EEC 23, 1st September 2005

Since this message is quite small due to very few photos, and I've not being doing much, I'll fill in the space by including an excerpt from a ragtime CD made by a friend and recipient of my notes, Meg Graf, from Eugene, Oregon. She's playing piano and bass sax. Enjoy! Note, to keep the file size down this excerpt is NOT CD quality.

This is the first part of the new door pillar done.

Ready for the top section.

It's quite simple really, like making a mould. You prop wooden shuttering around the place where you want the pillar then pour concrete in the top. I'm getting quite expert at it.

The wooden props have finally come in real handy. Before I sold my woodworking business in the UK I bought a lot of timber size 3" x 2" reckoning it would come in useful one day. Well, that day has now arrived. ...............

It was hot today. We've had some rain, so it was rather humid for a change. Would have been a nice day to pass the time on a sun lounger. I started wearing shirt and jeans to work on the pillar but soon changed over to just a pair of swimming shorts.

It reminded me of East Texas where in the summer it is almost unbearably hot and humid. Although the bottom of the Copper Canyon was too hot for me as was the coast approaching Mazatlan in Mexico. I remember I avoided Hermosilla and Sonora thinking it too would be too hot for me and Little Cat. Ah Little Cat! I wonder where he is now? In a cat heaven, after being attacked by snakes, or was he becoming lonely, and ran away to find another home? Either way, he will live for ever in my memories, my little pal from my travels in Mexico. And of course he's always there on my web site.

Little Cat 2 is just as nice but in a different kind of way. #1 was with me all the time, we lived in a motor home, travelling. #2 has her own life to lead, away from me, hunting, or sleeping, or whatever. She's basically a wild cat whose wildest dreams of finding a good home with lots of food have come true!

The door is now finished, although I still have to finish the woodwork just above it. And of course, render the surface of the wall. And make a doorstep..............

I went to Auch to search around the car breakers for a new headlight and front wing. There are 3 car breakers, only the second was open, I bought a new headlamp but I'm thinking about a wing they had, it was blue, I hope to find one the right colour. The other 2 breakers were closed for summer holidays.

Whilst in Auch I called in to change the address on my health service card but find that with typical French bureaucracy I need to effectively make a brand new application complete with copies of the original authorisation from the UK health service. My original authorisation was retained in Chartres, I remember I had great problems getting them to part with my original birth certificate so I don't hold out high hopes getting them to part with the authorisation. The health people in Auch say, well, just get another authorisation. I said, why not just change my address for the card. No can't do that they say, we need to raise a dossier (file) for you. Since getting another authorisation is not that easy, I think I'll just leave my registered address as it is. Hopefully that's no problem for Jerome who has been kind enough to let me register at his address.

Saturday and Sunday I checked the measures for the ground plan for the garage, and marked the area, using string and stakes, the stakes coming from one of Andre's old pallets I had disassembled and the string abandoned some years ago by some Corsican house movers. There's this old saying "Watch the pennies and the pounds will watch themselves".

Monday was back to Auch, one of the car breakers was open but he didn't have a suitable wing, the other was still closed until tomorrow.

Tuesday I set out to visit a big car breaker in Tarbes that Andre told me about. When I found it, it had become a truck breaker, they closed the car side 7 years ago! I guess it's some years since he had reason to visit a car breaker. The car breaker I eventually found couldn't help, so I went to the Depot and bought some building bits and pieces.

The Marie is open Tuesday afternoons so I called and collect my signed authority to construct my garage, plus another bundle of papers, one set of 3 to be completed when I actually start construction. and another when I have finished. I have still to get hold of Jean-Pierre, he is due to come along and dig out the foundations for me about now.

Wednesday I went to Auch and bought the blue wing, I'll have to paint it. I've started taking the damaged bits off my car and notice that a small rubber mounting block is missing from behind my headlight, I'll have to go Auch yet again for this small piece.

Best regards

David Barker
Mirande, France

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