When it comes to Thomas, ‘very persistent’ is the understatement of the century: he’s been working on Lescure’s bain nordique en bois for almost two years. What seemed like a breezy idea when we first came here has left us a likely winner of the Longest Running DIY Project Award.
First, we scouted around for the perfect spot. Atop the steep slope underneath the orangery seemed ideal. Secluded, protected from the elements by an old wall, yet with a view of the orchard. Only we needed to get rid of all the debris and green overgrowth first and build a handsome terrace from ancient stones with a custom hole for the hot tub.
Then there was the selection of the perfect wood from the perfect tree. Thomas chose a cedar, which stood dead in the woods and naturally he wanted to cut it down himself. Felling the tree and getting it to the sawmill to produce boards of the right size was a project in itself that took months – the sawyer botched up the job thoroughly and we ended up with the bare minimum of wood to use for the tub. We then spent ages waiting for a proposal to link the heating of the tub to our central wood stove only to dismiss it as unnecessarily complicated and derisory expensive (we’re going back to the basics and we’ll use a small wood stove instead). Other priorities got in the way – sanitation, heating, a nasty splinter in a thumb – and the hot tub project languished.
But Thomas is not one to give up on a dream. When, after cutting almost 50 planks to the right size and curve, he discovered that he had made a mistake in his calculations, he spent only one evening crestfallen and unhurriedly redid all boards the next day. His passion, energy and positive attitude are infectious too; no more doldrum days for the craftsmen at Lescure. They’re all rooting for Thomas and his tub, always willing to lend him a hand and share their knowledge.
The creation of a dream requires patience, the ability to tolerate failure, not knowing and not always being in control of where things will end up. Today the hot tub sits on its private terrace (full of water and tightened with straps to waterproof it), the product of many stolen hours over two years of life with many other priorities. As I write this, it’s still leaking in countless spots, but there’s no doubt in Thomas’ mind that we’ll combat next winter’s icy grip with a long hot soak in Lescure’s very own hot tub. Stay tuned!