surprise there was no hot water. I mean none, zippo, zilch! I went and woke up Dude to ask him what the heck was going on. We turned on the breakers so why was the water ice cold?

He just looked at me like “Why the heck are you waking me up for that? Just take a cold shower prima donna!” Well there was no way that was gonna happen. Cool, swimming pool water is one thing, but an ice cold shower is another and I wasn’t having any of it.

So I went to check the breakers. Sure enough, the breaker to the hot water tank had not been switched back on. Boy, was I pissed! I switched it on, but it was never going to be ready in time (especially since it is not an “instant hot” one like some people have).

Guess what? I elected to NOT take a shower this morning. Yup, you heard me. No shower. It has been 24 hours since my last one and, believe you me, that is a long time in my mind!

I simply just got dressed and put my day-old, dirty hair in a pony and said “good enough”.

Unfortunately, I had to hit the hardware store and the rental car place before work. Sorry to all you people I passed by in those two stores. I really hope we don’t meet again because I don’t want you to remember me on a day like this.

To Dude, I am not sorry that you had to live with me all day. That’s your fault for the look you gave me this morning when I woke you up.

Luckily, at the office, there are not too many of us and no one sits next to me! If perfume was not invented it would be now, thanks to me.

Towards the end of the day, I had a visitor in the office. I tried to stay on one side of my desk while she explained her little gimmick to me on the other side. The whole 20 minutes she was there I kept thinking how I wish I would have had a shower that morning! Gosh, I didn’t even know she was coming. Touche to her, though, cuz she smelled like smoke so I guess we cancelled each other out.

Man, I can’t wait until I get home. First thing I’m doing, even before any food is served (I don’t want people’s appetites to turn and run), is I’m taking a nice, hot, long shower.

Boy, I can’t wait. Sheesh! The crazy things you take for granted when all of a sudden they’re not there anymore.

I, for one, would not make it in the middle ages. No way. Showers would have had to be invented or death would be swift and sudden. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again. I just might have to boil some water on the stove and go for it, if it does!


%d bloggers like this: