When we went around searching for furniture for Casa Libélule, we were conscious of the fact that space was limited inside and that we did not want an overcrowded living space. So, we deliberately chose furniture of modest dimensions. Even so, any former reader may recall that our modestly sized settees still had to have their cushions removed in order to fit in through the entrance door. The main problem is that, as you come in through the door, you immediately have to make a left-right dog leg turn.
A Dutch couple has been moving in to a unit of the same layout as Casa just below us and to the left. Activity has been going on for a few days but, in traditional Dutch fashion, before hardly any furniture turned up, the first addition was a large satellite dish on their lower balcony. “Never mind seating, get me my satellite reception.” We’ve noticed that the priority with Dutch men on campsites in France is exactly the same: the first thing to be unloaded from the back of the car and set up is the satellite dish. If trees cause a problem with reception on their chosen pitch, they will sling it back in the car, hitch up the caravan again and move pitches.
Today, a few days after the satellite had been organized, a delivery van turned up with a settee. The two delivery men tried one way of getting the settee in through the entrance door and failed. They adjusted their approach and tried again. Again they failed to gain access. This went on for 10-15 minutes of further head scratching failures.
The settee remained outside and the men appeared at the balcony, staring down. I could almost see the thought processes. Unfortunately those imagined thought processes brought to mind remembered lyrics from a very old Bernard Cribbins song. Then, of course, the lyrics were stuck and simply refused to leave my head.
“Right,” said Fred, “Have to take the wall down,
That there wall is gonna have to go.”
Took the wall down, even with it all down
We was getting nowhere
And so we had a cuppa tea.
… followed by …
And Charlie had a think, and he said,
“Look, Fred, I got a sort of feelin’
If we remove the ceiling
With a rope or two
we could drop the blighter through.”
“All right,” said Fred, climbing up a ladder
With his crowbar gave a mighty blow.
Was he in trouble, half a ton of rubble landed on the top of his dome.
So Charlie and me had another cuppa tea
And then we went home.
The silly old song could’ve been penned for this very situation.
A mobile phone appeared, presumably to contact home base. The men left the balcony and, instead of leaving the blighter on the landing, as in the song, they moved the settee away from the front door and propped it up against the side of the house beneath said balcony.
We went out. Fortunately we returned in time to witness the conclusion to the story. A small lorry turned up complete with a crane device mounted on it. It drove into the rough track beneath the house with the problem sofa. The lorry came with two chaps, one of whom disappeared inside the house. He reappeared and fastened straps around the sofa and the crane operator swung into action. The sofa was lifted up to and on to the second story balcony. I’m guessing his trip inside the house had been to remove either the sliding doors onto the balcony or the windows onto the balcony, otherwise both those openings would still have been too narrow for the sofa to pass through.
It must have worked ‘cos there is no sign of any well upholstered patio furniture.
What fun moving into a house can be.