lundi 27 octobre 2008

Warming up the chocolate brown


The work today


"Tu sais, mon seul regret pour ce projet, tu sais ce que c'est?" I raised my eyebrows. What was Joaquim's one regret?

"C'est qu'on n'a pas fait ces échantillons plus tôt -- il y a 4, 5 mois -- pour avoir vraiment le temps pour refléchir et vivre avec." I tried not to look stunned and to look surprised all at once. Pas une mince affaire. Or, no easy feat. No shit.

"Oui, ça aurait été bien, mais c'est comme ça. Il faut l'accepter et faire faire avec."

If he had wanted to do those samples weeks, months ago, we wouldn't have said no, that's for certain. The thing is that he is sincere. He does wish that he had, but it's a little late for that now.

"Le plus que je travaille ici," he continued, gazing at the samples he had just applied, "le plus que je vois ce que tu veux." Encore heureux!

Happily. It would be really bad if the longer he were here, working on the house, the less he understood what I am driving after. "Ca va être beau, vraiment beau. Tu vois la différence, quand même, entre les trois, oui, tu vois?" Yes. I see. "Parce que pas tout le monde vera." I know. I see, and so will minun aviomies.

But.

But, the trap into which we mustn't fall, he warned, is making it too dark. I am inclined to agree.

He is terrified that it is going to be strong. I want it to be strong.

"Joaquim, you have to have gone to stand in the field and look at the house. It stood out. Sometimes, when we were sitting out here in the afternoon or evening, people walking along the lane below, unable to see us, would stop and call out to a companion, 'Come look at this house! It's beautiful. And, the garden --!' It wasn't like the others. It was remarkable, it stood out, and it still should. People enjoyed that, and we did, too."

"Ah," said Joaquim. Why aren't these things self-evident?

I am back to wanting to remove all the old paint from the windows, applying a stain that gives the old, worn oak something -- the merest something, as though paint had been removed and left a trace of its pigment in the wood -- of the reds in the color I had selected for the windows and the doors, still using the glossy for the entry doors (maybe) and the folding metal shutters, and the satin for the balconies.

"It's not too late," said Joaquim.

I will be the death of him, but he wants to feel invested in it, too.

Georges and José snapped out the lines for the half-timber motifs and nailed up the form-work. I can tell you that I am awfully glad that I had measured the whole thing and checked my work before they tore off the old stucco because they would have been incapable of reproducing it. My drawings have not gone to waste is all I can say.

Minun aviomies was right: never believe your contractor when they tell you they've got it all in their heads, and on several old envelopes.
....

The furnace and the dryer,
an update



When Johan was leaving, the night was falling, and over his shoulder I caught site of a light on in the bathroom of the petite maison.

How did that happen?

"Il y a de la lumière!"

"Où?"

"Là, dans la petite maison. Vous-avez fait ça? Mais comment?" Johan smiled. "Vous avez changé le fusible?" My hero -- he has saved us enough times, particularly right at New Year's Eve -- shook his head no, smiling. It was a disjoncteur (How do you say that in English? Try my handy translation tool in the menu at the right! Right, circuit breaker) behind the furnace. When the workers had run the cement mixer off the garage outlet, it threw the circuit breaker. Minun aviomies had forgotten about that. It was never a new fuse we needed, but to throw the circuit breaker back there.

As for the furnace, that was a stuck pump.

One plumber to kill two birds.

Hm. Doesn't sound as nice as I mean it.
....

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