Thursday, April 14, 2011

Monsieur Opulent and Monsieur Charlatan.

A mad start to the day. Furniture, books and ornaments cleared out of the ' snug ' and dumped willy nilly in the dining room. The builders said they'd be with us at nine. Two large white vans carrying four middle aged men finally showed up at ten thirty. Pretty punctual by the standards of most French artisans. The fact that this is an upmarket firm evidenced by the fact that each of them was wearing a monogrammed blue work coat. A definite cut above the bib overall wearing locals. By the time they'd shaken our hands, unloaded the van and worked out what they were going to do it was lunchtime. Off they merrily went.

In the afternoon their boss joined us. Monsieur Opulent. I gave him this name the moment I saw his large, spanking new, Mercedes estate car. How can you get such a sheen on your paintwork ? By charging double the going rate I silently thought to myself.

By eight , when they finally left, the attic boasted two large replacement beams. Substitutes for the rotten ones our surveyor missed during his pre-purchase inspection. With hindsight, Maurice, our supposed surveyor either had a wicked sense of humour, a loathing for foreigners, or a doctorate in charlatanism. His somewhat cavalier attitude to his chosen profession should have alerted us. On his tour of inspection he spent all of two minutes in the attic, announcing that it was ' just fine. Like Wyoming. Vast ,dusty, dry and empty '.

Wilf barked at the workmen for all of twenty seconds then set about the important task of christening the visitors tyres. All four corners of Monsieur Opulents enormous Mercedes estate received close attention. Well done Wilf. Today we start work on removing the staircase.


  1. Hmm. Surveyors. In my experience the UK ones err on the side of caution and their reports are couched in language full of get out clauses. My house in Aberdeen was described as 'appearing to have a northerly aspect'. As if it was something a surveyor couldn't be quite certain about...
    Well done again Wilf!
    Cheers, Gail.

  2. Wilf should have christened Monsieur Charlatan.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  3. Yea, Wilf! Well done. Glad the workmen and the disruption in the house were taken in stride.

    Mama covets your wall to wall bookcases. Now that's genuine luxury.

    Jed & Abby

  4. Wilf reminds me of Marlon Brando at the end of the first Godfather movie: "the one who sets up the meeting is the traitor..." Narrowing it down to just the most important points. Otherwise not too worried about anything else.

  5. Monsieur Charmeur Wilfie - keep all your sheep together today. Charmed as always by the miniature polar bear - love from Southern Italy Susanne, Daisy and Foxxie - having troubles with the neighbour doglady she attracted another male to her garden while mine was suffering to see what happens ....

  6. I'm sometimes reminded of the movie 'The Money Pit' when work begins on your home, Angus--With the removal of the staircase I just hope that it doesn't take the 'six weeks' that it did in the movie to rebuild it!

    It's great that Wilf is getting 'his moneys worth' of tire christening!

  7. If those workman want to maintain their high end-monogrammed coat status they should come bearing gifts of biscuits for supervisor Wilf! Hopefully extensive tire christening fun is somewhat of a compensation. DBH

  8. I'd enjoy greatly the tale of Wilf christening one of these fellows' pant leg! I'm glad the roof didn't fall in. I just hope those workmen get the job done and don't leave you without a staircase to the attic for a year!

  9. I have to agree "Well done, Wilf!!!!!".

  10. Beware poetic surveyors and contractors in fancy cars. I'm sure I read that somewhere.

    There are books in my dining room also.
    Love to the boy!

  11. A few years ago I had some interior painting done at my house. My late poodle, Porter, christened the painter's radio, which he had unfortunately placed on the floor.

  12. Are you quite sure Wilf didn't get some help on that Mercedes????? Hmm?

  13. Those workers sound just like our City workers! Set up, late as per, and then head out for coffee/lunch. Typical!! Love, love, love the beams on the ceiling! Also, could someone enlighten me on what gorgeous purple flower/plant is hanging just above the doorway? Wisteria perhaps? Lovely!

    And Wilf, those top two pictures of you are simply beautiful!! You look so mighty, sniffing out the air...keep going darling boy Wilf!

    Your Canadian pals,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

  14. The photo of Wilf, nose up in the air, has made my day.

    So glad to hear that the attic is in no danger of coming down on you at this point. Amazing what some people do not consider "important"!

  15. Sorry, I've been reading every day (my morning ritual) but haven't commented in a while. First off, your wisteria is simply gorgeous. We finally have trees in bloom here in New York so there is a hint of Spring to be found. Second, so happy to hear that Wilf is busy letting all the workmen know who their REAL boss is with all these renovations. You're right, he does look a bit lighter but that bright light of his is still blazing strongly!

  16. thats the boy wilf! loves and licks xxxx

  17. Good boy Wilf! :)

    Blessings and Love,
    Janelle and Maggie Mae

  18. We are little frightened to think what may occur when the staircase is removed. Strange pieces of wood support yet even stranger pieces of wood upon which, we might find, the whole ceiling rests. We are keeping fingers crossed.

  19. Hey! Watch what you say about Wyoming! It's our neighbor to the north! (As OurGirl would say, JK)

    Good job, Wilf. Well done. We like your means of communication.

    Your faithfuls, whose moma loves your wysteria,
    Jake and Fergi

  20. Wilf
    I can see you sniffing out what needs to be done
    I love all youw books and that woom..i hope it all gets to go back when Mooseuw Oppulant and his cwew leave.
    Well done Wilf!!! as always
    smoochie kisses

  21. Wilf is a good judge of character! heehee


  22. Did Wilf help you pack everything up? Mine would've tried to, they'd have been in the middle of it all.