The site of Gamone was spectacular (because of the magnificent view of the Cornouze mountain), but the house was a shambles. Here are photos of the façade:
I won’t go through details of the time and vast efforts that were required in order to convert the Gamone mess into a home. For the moment, I simply wish to draw attention to my discovery, long after my purchase, of an ugly pylon (in fact a pair of wooden posts) right in front of the house. Alas, it is still there today, directly visible from my bedroom window.
Click to enlarge slightlyIn my regular photos of the valley, you never see this pylon… for the simple reason that I make a point of hiding it. But it’s still there, even though it has ceased to annoy me greatly.
That was up until a few weeks ago. I had received a letter from the French electricity company, EDF, giving me an appointment for the arrival of an employee of the company that reads the electricity meters. Well, my meter is in fact attached to the bottom of that pylon. In a straight line, it’s less than 20 yards from my front door, but the land between my house and the pylon is steep and rugged, and the only way of reaching the counter consists of scrambling down a track that starts on the other side of my house. In other words, that pylon was obviously never placed there with the goal of supporting a domestic electricity counter. Now, this is where my story starts to become interesting but complicated, so I beg readers to bear with me.
If you look carefully at the above photo, you'll notice that the wooden pole carries two distinct sets of cables
• Near the ground, and halfway up the pole, a pair of cables is covered in black rubber protection. This is the supply of ordinary domestic electricity. One cable is for my house, and the other for my neighbors Jackie and Fafa. A little further up the pole, you can see the black cable that runs back up to my house. That cable passes through my electricity meter, located down near the ground (hidden behind the bushes).
• At the top of the pole, you can see three heavy steel cables for medium-voltage electricity. On the right-hand side of the photo, these lines bring in electricity from nearby Pont-en-Royans. On the left-hand side of the photo, after leaving the pole at my place, these lines travel up the hill, on the other side of Gamone Creek, transporting the medium-voltage electricity in the direction of Presles. It is important to understand that, at the level of my property, not one of these cables brings any kind of electricity into my house. In other words, it is totally ridiculous that these heavy cables, carrying medium-voltage electricity, happen to be located just a few yards in front of my bedroom window.
[to be continued]