Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dry stone walling begins

Today summer feels like it has truly arrived. Bright blue hot hot Sunday. The mountainside and pathways are bursting with yellow and blue flowers and the wild white rock roses are ready to put on their impressive annual display.Just chilling out after a scrumptious Sunday lunch, I thought I'd upload some vids from the last fortnight. The professional bit of the works on the house is drawing to a close. Another fortnight maybe at tops. All the windows are in, just waiting on the doors.

Tiles are on in all the bathrooms and kitchen. Supporting walls are all built and rendered and tiled where required. Wooden rough cut pine tree boards are nailed in to the apex of the gable end. Just waiting for the 100 sq metres of natural cut multi coloured slates to arrive and we can lay the remaining  floors. And waiting for all the sinks and taps to arrive so we can call in the local stone merchant to measure up for the granite worktops.

Built a concrete fossa (water tank in the photo) to house any grey water from the house not usable on the land - for example from the soak sink in the kitchen for when we'll need to wash out the salt from the eating olives and a second drain from the washing machine if we ever need to wash anything in bleach.

We spent most of last week clearing the kitchen terrace from all the rubble and wood mounded there and to make space to begin what we thought would be the long process of restoring the dry stone terrace walls. In fact after just 2 days with the lovely old stone mason João, we've built over half already (he tells why he likes dry stone walling in the video below).

So in a fortnight, the builders will hopefully leave and we will be able to put the finishing touches to the shell, thus beginning the lifelong task and joy of creating; for me that will start with converting the old floorboards from the house into beds, cupboards, book shelves, shutters as well as a pergola on the kitchen terrace. River will continue to be besotted by all things gardening, but her inside time will probably become more focussed on mosaics and fabrics. All lovely stuff. But that is all to come.

Right now we're enjoying the final phases of the restoration work and sensing the pleasure that awaits us when its all done and dusted ready to move in. In the meantime teaching is going well, kids are still top of their classes at school and River has staked more trees on the road (a tractor video tour below if you fancy it) and covered the potato field in more donkey manure and pine needle mulch.

I have a sneaky sensation that River might be at this very moment suggesting that perhaps this afternoon "we" could nip into the forest and cut some Mimosa trees to make the dozens of pea stakes she will need shortly.

"We could dear. Good idea. I'll be there in just a tick."

Oh by the way, Chris Stewart's Driving Over Lemons series, is a must if you've not already read them. Lovely tales from his family's adventure of a remote mountainside rural Spanish life.

Here's the link to the blog showing a video of the the day we first started back in July 2008 with the arrival of the diggers, Demolition City!