Notes from a French building site

The new roof structure is mostly up, apart from the cladding panels which are due on site this week. The sequence below shows the progress made over a 16-day period last month, as seen from our neighbours’ house across the road.

We have lift-off

It takes a bit of nerve to strip the roof off one’s house in October. I’ve never previously tried it, and would not particularly recommend it as a way of calming the nerves. But in case you are considering it, I can report that it does not feel too bad if you have a Project Manager such as Didier Grandjean in charge of operations.

The 1860 Club

In August, just when most sensible people are escaping the heat and taking time off rowing training, I am poised to join the Sport Nautique de Bergerac (or SNB), which is not only one of France’s top rowing clubs, but is also conveniently close – just 1.2 km downstream from Allée Beau Rivage.

A chance to play on well-kept clay

Clay is a wonderful surface to play on, but it’s not used as much in the UK as it is in the US and France. The reason is weather: you can’t play on a wet court.  It’s hard to maintain, too. Not quite as problematic as a grass court, but there’s no doubt that keeping a traditional…

In Martin’s slipstream

There’s no shortage of good cycling routes around Bergerac. One that I’m keen to try is the 2014 Tour de France Stage 20 time-trial to Perigueux, as won by the great Tony Martin. Early October would be good for me. It would be best to do it with a group: anyone like to join me?