Friday, July 2, 2010

Disastrous timing.

While 'the font' was away I arranged for the maintenance man to come to fit the new solar powered pool cover. French law requires that all swimming pools either have a security alarm or a childproof cover. Surprisingly, in a land where rules and regulations are treated with a certain gallic reticence and a shrug of the shoulders this is one piece of legislation that is rigidly enforced. The pool security alarm that we inherited when we bought the house had a klaxon the size of Delaware and a tamper proof system that meant it couldn't be turned off once the ten minute cycle of flashing lights,hoots and blasts started . It had also developed a rather unhappy, and completely random habit of going off whenever the fancy took it. Of course it never went off during the day only after midnight. Naturally, the service engineer could never find anything wrong.

In the recent storms it started to play up again. Yours truly was out of bed every half an hour in his dressing gown to find out what might have fallen into the pool - a hedgehog or some insomniac toddler . At two thirty one stormy morning two weeks ago , as it hooted away for the fourth time, our fraught relationship came to an abrupt end as I put paid to the devlish fog horn with a sledge hammer. Since then, no matter what Pyrennean gales may blow up in the depths of the night, we've enjoyed calm, klaxon free, uninterrupted sleep. Very Bret Easton Ellis. Hence the urgent need for a pool cover. Little did I know that 'the font' had arranged for Madame Bay to come at the same time to tidy up the beer bottles after the 'bachelor party'. Some hasty reworking of schedules is now underway to avoid the poolman and his chiffoned nemesis from coming into contact.

In addition to rug surfing and swing biffing Wilf has rediscovered that other summer favourite , the 'splosh' game. He carefully collects any stray balls he finds in the garden and carries them over to the pool where he drops them one by one into the water. The look of delight on his face as they land with a 'splosh' in the water is priceless. They then have to be fished out by yours truly, thrown onto the lawn where the whole process begins all over again. Wilf could, if allowed to, keep this up for hours at a time.


  1. The pool cover sounds infinitely more sleep-friendly. Hope the combatant's times were staggered to avoid open hostilities again.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  2. So many wonderful images this morning. Can't decide whether you attacking a Delaware sized klaxon with a sledgehammer in the middle of the night or Wilf's magnificent sounding 'splosh' game is my favourite. Then there is the ever present threat looming of an accidental meeting between the pool man and you-know-who!
    Cheers, Gail.

  3. i forgot about the splosh game! so glad that Wilf had rediscovered his favorite game! you must have a very long arm, or a long stick to retrieve those balls...(not sure which direction this is going...?)
    anyway....have a great weekend!

  4. Maybe Mme Bay and Pool Man need to be socialized to get along together. Here's what might work: Take them both out into the yard. You don't want either one to feel cornered. Have the font scratch behind Mme Bay's ears and you do the same for Pool Man, both being reasurring and calming. Keep them well apart at first and let them sniff from a distance, getting closer once they seem calm. Usually this has worked for Mom (with other dogs. I'm perfect.) the first time, but it sounds like it might take a few sessions here. Of course, it's absolutely key that you feel calm and confident. If you're nervous, they'll sense it and you can't fake it, so you have to be sure you can handle it. Hope this helps.

    wags, Lola

  5. Oh sweet mercy! The image of you out there in your dressing gown as you wield the sledgehammer to the klaxxon is almost as good as the entrance to the art class!

    When I read the title and then saw the first picture, I expected the next one to have a wet and bedraggled PON in it. How long would you have to hold out before Wilf decided to go in after the balls himself?

    The meeting of Mme. Bay and the pool man really should be made into a movie! Good luck rearranging things!

  6. Oh, that pool game sounds like so much fun (for Wilf)! Humorous to watch, anyway :)

    Yikes, the alarm going off in the middle of the night does not sound like fun. I can see why you took the sledge hammer approach with it.....

  7. Am loving the slposh game....sounds like great fun to me! Do PON's not like water then? I'd have thought he'd of been in it with the high temps at the moment. Sue x

  8. heavens to betsy! i hope the mme. bay vs. poolman crisis was successfully averted!
    wilf's new game sounds highly entertaining. i wonder if he will ever decide to jump in and retrieve the balls himself?

  9. Yeah, I can see why you might be more than a little upset with the pool alarm going off in the middle of the night. That doesn't sound like fun at all. I once had a smoke alarm go off in the middle of the night when there was no fire. I have 4 other smoke alarms in the small house too and none of them went off. I'd finally get it to stop, go back to bed and just get settled in when it would go off again. This went on for awhile before I finally took a broom to it and knocked it down.

    I wish there was a similar law in place in the US about pools requiring an alarm or childproof cover.

    Wilf's new game made me smile!

  10. We can always trade houses during the summer months. I'll make sure the pool is well taken care of! :)

  11. Sounds like fun, Wilf!Our cats invent games dropping toys in the trash can next to my desk, then leaping in to retrieve it, and doing it again and again. Always makes me laugh!