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The view from the back

My blog is about our move to Spain, to be exact it's about the intergration of a techno junkie and his lovely wife of 30 yrs into 18th century Spain.

Will stamina & patience have rewards?
16 April 2015 @ 19:23

We have now made our trip to the ikea warehouse and collected our end panels, we did however have a further aborted visit. We made our next attempt on the Tuesday after Easter , arriving at six pm as their open until seven pm , they were shut as this is apparently a regional holiday in Murcia, who have guessed that thurs Friday Saturday Sunday wasn't enough and they need Tuesday as well?  So Wednesday morning we went again, 100 km each way there and back by 10:30am, these are now fitted and as always the lovely wife was correct they do make a big difference. 

 
I know I should never have doubted her , what do I know ? 
 
We have had the tiler back and contracted him direct to do some jobs made possible by the Greek euro crisis , namely tiling both the dinning area and lounge hearths with some antiqued (aged) terracotta tiles and matching moulding they look stunning , really making a feature.
 
The dinning area was previously part of the kitchen and was white, uneven and with two different size tiles so that went first. The lounge was in the same as all the original floors 50cm sq burnished metallic brownish and with joints upto 25mm in places. Once the first was done the the decision was made it had to be done , so many thanks Athens. 
 
With the tiles done it was on with some painting , the dinning and kitchen getting a full redo and the lounge  a touch up for now. This is due to the unusual ceiling arrangements, there are 24 exposed wood beams with curved plaster between , this gives you about 250 meters of cutting in alone ! Plus four doors , two windows and now forty meters of new skirting board, after this long the enthusiasm for the task is lacking so it's a job for the autumn. 
 
All the new work out side that is attached to or on the same side of the patio as the cortijo is just cement rendered so as to match the cortijo and will need painting, we decided not to have a morcem finish on these so they matched the more uneven texture on the existing walls they abut. 
 
This and the fact that the whole cortijo needs painting outside and the rejas are still in the rusting primer from when they were fitted many years ago means we're going to be no strangers to a paint brush !
 
Number one daughter is visiting soon so there may be some assistance on the way, I understand painting breaks are quite popular nowadays? Once she's mastered white she can move on to black , it worked on "the karate kid " 
 
A while ago we planted some veg in pots as the area we are planning to have a veg plot is still not ready and we are starting to see not the fruits but the shoots of our labours as most things are getting a good start from seed. The strugglers are the tomatoes and chillies who seem to have reacted badly to the month of poor weather we've being having and may have to be replaced with young plants from the market . A shame really as I had picked out some unusual salad tomato and some very hot chillies . 
 
Even this week we're having more dull damp and windy weather, not quite cold enough for a fire but close. As I've being saying its a year since we moved and on our last day at the rental we were able to use the pool that certainly wouldn't be possible this year, even if it had any water other than rain lol. 
 
On the social front we're still not getting out much, finding construction fatigue or lethargy puts us on on the sofa most evenings, "cot'd up " and sparked out by ten pm. I'm particularly "wrong road'd" choosing to get up around 5 am taking the chance to have a quiet coffee and the radio or recorded tv before the grind starts over at 7:45 again. 
 
A serious note of caution here , having the builders or anyone around every day for six or seven months is draining without trying to carry out diy and supply fixtures and fittings , so think on if you choose a project as your new place the stamina req'd can be crippling.
 
The number of people we have met who have been here years, in some cases 10+ who still have major parts of their homes as a work in progress is alarming and that includes ALL of our builders. The common theme seems to be doing the work in planned stages either by design or lack of funds allowing for life to intervene.  
 
We have done numerous major works and upgrades in the UK , all done in reasonable time and budget, some of you will draw comparisons with this having done or contracted an extension or loft job. We thought that our connections to the construction trades and our previous projects would serve us well but no.
 
The system, the mind set of the trades and the availability of materials other than concrete and blocks put a real strain on the planning side and you will need to be all over the scheduling as gaps in supply are measured in weeks not days ! 
 
This in conjunction with the inability to work in the damp will lead to lost days and days , the firm who have been supplying the bulk materials and skips / diggers etc won't deliver if it looks like rain , is raining or has rained within two days of the delivery. Even if the machine is on site he will collect it and return to base but is unwilling to drive the same lorry with a delivery. 
 
Yes we're on the rambler but it's almost flat and just 100 m from the Tarmac so the risk of getting stuck is non existent, but the problem persists only to be compounded by being 100+ km from a major brico outlet so even consumables either cost the earth locally or you wait, we have worked out it costs about 12€ to visit the Bricomart at Vicar so if we can save that or more then it's off we go. But to be fair you usually can't get what we need off the shelf locally. 
 
But should you be successful... now we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the rewards are starting to look to be worth the battle. 
 
 


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christineinseville said:
18 April 2015 @ 10:05

Sounds amazing. We have done anything like that amount of work but also found it very tiring, the constant stone floors with no relief from wood or carpet are particularly tiring on the feet and legs. My advice is to always have Sunday (or choose another day) off and bask in each other's company.

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