Belvès shopfront under renovation

Windows: a waiting game

No building work is allowed in central Belvès during the summer season. So time is very much against us as we wait for the folding doors that will replace the shop window in our soon-to-be cheese and wine bar.

The mairie wants the village to looks its best for visitors each summer – it is one of France’s plus beaux villages, after all. That’s why no building work may take place between mid-June and mid-September each year.

Our new folding doors were due to be installed in May, but production has, of course, been delayed by the coronavirus and lockdown.

This is what the building looked like when we were there last week.

Belvès shopfront under renovation

We made a few frantic calls to the glazier. News eventually came that the doors would now be available by the first week of July.

This was both good and bad news.

Good that they’ll be ready – without them, customers won’t be able to come in – but bad that they’d arrive during too late to be installed before the ban.

A visit to the mairie was called for.

Initially, I got a no. But – and this is what I love about French pragmatism – later that afternoon, I got a call to say we could install them after all.

The mayor had promised us his support at the very beginning of our venture in Belvès. He knows that having a stylish new bar and eaterie open on the high street is infinitely better for visitors to see than a boarded-up shopfront.

Having a stylish new bar and eaterie open on the high street is infinitely better for visitors to see than a boarded-up shopfront

Hence the yes.

However, the installation must take place within a day, I was told. So, we asked our builder to prepare the stonework for the folding doors this week, before the ban came into effect.

By 10 o’clock on Monday morning, as were were packing up to return to Lille, this is how it was looking.

Belvès shopfront under renovation

The work is dirty and noisy. It would be great if the doors can be fitted before we move into the property in ten days’ time.

Our new life begins on 1 July. Let’s hope the window isn’t still being propped up like by then…

Belvès shopfront under renovation

This entry was published on Sat, 20 Jun 2020 at 09:17. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

19 thoughts on “Windows: a waiting game

  1. You win some you lose some! Qu’est ce c’est le mot francais pour …’bureaucracy’? Well done on the negotiation… something about ..ententes cordials……je pense! Ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patient is a virtue and yes even if most do not know the French can be pragmatic too. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Better you than us. That’s why we are retired and you can open the shop for us to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A bit of common sense prevailing albeit a tight deadline. Bonne courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘Système D’ may prevail but hopefully it will get done in time. Je croise les doigts! 🤞


  6. I bet you are so excited. So pleased it’s all coming together. Looking forward to seeing the finished frontage.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Let me know when you will be open to the public.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not that surprising that they would make an exception—what with everyone wanting local business to take off again after the lockdown. Definitely a time to help small businesses out! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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