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Gepetto, Cowboy and Macho man

26 March, 2019

Spain, Sunday, March 10, 2019

The past week was pretty eventful, I must say. And then each time with a number of unexpected things that will cost us extra money, and that nobody could predict.

The week actually started very well, because the planning of the works is very far ahead. For example, it was intended that the swimming pools would not be tackled until the beginning of April, but suddenly it turned out that they had already started last Monday. We were naturally delighted, because that would mean that we might already be floating in our own swimming pool at the end of March. And that would actually be welcome, given the wonderful temperatures and the little relaxation that we appropriate. The swimming pool company had six men brought up to renovate both pools at the same time. Among them was also a duo who came exactly from some hilarious series, they are one by one types that you could not imagine yourselve. One has an immense belly and does everything to make a tough attitude. He sweats to death and seems to do all the hard work, especially when the camera is pointed at him. We film a lot so that we can have reference material later. The second is balding, and can’t stand the sun, which means he always walks around with a cowboy hat and accompanying cigarette. They started by removing the foil with which the swimming pools used to be built, and suddenly the “boss” was also called. There was a lot of talk about it, and a little later Juan Carlos – our site manager – was also busy discussing. This was bad news. And indeed, we saw from the look of Juan Carlos that something was wrong. It turned out that the two swimming pools were actually no longer in good condition and had to be completely rebuilt by building a new tub with bricks and reinforced concrete on the inside of the existing one. Another option was to keep costs as low as possible, to restore the current tubs and to transfer a new film. In the end it seemed to us the best option to rebuild them completely, although much more expensive – read 10,000 euros extra – because we prefer not to have any problems with it in the first years.

So it took a while, and especially counting, recounting, and hoping that the bank will grant us a loan for the renovations.

Wednesday morning the following problem occurred ; I woke up from a penetrating sewer smell. I could only tell that the level of the toilet water was too low in the toilet, which in my opinion caused the odor. Just flush, and the problem was solved, I thought. Outside, however, that odor turned out to come back occasionally, so I told Juan Carlos when he came on his daily visit to check the works. He took this very seriously, and started looking for the cause. I noticed that there was a piece of damp soil in the pool next to the house, and I hadn’t seen that before. It turned out that the smell came from there. Juan Carlos found that there was a leak in the septic tank next to the pool. The contents of that well leaked through the wall of the swimming pool, which now no longer had a protective film. This was an urgent problem, given that the pools had to be finished. Fortunately, our site manager knows how to tackle things, and he immediately started using the phone to find a solution. The proposal was to empty the current septic tank as quickly as possible, and to put it inactive, by laying new drain pipes to another well. Another extra cost so … It just didn’t stop, and as top of the bill, they had also discovered living woodworms in the basement where the laundry comes. Urgent procedure, breaking down all wooden moldings, treating with petroleum and pouring concrete. Those critters come out of the ground and cannot tolerate sunlight. Fortunately this only meant more work for the abanillas, the handymen, and no extra costs for us. It has been a very troubled week.

Fortunately, the works are progressing very well. The carpenter has repaired and replaced all damaged doors, kitchen cupboards and sliding doors of the built-in cupboards. It has to be said, Gepetto from Pinoccio – because he seems a bit like that – knows his job, and does a very nice job.

Our own house is also starting to get through to the finishing phase, and we have decided to first  clean it up and furnish it so that we can move in as quickly as possible. Wim is currently painting. This week they also came to install the provisional internet, so that we no longer have internet in our current casa. So we walk several kilometres a day between the villa where we now live and our future definitive villa. We hope to move in within two weeks. That would already save a lot, so that we gradually have more breathing room for our things. Especially the kitchen in the villa where we are now living is too small to live and cook daily.

We were just enjoying 5 minutes in the sun beds on the terrace, just a welcome moment of rest, when we suddenly saw people at our back gate. It turned out to be the owner of the mountain around us. We have been trying to contact that man for months. Nobody knew his details, not even in the municipality. So it was a gift from heaven that he stood here. Apparently our car and the container were on his property, but he was willing to talk about it and agree something. We have exchanged telephone numbers, and on the day of our conversation he will receive a warm welcome with a Belgian beer and a snack, a matter of increasing our chances of favorable deals. A bit opportunistic, but good neighbours, is good agreements. And apparently our approach to openness and communication worked, because when he left, he clapped again and waved goodbye. I’m curious what the outcome will be …

Hasta Luego,

Annemie or Ana

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