The Tale of a P-O Love Affair

By Chris Parker

Many readers will know the names of Tim and Chris Parker from our series on Walk the Region, to which they have contributed walks over the past 5 years or so. 

This is an account of their love affair with the region over the past 17 years.

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Part IV – the swimming pool

One of our first projects is to have swimming pool installed in the wilderness of our rear garden.

In the November of our first year we do a bit of reconnaissance and find a supplier who will dig one out and insert a polyester “coque”, fit all the required tubing etc. and set up all the salt system for chlorination etc.   Just as well we live next to a piece of land which can give access to our garden as we are totally walled in everywhere with an archway on the side pathway along the “3ième face”.

The only trouble is that the land belongs to the village Cave. So, we have a few things to do to prepare for our swimming pool installation:

  1. Apply to the Mairie for permission, providing all the necessary drawings etc
  2. Seek access permission from the Cave
  3. Build a pool house “local technique” for all the pool workings
  4. Remove a couple of trees – actually this ends up being done by the digger when the “terrassement” starts
  5. Knock down some of the wall along our boundary to provide access to the mini digger

Having ordered the pool in November, we plan a return trip in February for the actual work to be done.

So here we are in February -Tim wields his lump hammer and has the wall down in no time – disturbing a grass snake in hibernation!  With the aid of our French neighbour and friend he builds the pool house.  The “mini-pelle” makes short work of the couple of small trees in the way of the pool site. It is a very warm February and Tim even gets sunburnt working on the roof of the pool house.

It doesn’t seem to take very long before the “coque” arrives on the back of a lorry and is winched into position. It is all very exciting!

After a few days the water is in and everything is working, “dalles” in place round the pool and a heap of gravel left for us for future garden landscaping – I have to fly off back to UK leaving Tim to support the maçon who is arriving to set our paving in place round the pool.  Before I leave though, Tim has already rebuilt the wall between us and the Cave and is busy covering it with “crepi”.

We have enjoyed our pool for 16 years now.  It is not a very large one – but 200 lengths provides a decent swim! Actually it is a good job we installed it when we did in 2004 because 5 years later the Cave was demolished to make way for more housing and so there is now no access to our property except via the front garden!

Well timed – I’d say.

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