Groundhog Day

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Is there such a thing as château renovation fatigue?
Our enthusiasm is hitting an overheated summer slump as we’re tackling the terrace at the back of the château for the fourth (!) time.

Last winter, despite our best efforts, water wasn’t just seeping from the terrace through the basement vaults, it was actually raining inside. Since we’ve been doing most of the renovation ourselves with the help of local builders, we tend to be very doubtful of the work done. Perhaps it was time to call in professional troops?

None of the architects we consulted in the early days were able to convince us of their approach. They either contradicted themselves or professed their undying love for concrete. Still, as we were now desperate for some support, we contacted a building company for new advice and a quote. They came back with an outrageously high price (we’ve noticed before that château is synonymous with cher to some people) and the plan to demolish both the terrace and ancient steps to rebuild everything ‘properly’ in straight lines. I’m still fuming at the suggestion!

So, we’re at it again ourselves. The big trucks with sand and stones have come back in and have turned the north side of the chateau into a messy building site once more.

I don’t mind the trial and error – based on research by Thomas we’re using a rubber roofing membrane this time, but the biggest challenge has been to try and stay motivated. Truth be told, I struggle at putting on a happy face in front of sullen workers who make no effort to hide their lack of enthusiasm at having to do the job again. But I love that Thomas and I are a great team: sheer optimism, defiance and determination will get us through this.

At the time of publication of this blog, clouds have dumped heavy rain and some hail on the terrace and…no leakage. Now that put a smile on my face.

Groundhog Day: a situation in which events that have happened before happen again, in what seems to be exactly the same way. 1993 movie with Bill Murray as Phil Connors, a TV weatherman who, during an assignment, is caught in a time loop, repeating the same day repeatedly.

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