Four hours of fun in France- or, my house has an attitude as big as a chateau

We now have landline (sans phone right now) internet and TV (not yet set up) In the interests of complete candour, I will keep you posted as to it’s efficacy and utility…………..

I also have a few holes in the front wall

The house fought the “well known telephone service” engineers every step of the way.



Confident they were, at first. We were booked into a standard two hour slot for the full works.

We stood outside and discussed where the wiring connections would go. We “walked the line “around the house  looking for optimum installation point. I already had all this sussed; inside and out. They demurred. The starting point was the existing landline box high up on front of house. I can live with that if no further wires/pipes/crap is dangled across the front of the my house; see earlier posts and the massive bill we paid to EDF to move the tangled electrical supply lines draped like grotty necklaces over the front of house) and the meter from over the toilet to a more sensible spot in the workshop.

YE (young engineer) clearly  had a hot date and was looking for an easy fix. would madam not like the wiring concealed behind the external pipework outside shower room? NO!!!!… Madam has paid a fortune to have all that rerouted internally!

I want the cable run neatly concealed under the roofline and dropped down behind the existing downspout then into corner of salon. End Of.

OE (older engineer) had apparently rewired the local chateau and village hovel was going to be a doddle. The house resisted all. Every car in Campagne came down the street and the ladder had to be moved so many times YE was in despair. OE tried every drill in his arsenal and still could not breach the stone walls or find an acceptable spot avoiding river pebbles.”This will have a rubble core inside the stone skin” quoth he confidently . “It doesn’t” I said. He soon took refuge in despair and said it couldn’t be done and they might have to come back. Oh no, not that old chestnut.

It took over four hours (the poor soul with the next appointment got postponed) several tries at several spots to breach the wall and YE virtually pushing drill through wall manually with every bit of muscle he could muster to achieve a single hole for the cable.

I did not blame the guys, the house rejects many attempts to drag it into the 21st century from a practical perspective. We need internet access and telephone service. They didn’t expect a four hour slog. How unusual are solid stone walls here? It seems most have a skin/core construction; who knew? How unusual are picky restoration stress-witches who want authenticity and the complete avoidance of plastics/synthetics where possible? Apparently they are unheard of at our budget point. Only grand houses and chateaus require sympathy and the preservation of authenticity. Don’t get me started……

They finally left. A neat job has been done with external wiring and we can now lose the old tv aerial threaded through the window frame (I wonder why…..??). The holes have all been filled.










About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Four hours of fun in France- or, my house has an attitude as big as a chateau

  1. When the cable people were running wires for my grandmother, they told me that they could get it across the hallway with either a plastic raceway on the ceiling or by hiding the cable under the carpeting. And they told me we’d never notice the latter. Given that bad advice, I picked that option and heard about it ever since. It’s funny; the building is wired so everyone can hook up to an analog roof antenna that doesn’t work anymore. They could replace the antenna but so few people don’t have cable that the association (AKA the ones who do) didn’t find it worth it.
    This reminds me, I watch TV less than once a month and was going to get a roof antenna and cancel my cable subscription. I’m curious to see if they allow me to have decent internet service without it.


  2. poshbirdy says:

    Imagine you’re going to dig out the plastic stuff and re-do it? I really cannot see why they always have to do this x


    • I’ve added a paragraph to this post P. I get so frustrated with this assumption that automatically using modern methods and materials, even on a job like this, is OK.You know exactly what I mean. I truly think we are in a tiny minority, you, I and JP in the Minervois


  3. Lynda says:

    Glad you got what you needed, where you wanted it, and in only four hours. What is the outcome with the plastic sealer? Does it really stand out after painting? Will it loosen and eventually fall out?

    Or, are you just a purist like me?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This post so reminds me of when we moved into our Devon cob cottage and Sky needed to install the wires etc! Our house resisted the modern too! They had to reschedule reinforcements to get through 2 foot walls! Your house looks lovely! The futures bright – the future is l’orange!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Osyth says:

    I think I’ll call you Nell Gwyn in future 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. francetaste says:

    I feel your pain! Bâtiments de France wants to get rid of all these exterior pipes and wires. Your place isn’t classified, but still. The idea is a good one. Then you run into the Orange team and they just want whatever is easiest.
    We had Orange chez nous today, too. They are installing a line to a new lotissement (growl here to the mayor for having said lotissement, a blight on the village). I yelled to Husband to come and deal with French male engineers, knowing that whatever I said would be used against me, but he was in the shower. As soon as he got out, he went and talked to them and told them to give us a good “pair.” Whatever the heck that means. You see?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ellen A. says:

    Looks good! The house resisted the 21st century drill and only allowed the tiniest breach by modernity. Good on it!

    Liked by 1 person

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