As can be expected from very small companies, our friends the earthwork contractors did not visit us as initially announced. And since we are, as always, really good at being haunted by Murphy's law, there was a rather huge storm on August the 22nd (70 mm of water in only a few hours), just before they actually came. Consequences:
- We spent a lovely morning mopping water from the basement and throwing buckets full of water out in the street. It was definitely an involuntary wet t-shirt contest! Without the neighbour's help we would have been truly flooded.
- I had a lot of plants in buckets outside; well, the buckets were full of water, and I was unable to remove it all. The plants didn't like that
The earthwork contractors came two days after that. But since their secretary had no clue how large an area needed to be prepared, some of the plants we hadn't removed had to be rather savagely dug out or ended up under the heaps of earth that were extracted.
After a full day's work, we have:
- One big heap in the middle of the path,
- A partial trench under the balcony,
- Another trench between the wall and the water tank, with the corresponding heap...
The nice earthwork contractors came back the next day to install a drain as well as a waterproof layer along the wall. Of course, it went catastrophically bad when they discovered their drilling machine was too short and couldn't be used at the right angle to go through the wall and have the drain's pipe join the appropriate sink hole... They really had a hard time!
The earthwork contractors seem to have been contaminated by our tendency to suffer from Murphy's law, and thus it started raining. The soil is sticky, it gets really hard to dig using only a pickaxe and a shovel - so they end up renting a mini-excavator (they had some of these, but theirs were bigger and didn't fit through the gates) in order to finish putting the earth back into the trenches. Which leads to the following:
- The excavator in the middle of my lovely flower bed. It was nice before, wasn't it? :s
- The trench along the water tank being filled again:
And to add insult to injury, one of the contractors fell on the pipe that is used to pump water from the tank and to the taps. They changed the pipe, but it is now impossible to pump water: the pump is no longer primed and water starts flowing under the server room's floor if we try to prime it using the town's water - which means that the pipe must be disconnected or broken somewhere behind the server room's wall... We called the plumber but the guy who came wasn't the one who installed that and didn't dare to try as he doesn't know exactly where the pipes are. So we're waiting for the original plumber to be available so he can fix that...