When the French work - unexpectedly [ERDF!]

Just thought I would tell you an amusing story which is only half way through .....

In November 2013 we paid a sum to ERDF to connect the electricity supply to our new house. Our electrician contacted us to say there was a problem. It was explained in December that an electrical supply could be taken 40m from a pole. Our box was 48m from the pole. In order for the Commune to pay for the extra 8m paperwork would have to be signed and we would have to wait about 3 months.

At the beginning of April 2014 two women from Citelum turned up [no appointment], had a look around, we discussed the situation then signed several more sheets of paper and were assured that the work would be done in 2-3 months. Citelum were contracted to bring a large cable from the post via a trench to our box. Would would then have to contact ERDF who would do the two minute job of connection.

At the end of June I contacted Citelum and said "when are you coming". Answer - September! What? Why? In the garbled reason I heard the words "ERDF" "Bordeaux" "Aout" and concluded that some paperwork had not been done correctly and that they had been out and gone away again - without mentioning it to us. I rang him back and said that our only guests this summer wear arriving on 1st September for a week so could they start the following week. "Pas problem!" We confirmed 8 September and subsequently received a letter confirming this.

On 27 July we went on holiday for 3 days until the evening of 30 July. When returned, parked outside our property across the road on a triangle of our land were all the machines of trade for Citelum to close the road and do some major works! This morning they started digging the trench and laying the cable expecting to take a week before others come along (when?!) to connect the cable so that ERDF can come along and do their little bit........ in September, possibly.

A bit more chaotic this morning as we also had a large lorry with tiles turn up (expected!) which had to park in the road too to offload. We are so lucky having a wonderful French neighbour with a Sanderson with forks, as there have been a number of times we have had deliveries on pallets with no way of offloading and our neighbour downs his tools, climbs down (from roof work) into his Sanderson and trundled along to help.

We are very lucky to be building a new house while our neighbours x 3 are renovating theirs (which we did years ago) so a great exchange of equipment (and food and wine!) goes on when necessary. We have lent these ones our British scaffolding to build their high stone exterior walls so do not feel too indebted! Our new neighbours are French and Belgium and can speak English, we all have age and interest (building!!) in common and are they the main reason we are happy to live permanently here now.

I could use a close neighbour like that, Melissa !