M. Bouger arrived this morning on a tractor that makes Mini-B's look like Dinky toys, but as usual, nothing went according to plan and I came very close to ending up under a pile of rubble.
BB noticed a crack in the tow hitch of the crane and Poire did a quick repair job with an arc welder, but as the tractor pushed the crane down the slope and tried to manoeuvre it into position on the platform, the hitch snapped in two. If it had happened a moment earlier, as the crane was descending, it would have rolled down and crashed straight into our house, knocking me off my look-out perch at the top bedroom window.
It's now sitting half-on the platform, jutting out into the middle of the road, with just enough room for a small car to squeeze past in the ditch. Two Council members - Fester (the mayor's co-pilot) and our neighbour, M. Toupie - have just been down to see what's going on and Fester suggested that we try to push the (ten tonne!) crane back off the road ourselves. BB just gave him one of his withering looks and rolled his eyes.
Mini-B passed at lunch-time to see how things were progressing and I noticed an odd squelching sound when he removed his wellies and saw that his socks were soaking wet. He'd just been to visit the Belgians who are doing up a house here and they'd given him beer that was so strong he'd poured it into his boots when they weren't looking to avoid drinking it!