Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Flipped off fridges and wonky washing machines

I received a text message from the guests that were staying in our Gite on the weekend to say that the "fridge wasn't working and was there anything I could do to help".

Fearing the worst of frantic guests surrounded by melted ice cream and sour milk I called them back to try to diagnose what the problem was. Our agents (Cherril and Alan) always give the fridge a clean when they're doing the changeover and they hadn't reported the problem so I was a bit surprised that it had stopped working.

Easy fix this one, someone had turned the fridge off on the wall! As the fridge is under the working surface there's a switch on the wall above to make it easier to turn the fridge off when the house is empty. Despite the button being marked 'Fridge On', it'd been overlooked.

Happy guests now.

Unfortunately the fix for the washing machine hasn't been quite so simple.

The changeover beforehand Cherril emailed me afterwards to say that the washing machine didn't seem to be working. It was turned on and the dryer worked properly but the knob on the washing machine just spun round and didn't turn the machine on.

More emails back and forwards to try to diagnose the problem, then Alan went over and had a look and determined that the switch has been broken inside, so the washing machine is probably irreparable.

One of the hazards of renting out the house I guess is having to sort out problems and breakages like this. Washing machines in France still tend to be quite expensive (€300 or more) and are usually top loaders (instead of front loaders you get in the UK) so the previous washing machine was bought in the UK and transported over.

Liz and I talked it over and decided the easiest thing would be to buy another one over here and take it with us when we go over next week, so that's what we're doing.

The car looks as if it'll be pretty full (as per usual), we've the washing machine to take over, a bike rack (for the bikes in the barn), a belfast sink for the kitchen in the second house, plus the usual bits and bobs we accumulate between each visit such as a cover for the swimming pool and some more books and videos.

Oh well, I guess that's why we've got a people carrier!

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