Nice in extremis

Today the beach was blue

As you all know, today was an awful day here. First, President Macron announced last night that we would have to suffer through another “confinement” of at least a month. Then, this morning, a terrorist infiltrated the Cathedral here in Nice, killing 3 people and wounding several others. I was at home when it happened, but the sirens were wailing throughout the morning and traffic was prohibited in the town center, which did affect me at second hand.

So my inconveniences are pretty minor in the greater scheme of things. And, in fact, they will probably not affect my renovations too much. Among the sectors of the French economy which have not been shut down are construction. The hardware stores are open and contractors and their workers are allowed to work.

I should mention that my radiator problem, mentioned in an earlier post, was resolved. The chauffagiste (heating specialist) is due to come by next week to turn the heat off so we can take out the radiators. I’m assuming this will still happen.

Today I had an appointment with the kitchen specialist (cuisiniste) who was due to come by the apartment to take measurements. My contractor was unable to join us because he was blockaded due to the shut down of traffic. The cuisiniste, who was coming down from Italy, was delayed for 2 hours. In the end, though, he arrived, spoke to the contractor by phone, and after taking his measurements, went off to manufacture my kitchen over the next 10 weeks.

We are hoping to dispose of all the accumulated material that has been removed from my apartment. The way this is done here is by means of a forklift, which is parked in the street and collects the material from off the balcony. This is necessary because the elevators here are too small to accommodate the mountains of refuse.

Friday, the forklift arrives

I do not yet know whether I will be permitted to move apartments at the end of next week, as I had planned. If not, I will remain in my old apartment until confinement ends.

So much to deal with. I am actually looking forward to confinement as a chance to chill for a while.

The Radiator Problem

The day of closing
Same space, next day
The problem radiator

I have already encountered my first roadblock with the renovations. Tarek has made quick work of disassembling the apartment but in order to fit the kitchen, we must take out the radiator. Unfortunately, heating season has begun, so turning off the central heating means a plumber must be summoned (at my expense, of course). But that is not the problem. The problem is that the condo association has told me I must get permission from the managing agent to have them call the building’s plumber to do the work. And at this time of year, there are no plumbers available as they’re all busy turning on the heat for every building in Nice. Thus far (since Wednesday), I have spoken (in English, as she is from Long Island) to the president of the condo association four times. I have written and had friends check my grammar on three letters to the managing agent. My friend Annie said the trick to getting this done is to be relentless—to simply bother them to such an extent that they will say yes just to make me go away. Which is not something I am good at. How I wish I had Gail’s persistence.

Otherwise, things are moving along. I am busy packing for 2 moves—first to temporary digs while the renovation takes place but at the same time I must move whatever I can to the basement storage of the new apartment. It is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the final image will look like, as if the box it came in had gone missing.

Sorry if this is boring. Several of you had expressed interest in following my adventures in home ownership in France. So this is for you.