Last July, 2019, it was hot – I mean really hot. We had some lovely visitors from Texas who were used to the heat but even so, we struggled. Fans everywhere, air conditioning where possible, doors and windows open or shut to suit the mood. Dinner became later and later as it was too hot to eat. We needed a Jacuzzi.
Our indoor swimming pool was warm. We opened all the doors and several guests just stood in the water up to their waist relaxing after a day of painting and sightseeing. We had wondered about digging an outdoor pool behind Villa Perigord but, having looked after so many other peoples pools, we realised that with the external influences of leaves, debris, contamination, roll cover on, roll cover off we didn’t think it was best use of resources.
The Texans suggested we got ourselves a Jacuzzi – they all said they would love to sit in there as the sun went down outside Villa Quercy (see it here) and so, a plan started to evolve. We asked every workshop after that and it was deemed appropriate and so we began.
Anyone that has bought a hot tub/spa/Jacuzzi will understand there is a whole science behind it. It is not just a hot bath to share – how big do you want it, how many people do you want to share it, how are you going to get in to it, how many jets do you want, do you want aromatherapy, speakers, blue tooth, what colour – the list is endless.
A great deal of research followed by; was it cheaper to buy in England or Spain and transport or do we find one in France. Five hours away from us, we found one and after due diligence without having seen it though, we purchased a beauty – two laying down positions and 3 upright seats, steps on the inside to make it easier to get in, 115 jets, aromatherapy and a luxurious finish. Paid for it but hadn’t seen it.
That was only one job. We decided we would locate the spa outside the swimming pool where you catch the last of the evening sun. Adrian was concerned about ruining the irrigation system and churning up the lawn by using a digger so he did it all by hand with a spade. Various friends and family did a bit of wheelbarrowing of the earth and showed willing with the spade but Adrian, as always, did the most.
Having identified the right spa, we then had to ring the USA to find out depth of concrete pad etc. Impossible to get a mixed cement/concrete lorry to the site, we had to mix our own concrete and wheelbarrow it to the hole. I was out of action by this time with an injury so Chloe (everyone else that could have helped was absent) had a fast track learning of how to operate a cement mixer, proportions and wielding a shovel, she mixed 2 cubic metres of concrete – not the usual type of builders labourer. Adrian was in charge of the wheelbarrow backwards and forwards and I had to walk through the concrete to release air bubbles and get it settled. Eh voila – a finished concrete slab/base the size of the Jacuzzi.
Now for delivery. I had carefully sent videos of the location and all entry points together with the exact location of the slab to the supplier. We knew the tub had been collected by lorry and was on its way to us although it would take 6 days (welcome to France). Had a call the day before confirming first thing on the lorry to be delivered would we be ready for it – 8am no problem here. What they omitted to point out was the size of the delivery lorry – a huge articulated 12 wheeler – have you seen our little hamlet?! It took the driver over an hour to turn himself around before he would bring the spa to us – what a chaotic view. Once the fork lift was unloaded, he lifted the spa and brought it to the swimming pool but refused to go across the lawn….
For three weeks whilst the concrete pad was curing, we looked at a tarpaulin covered spa wondering what we were going to do and how to lift it – rent another forklift truck, use big timber poles and role it in situ or, the eventual route was quite simple, get some big hefty men to lift it up and carry it.
And then France announced lockdown……no hope of any helpers or use of any form of industrial machinery. In France’s confinement, you have no option but to be at home and constantly look around for jobs to do …..or look at an unused Jacuzzi sat in the middle of one of the drives. Every option was explored and then our very kind neighbours said” I might have a tool for that”. As if my magic and under strict social distancing, he provided a push along fork lift truck.
After a bit more shuffling and swearing, the Jacuzzi was eventually in its final destination. The electrician managed to order the parts and before we knew where we were, we had a fully functional and exceptionally beautiful spa.
Heated water, massage jets, lights and a wonderful way to unwind at the end of a long day. Who wants to join us?