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la Colle scetch 


 
 

Discovering La Colle en Provence - Euro Style

 
   

 

 

 
 

 

 To see our holiday and long term lets. 

'Sticking a pool on the top of a hill in the middle of nowhere is no small accomplishment! '

Wet feet trot across my floor, puddles form to nourish my Provencal tiles and the sound of laughter abounds around me.

What heaven to have so many people running and dancing around and all over me.

I feel that the new addition of the pool is so well received, my master has certainly done well. I have lots of people coming to see and admire me and I feel so proud to show off all that my provencial stones can offer.

I now provide a warm comfortable solid place to inhabit for a while and the grounds around me are well trimmed and spruced. New plantations pop up every year.

In the afternoon sun my stone walls glow and radiate a calming tinge of yellow almost like a quite beacon, announcing that I am content well looked after and proud of my new born state. Oh what a change from those dark damp days of isolation and forgotten-ness that were but the norm just a few short number of years ago.

The pool has made a great difference to the whole ambiance of the place, opening in April after the cherry trees have blossomed and then closed again around the time the first leaves tinge with yellow, sometime in October.

As I remise I realise that it is now ten years since the pool was first inaugurated and it has in fact been re-worked  over the last couple of years and a new liner has been quoted for. How time flies.

Without the finding of the the water table many metres below my feet, it could never have existed. A good constant source of pure natural water to bath and cool my guests.

Many have no knowledge as to the extraordinary efforts that one has to go through to get to this wonderful state. First the new electrical power lines that pumps constant new life into my veins, most importantly it powers the pump many metres below in the well hole. Then there are the intricate web of pipes underground that disperse the water to the various holding tanks. Three in all that are constantly being toped up just so that when someone turns on a tap my pure water flows from it.

Once the power lines were installed it took only a little over a year for the rest to be put in place including the construction of the pool. This has certainly brought the place to life.

 

The Pool Construction

 

One of the most important points in the construction of the pool was to make it last and withstand the forces and pressures of both water within it and also from the outside as the earth around it is made up of a clay which, compacts and expands according to the seasons and the amount of water that the clay can hold.

Therefore the cock of the pool was very heavily reinforced with an intricate network of reinforcement bars. Effectively it is constructed as a floating concrete boat. Heavy equipment was brought up to La Colle to dig the hole and also at the right moment lorries of premixed concrete trucked up to the site to deliver their load. Yes they came down the track from La Blache and returned that way.

 

 

Once the cock had been built and then skimmed to a smooth surface the pump house could be built, this is where all the filter systems are contained and where everything happens to keep the water in good condition. Culligen a large American specialist water purifying company was asked to install the system for the maintenance of the water so that it could be kept at the highest level of quality possible and there are two pumps installed to ensure that if one falters there is a backup system.

In addition a reserve water tank is in the ground especially to serve the shower and top up the pool when necessary. We can loose up to 3 cubic metres of water a week in the main season just on water evaporation.

 

 

With all the underground systems in place and the main constructions completed we can start backfilling the structure and start working on the beach, including the placing of the foot wash and shower area. Naturally safety is a large concern therefore the pool is completely enclosed. This is the moment that the whole project starts to come together and the pool actually starts to look inviting.

Soon we can start testing the water system and even start filling up, a process that takes over a week!

 



 

With the kids getting all anxious about having their first dip, all the effort now goes into the completion of the decoration.

 

 

  The Pool            All the effort of creating the pool has been born out by the many years of pleasure that it has provided for many people. Especially in the very hot months and also in the super hot years, I do not think we could have done with out it.  

The introduction of the rules regarding the pools' use has sometimes surprised people. I myself am quite shocked to find out that where one's and another's health is concerned, and as well as the safety of the guests. That certain people think that there is a 'It doesn't matter' sort of attitude. We rented it and so we will do whatever we like.

I have been to many top class hotels and have watched what goes on in the pool. For instance in a pool visited only this year (of writing). There was a fabulous health centre added onto the 5 star hotel. We visited the pool to use it only for an afternoon and their policy was that you had to buy or have a hair cap to use in it, plus you could only walk around the pool in flip flops, which again if you didn't have you had to buy. These regulations where in addition to the rules about the pre washing prior to every entry and absolutely no food or drink near the pool. Our rules are quite tame by comparison.

This is not the only case and I have even in some hotels tried to see what would happen if I tried not to shower. I was happily very quickly met by a pool guard that via wild gesticulation informed me that I had to have a shower first.

 

  The pool involves however much more maintenance on a daily and annual basis than I could have ever realised.

Just to open or close it at the beginning and end of the season takes days of work, let alone all the scrubbing needed to keep the edges clean.

We are a bit manic about people showering properly before going in but come and regularly clean it and you will understand why.

The Plateax 

Therefore I personally do not see the difference or why some people object when they are reminded of the fact. What is the difference between a good quality hotel pool and then a rented one. You are all going to bath in it and therefore I would have expected that everybody would want it to be as pure as possible for our own pleasure.

This one area has in fact become one of the biggest bug bears in running rental properties. We do not like reminding people and we do try and give a full explanation chat at the beginning of the rental. A lot of the problem is with people not knowing what they are doing or it's affect on the water and pool sides quality.

We realise that it is your holiday and that you do not want to be constrained, however like everything in life this is an exchange. You have only rented the facilities for a short period of time and we have to think of all the other people who also want to bath in pure clean water. Therefore I make no exceptions about not changing our policy.

 

   Rod     

       La Colle en Provence lives again because of water and electricity which, with out one you can not get the other. We hope that the future continues to provide both as surely if we were to loose one or the other, ..... then La Colle would very quickly return to the ruins it had become.

 

I have always thought of the pool as my very expensive sports car. It took a certain set of pre established items to be put into place: Installation of the new 4.8 kms electricity lines, finding water, managing the water once found and then the pools construction which was no small feet in it's self.

The funding of it was also quite an effort and as my neighbours; Bob and Reina also wanted a pool and the water situation was so delicate, the logical situation was to share it together which allowed the creation of the project to the level that has been attained.

The result has been a wonderful pool set in a gorgeous setting. I look forward to it completing the next decade exactly as it is and one day you may find a little Porsche or other such makes emblem stuck on the surrounding wall to remind me of the fact that it represents that to me.

I do however feel that it has been more important than a few hedonic drives in a fast car. It really does represent the re birth of La Colle, as the hamlet started to die when the local source (natural water place) dried out in the beginning of the 20th century.

La Colle en Provence lives again because of water and electricity which, with out one you can not get the other. We hope that the future continues to provide both as surely if we were to lose one or the other, then La Colle would very quickly return to the ruins it had become.

 

The original ideal behind the the reconstruction of La Colle was to create a family domain that could be passed down through the generations as a place to live in close contact with nature.

This interaction with nature was to serve as a reminder that we are but a small element in the the story of life. Even though we might aspire to become much much more.

It hasn't completely worked out like that but we have had the association and experience.

 

Rod Cook

Nov 2016

   

 

 

Discovering La Colle en Provence - What's next?

Why is la Colle special

1st reconstruction

2nd reconstruction

Where's the electricity/water?

The pool

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Copyright: Rod Cook 2016