Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Sand in my hair ...

With a title like that, you'll probably think that I'm at the seaside. We have a beautiful 60 km long shoreline here in Belgium, with nice sandy beaches and dunes. It's very popular with Belgian and foreign tourists, even when the weather is autumn-like like last week.

But that isn't were I got the sand in my hair. It happened right here, on my doorstep. Just have a look at this:

Looking up from the balcony.

On Tuesday morning, when I left for work, a huge truck loaded with over-sized Meccano pieces was parked across the street. When I got home in the afternoon, our facade was hidden behind an intricate scaffolding structure. For the last three days nimble men have been climbing up and down carrying high-pressure water-guns. They are sandblasting the bricks, bringing back to life their original 1990's colour . 

You're fine as long as you stay inside with the windows firmly closed. When you go out, however, you need an umbrella because the sandy water is dripping through the holes in the metal foot plates. I learnt the hard way and got my first sandy shower on Thursday. Yesterday I avoided another shower by taking the required umbrella. My car got a load of it too. I bet its new spotted look will attract a lot of attention in the underground car park at the office on Monday.

The sandblasting job should be done by Tuesday. After which we can start cleaning up: washing windows, taking the car to the car wash ... In the meantime I'm curious to see the final result, when the scaffolding will have been removed. I suspect that by Wednesday, life will be back to normal in our spic-and-span apartment building.


chm said...

Is ravalement mandatory in Belgium as it is in France since Malraux decided apartment buildings and other stone structures should be cleaned every so often, especially in Paris?

ladybird said...

Chm, I don't think a similar rule exists in Belgium. Maybe for historic or public buildings, although I'm not sure. No, this is a private initiative financed by the 'co-propriétaires'. Every five years or so, they invest in the up-keep/up-grade of the building. Five years ago they put on new roofing. Unfortunately, some of my new neighbours (tenants) show little respect for the work that has been done ... :(

VirginiaC said...

It would have been nice if a flyer had appeared in your mailbox warning you of the impending sandblasting of the apartment facade....then you would have been prepared.
Thank goodness you didn't get any sand in your eyes, and it was just your hair.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Did you end up with a Belgian version of Paris-Plage in front of your building?

ladybird said...

Virginia, We were warned, but not about the impact :) which was rather more than we expected.

Ken, In a way we did, but the workers cleaned but nicely (well almost). Trouble is the scaffolding is still there ... although the work is done. It's been two weeks now, and I'm getting a bit tired of seeing it :(