To Make an Omelette

I am here in France for my last visit of this year. On this trip we are having the last major works to the house, a new Fosse Septique.


View from our front door

We have a functioning Fosse but it is not up to modern standards as it does not take all the water from the house and knowing the Deaumonteis (the family who sold the house), it is was probably made from bin bags and string! We also do not know where it is! We know roughly the direction but this would be a problem when it needs pumping out.

This work is completion of planning and works started on one of my first visits . I dug a trench across the kitchen floor to take the kitchen water to the potential new fosse This now seems years away as I sit in front of the wood burner listening to the radio (internet!) typing this blog post.


As this is not a job I can or want to help with, I have planned something more creative. A blockwork retaining wall built last year will now be clad with cut limestone to give the impression it is an old traditional wall.


Monday morning the digger and surprisingly one guy arrived to start work. This was unexpected as I had a received and email from the company owner on Sunday saying they would be here ‘apres midi’. Anyway, the guy worked and worked in pouring rain all day. When he left I went out to look at the work ( like I am sure our clients do!) and saw that he had missed the afore mentioned new feed from the kitchen.


Not a problem you would think, but yes big problem! The 3000 litre tank had been set in a pit carved from solid chalk and connected up to the bathroom feed. The problem being that the kitchen feed was 200mm lower than the pipework and the entrance to the tank. This meant it needed to be lifted out and the pit dug deeper….oh dear!

After an evening worrying, I pointed out the problem to the guy as soon as he arrived at 8.00am. He looked, drew on his roll up, exclaimed ‘ c’est un gros probleme!’ and went off talking to himself. This was not just in annoyance at the extra work, as on several occasions I thought he was talking on the phone or another colleague has arrived, only to look round the corner and see him in full conversation with himself!


I needn’t have worried as he worked like a Trojan to lift out the tank, dig further down and reconnect the pipes. By the end of the second day, he had not only reset the tank, but had dug a 25 sqm soak away and filled it with 20 tonnes of sand.


By the end of day three, it had been signed off by SPANC (see an earlier post for an explanation), he had regraded the garden and I had an operational new fosse. Three days working from 8.00am until 6.00pm and not even an overly long lunch break.


Back to the UK tomorrow, so I have to pack up the house for the winter as I am not here again until late February.

My longest blog post ever and not even one mention of Brexit!