Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's all kicking off today!!!

OK, we've just found out that the road builders will be starting today. In 2 hours time. At 1pm. After lunch. They will be carving out a ziggy zag type of road down the steep sloping forested land above the kids house (the treey bit above the road to the right in this photo from last autumn). We thought they might possibly start tomorrow, and with that maybe just an exploratory look around. But hey, no notice required. They just showed up and said the BIIIG excavating digger machine thingies will arrive at 1. So our hearts are pounding a little right now, as we have no idea what the impact of this new road will be. It is bound to tear up the landscape and big boulders will surely roll down the hills crashing through everything on their path. The beautiful spring and summer flowers may not survive the onslaught. All the trees on that part of the land will have to be cut down today (we will use them all in building our houses). And we will have to live with the scars for a couple of years to come.

But we need the road. Mainly to enable us to use the land better. Not only for better access to the land beneath, but also because after the road is built they will be making 5 or 6 new terraces in between the zig zags. Terraces where we want to create swimming ponds that double as reservoirs for emergency water systems in case the fires revisit this area one day. And flat terraces to grow pwitty flowers and trees on. And a terrace at the top to build a yoga sala on so we can look out over the stunning views and smell the aromas of Von's creation below waft up to our heightened senses on the mat. And, most important of all, a terrace on which we can build a sports cage to play football, tennis, basketball and golf on (a promise I made the kids when we first said we would buy the place).

But all that common rational sense doesn't ease the emotional roller coaster of knowing a huge machine is just about to rip apart this serene land in 100 minutes and counting. Von is obviously having kittens (illustrated in the photo by her lying down under the shade of an olive tree half hour before machine arrived). Kids are shopping with Moonbeam so they dont know a thing. And to be honest I am a mixture of excited that at last the landscaping is happening on a mahoosive scale really fast, and a little nervous that in the process everything will be destroyed and River will cry for days. I'll post up video evidence of the action later tonight. Before that, below are the clips from this week. First of which is a trip we made with our mates on Sunday to see some restored Xisto houses in Madeirá, a village 30 minutes West from Amieira (not the island in the Azores, accent on the final A is the difference by the way) plus a couple of stills cos the video don't show a great deal really. The second must be the most interesting one of this blogsite so far: watching paint dry. For those who're keen to know about how we're building these places it might just catch your attention long enough before you click away. Or maybe not. Yeah, well, whatever. Shoot the creative director. I'm off to watch men on diggers. I wonder if they will let me drive......?

Weekend trip to Madeirá

Homemade limewash boiled in a metal bucket drying on the wall. No, really.

Progress on deconstructing houses at Moses....

She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes...

So it turned out, that the driver was in fact someone we knew. Joaquim, the local fishmonger. His Mrs runs their shop in town during the week, and he's been digging this baby for 15 years. The guy is lovely and we trust he will do a first rate job. He's pretty nifty we this thing too, changing bucket head to stone breaker device as if he was sewing a needle with thread. Knocking over the huge pine trees as if they were toothpicks. Although it was a bit scary to see a massive boulder rush down past the houses today at a gizzillion miles per hour down to the river. Hope no more come that close or we might not have houses to restore! Anyway, go Joaquim! We're right behind you. well, not that close, cos it's well scary really.

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