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The Travels & Adventures of Flog-It Removals.

Welcome to the Flog-It blog. Here we will post comments and details of our travels hopefully before, during and after we are on the road as well as general observations from while we are just out and about locally.

Up on the roof... Again.
30 October 2008

Okay so the saga continues, no time for the pool, we arrived in a gale force wind and driving rain and some poor s*d had to go back onto the roof to sort out that dish. So after a cuppa, on went the thin jacket (I am not prepared for winter yet) and up I went. Couple of broken tiles - will sort those another time. Top dish totally disconnected from anything and broken plastic bracket - will take that down next time and throw it out. Above that dish, three TV aerials with a birds nest of wiring wrapped round them and disappearing down the chimney, and right at the bottom of the pile, the dish I have to work with if I can stay on the roof long enough to do it. So on closer inspection we have a tiny dish, currently aimed at Dutch TV, strapped to a pole that is fixed to the chimney at the bottom only because the top bracket has snapped, and above it a broken dish and three aerials with the whole thing flapping around in the wind like a flag. On top of that, it is persisting it down with rain and freezing cold, all does not bode well for this to work properly does it Algernon? To cut a short story long, after a lot of fiddling there was a scream over the walkie-talkie "YES!! That's it!! Leave it there, we have BBC1." "You're kidding?" God I'm good.... Time to go down and get warm, but only after deciphering the heating controls as they were set to kick in the boiler only when the ambient room temperature fell below 15 degrees, no wonder the poor tenants were freezing to death in here. Now at this altitude and with those winds, that setup for the dish will not last long so next thing is to get a bigger dish, lash the whole thing to the chimney securely and get rid of the duff dish to cut back on wind resistance and then repair those two broken roof tiles. But that's another day, when it's not so wet and windy, for now it’s home time.

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Up on the roof.
28 October 2008

Monday evening, just as dark was setting in an hour earlier than it would have done last week, I found myself up on the roof of said house from the previous posting, even closer to Heaven, trying to set up the satellite dish to receive Sky. I can almost touch Astra 2B from here. The previous inhabitants being such nice people just turned off the pump for the pool which is now a very nice tint of green, and disconnected every wire around the house without any note as to what was what. Normally this would have been no problem but the roof of the house has as many dishes and aerials as Girona airport control tower and all of them doing their own impression of Father Christmas (coming down the chimney) with no hint whatsoever at the other end as to what went where. Hey I can see Sant Sebastian lighthouse from up here, and Palamos, Palafrugell and most of the Costa Brava, Jesus some people are so lucky. No he wasn’t there this time, I was swearing!! Anyway by now it was just too dark to twiddle with the dish so I threw a load of shock in the pool, switched it all back on to get the filter running, increased the timer to four hours a day instead of one to see how it goes and will be back there again Wednesday night to complete the two unfinished jobs.

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Jesus saves the day.
28 October 2008

Well the following morning Jesus descended from on high, where he lives and works a little further round the mountain from us in a restaurant. So at about 10am we all piled into the truck and set off for Sant Feliu expecting it to be a hard day, and we were not wrong. On arrival there were no parked cars which helped and we pulled in tight to the house and put out the warning markers and tucked in the wing mirrors which gave just enough room for cars to squeeze past. However we were right on a small cross-roads creating nasty pull-out so constant vigilance was needed as two of our team took turns in being traffic warden to warn cars of impending doom. The first load I decided would be the bulk of the books (all nicely boxed in same sized boxes) creating a base on which we would put furniture therefore not making the load too heavy.. lol!! After a couple of hours of letting Jesus lug the big boxes while we carried the almost as big boxes we were all knackered and the van was screaming "Enough!!" so we departed for the new house with a full load, grateful that unloading is always quicker than loading. Now to be fair, we were told the house was up the hill behind Platja d’Aro in Cim d’Aro but I was not quite expecting a road on which a funicular railway would have been useful. This was a first gear all the way crawl up to over 200m above sea level and once the bubbling noise of the boiling water in the radiator became too much and the temperature gauge was reading 110C I thought it best to park up for a while to avoid major expense. Maybe a few less books would have been wise. Anyway after about half an hour I gave it another shot and made it to the summit close by where Michael Schumacher has a house, I bet he gets up the hill faster. We parked up outside the garage gates and looked up... Steps. This house is nearly in Heaven!! “Jesus!!” No I am not swearing... “Jesus, I have some boxes for you to carry up those steps!!” Now we are not shirkers but he is by far the strongest and that is why he came and was being paid good money to do it so he got the job of anything that we just could not get off the van. Eventually we were unloaded so it was back down the mountain for a slightly lighter load, back up the mountain, back down the mountain for a much lighter final load and back up the mountain to unload for a last time. After about 9 hours of weight lifting we were done, in more ways than one, so headed back to drop off Jesus at the restaurant, where we stayed for a well deserved first meal of the day (I knew I should have grabbed a quick breakfast when I had the chance) and Jesus even got changed and started work... This guy just doesn’t stop. Three cheers for Jesus, a job well done by all, then it was home to bed, not caring how early it was. The legs just would not support us any more.

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Writers cramp.
24 October 2008

So yesterday evening it was off to Sant Feliu to check out this next removal and meet the people. First thing of notice is that the streets are just about as wide as our car, this could be fun on the day because the van is a big bugger!! Aaaaaaand to get to the house there is a 90 degree right turn Clyde with cars parked on the corners, I can see a multiple-point turn being needed. Still, if the streets of Benidorm old town didn't stop me then this won't either. Apparently if we want to close the road to traffic for the day it only costs 8 Euros for the licence - Needless to say we don't have one. Anyway I digress, we arrived at the house and were invited inside, books. Books. Books, books, books and more books. Guess what? This guy is a writer!! Where do I find 'em? You never know I might end up moving J.K. Rowling next, I need a mobile library truck. Anyway we are about to move the writer of The Fire Safety Assessor's Handbook and Churchill: A Seat for Life. So, armed with his business card and a Jacaranda tree as a gift, we departed, went for a Chinese, then came home and will eat spinach all day today. We'll need muscles like Popeye on Saturday to lift all those books, won't we Olive? Luckily for us though we will have Jesus with us to help...... No, not that one!!

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Hoe, Hoe, Hoe.
24 October 2008

Another three hours yesterday in the garden, much of it spent with a good old Enlish Hoe in hand!! Why can we not buy those over here? Actually I have to add, everybody round here calls it an English hoe so I have just gotten into that habit too, but actually it is called a Dutch Hoe. So after seven hours in total and almost 50kg of weeds, cuttings and general garden waste removed finally I can see the ground again and hopefully the owners will be happy when they return today. Of course there is still much to do, but at least the area that can be seen from the house is presentable. So, garden done, pool cleaned, factura on the table, I left to go and plan Saturdays removal.... And therein lies another story, another blog posting...

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Garden clean-up time.
23 October 2008

Well after a long season of rentals the tourists have almost all gone back home and now it's time to take a look at the jungles that have developed where gardens used to be before the villa owners start to arrive back here over the coming weeks. Yesterday we got stuck into the first one, four hours of weeding, dead-heading the Strelitzias (those things are real ugly once they die back), pruning the olive trees and palms etc. The strong winds were no help, lots of cuttings finding their way into the pool, never mind I can charge for cleaning that when I've finished ;-). Today I'll be back there again trimming the hedges etc as these owners arrive on Friday and then it's off to Sant Feliu to plan out the weekends removal for which we have had an extra person dumped on us to help which we neither want or need, but there you go. Orders!! Looks like the days where the people doing the removal are the ones in charge are numbered. The weekend after there's another garden to get started on, that one on a mountainside, oh what joy!!

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Sant Feliu de Guixols to Platja D'Aro
19 October 2008

A quick phone call today and it looks like next weekend we have a quick removal as someone hops across from Sant Feliu de Guixols to Platja D'Aro. Nothing is 100% certain as of yet so more as we get it. Also today we had a clean of a five bedroomed (all en-suite) villa here ready for the estate agents to let people view it, the seller will accept about half a million Euros if you have that kind of money burning a hole in your pocket!!

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Beds, Blogs & New Tricks.
18 October 2008

Yesterday evening was a quick trip out to collect a bed from a house locally and deliver it to another local destination. However, the collection actually became a very interesting event due to the person we were collecting from. An English man, no names mentioned for now but I doubt he would mind to be honest, ex-military, now a writer who had been published a few times by a Spanish magazine as a columnist and was now continuing to write mainly as a hobby. I am sure he will not mind me saying that he is well over retirement age, seen it, been there, done it and got all the T-Shirts to prove it. He was very pleased about the response to his articles and was happy his work was made available to a wider audience so I asked him why not try to get a publisher for his works?  The response was mainly negative due to age and health problems, it would just take too long to see it through. How about self-publishing? He is internet savvy, eBay etc to sell his works, why not give it a go? Again very valid arguments against the idea. Blogs? Ah.. now maybe we have something, never tried that, so now I am going to point him in the direction of Blogger and you never know maybe you can all share in his work. Rest assured if he does start to write I will be linking to it from here as before we left him last night he gave me a file of his essays - not very politically correct but exactly the kind of thing I like to read and although the subject matter is very serious there is an underlying hint of humour and it is very hard to put down once you start reading. One thing I did not think to mention was e-books, even better for him, all his work is already on a PC anyway!! I'll talk to him about that. There is one person I want to talk to again very soon, but now it's back to his essays and my porron of wine.

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A day at the markets.
15 October 2008

Sunday was a day off at last so we had to find something to do and a day out at the markets seemed like a good idea. Off we trundled to Palafrugell for an amble around there, much quieter than in August and we could actually see the stalls now which made a change. Very quickly we got through about 50 Euros and thought we'd better carry on to the next market while we still could. We planned a visit to the Mushroom Market at Sant Hilari Sacalm which is a small town quite high up and it is where the source of the spring for the Font Vella mineral water can be found. The market turned out to be a few stalls in the town center with a stage in the middle for some later entertainment and a few food stalls. Very small but exactly what you expect an old fashioned village get-together to be. After a nice Pasta lunch in a local Italian restaurant we walked around some more and then headed for the Font Vella bottling factory, behind which is a place where the water just runs so that anybody can fill bottles etc free of charge. Most people just take a bottle or two and are happy but there is always someone who extracts the p*** is there not and on this occasion it was one of our ethnic neighbours from across the Straits of Gibraltar who arrived in a People Carrier filled to the roof with empty 5 litre bottles. My guess is she was there for the night. To end the day we walked up into the forest and collected leaves, the reason for which was not apparent to me at the time but next morning Nicky created a very nice Autumnal table center piece ready for Halloween. She is the creative sort and likes to make these at certain times of the year so orders now being taken and can be placed via all the usual methods!! ;-) Well roll on the next day off, I am sure we can find somewhere else nice and scenic up in the mountains to write about.

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