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4: Unfolding took 2 hours with snags as the crane hook tangled and it had to be folded again.
Close up of a palette of monomur.  25 cavitiesin a flattened honeycombmade of extruded fired clay. They are supplied made to fit the plan exactly like Lego, interlocking without mortar, glued together using a special roller to avoid filling the cavities.

Without the crane in action, blocks were carried down the hill by the Manitou shovel, and Francis and his men started to set out the monomur walls of the sous-sol (basement and cellar).

Frankly I am not convinced that a crane is really necessary or will save much time, plus the amount of aggravation we are having in getting the electricy supply done does not improve matters.  Its only advantage is that it uses less energy and is quieter.  But we pay for the energy rather than the contractor.  I think that Francis loves his machines and this is a new toy, and we are the guinea pigs.

The crane was then set on its little platform - the level of our terrace - before being unfolded.

The process of unfolding the crane begins. A temporary electricity supply was borrowed from a cooperative neighbour, Mr Levallois.  In the meantime I had gone off to Perigueux to buy yet another box to meet the EDF requirements. Cost mounts to over 1000 Euros.

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Apr 17, 2007 - 08:17 PM
Finally it was up, towering above the trees.  It was really because we did not want to cut trees near the house to create a prairie in which to build the house and leave lots of space for materials to be parked and vehicles to circulate, that Francis used to persuade me that he needed the crane at no extra expense.

The crane towering over the neighbourhood. A bit over the top for our our little house.

Fully erect and loaded with counterbalancing concrete blocks (10 tonnes)

The monomur walls rise on Tuesday morning

Margaret with her finger in a hole in the monomur (to be later plugged with insulation).

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