Take a quiet afternoon, you are talking as you tidy away the washing in the bedroom, when suddenly you hear a dripping noise.
You check the bathroom, the toilet nothing then you reaslise it is coming from the spare bedroom. You open the door and - water is pouring through the ceiling!
My husband rushes to the the cave to turn off the water and drags the step ladder to the top of the house so he can climnb upto the grenier (loft), there he finds a small hole in a pipe.
Meanwhile I ring the plumber and explain what has happened, 'Mon Dieu!' exclaims the lady on the end of the phone, and reassures me someone will come as quickly as possible.
Fifteen minutes later the plumer and his two assistants arrive! The smallest climbs up to the the loft through a trap door made for a very tiny person (how my husband made it is a miracle but thats another story!) They make it safe wo we can have water over night and leave.
AT nine fifteen that evening I get a phone call from the patron of the firm who tells me his men will be there at eight am the next morning and they would do the job at the cheapest rate possible. Eight am the next morning three plumbers are on our doorstep!
It appears an expansion tank for the central heating in the loft has a small hole and they put a new one in the cave where, should it leak again, it will cause no problems.
Meanwhile, I have washed blankets and dried out a mattress. The ceiling and walls have dried and there is not too much damage and luckily the real wood floor hasn't suffered too much either.
We feel lucky that the water didn't come in round the light or was coming through too long as the kitchen is directly underneath.
We have used the said plumbers since we have been in France, that is almost five years, and they have been extremely helpful and kind to us.
Last January my husband was very ill and I was told I couldn't stay in the house alone while he was in hospital. So I went to stay with friends until my daughter and son in law could arrive. At the time we were having trouble with the oil tank and therefore the central heating.
Our local farmer provided oil in a gerry can and the central heating engineer/plumber came twice a day including weekends to get the oil into the boiler via the gerry can, while the work was carried out to repair the tank. Between them they kept the house warm so when my husband came home the house was suitable for him to stay in.
We only paid for the tank, the farmer and engineer saying the rest was gratuit and they were just helping us out!
Every time we meet a member of staff from the firm they make sure to ask how we are. That is what friendships are made of.
- by Coral Luke