Saturday, October 07, 2006

The cedar tree

A giant cedar tree towers above the house. It's so close to the walls that one can imagine the effect that the roots have had on the foundations. The only recent damage that it has done is to block a valley in the roof with its needles: a pile of them plus a spectacular fall of hail formed a dam which sent water pouring into the roof. A bedroom was trashed from ceiling to floor and has only just been fully refurbished.

I asked a French friend if he could recommend a tree trimmer who would cut away the branches that overlapped the roof. An élagueur was found, who presented a devis of €1794. I should have been warned when he asked if he could dismantle an arch to get his machinery into the garden. Friends of the friend then found another group who would undercut le prix américain; their estimate was €1148. Unimpressed, I found the card of a local man who advertised in the garden store. His estimate was €538.20, which I readily accepted. He came on the agreed date and did the work most efficiently. He's somewhere up in the branches of the tree pictured above.


Blogger Libby said...

Bonjour Colin,

Our accountant told us that a favoite saying around these parts, amongst the French,when they think someone has over charged them is: "Do you think I'm an American?#%@!

9:50 PM  

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