Houses Built: .05
Injuries: 11 bruises, one smashed husband thumb.
Bottles of scotch consumed: 2
When it was first suggested that I start a blog about building the house, I surfed the net for other blogs on the same subject to see what it was all about. It was a quagmire of tediousness. People blogging in excruciatingly boring detail about every last brick they have moved. ACTUALLY I COULDN’T GIVE A RAT’S ARSE WHICH TILES YOU ARE USING FOR THE BATHROOM MIRROR SURROUNDS, I told them.
And look, I’m about to do the same thing. Just a warning.
At least I have some building works to report which makes a change. If you remember from the last episode, the project plans had been thrown out the window and all has been simplified and the lord’s inspirational light is shining upon us once again.
There was a question about what the original kitchen and the loja downstairs would become, and they have sorted themselves out into Bathroom and Loja Downstairs respectively. There was a question about where to put the stairs: we’ve decided to have no stairs – it sounds boring but not when you remember this place has an upstairs and a downstairs 😉
To use a standard renovator-blogger’s phrase, I can’t believe it’s been six months. The first couple of months we sat on our arses. The next couple of months I emptied out the house and built a temporary roof over the first floor of the ruin to put everything into.
And then the boys got stuck in. Mate I swear it’s great having a husband. He’s as keen as mustard to get himself dirty and hit things with hammers. Even more grateful am I to have friends like Derik and Ines (see houseminding) who are willing to help. These people are basically saints in the waiting line. Must have a word with the pope. Must also enquire what kind of medal Derik gets for this kind of work. Legion d’honneur? I’m just hoping one day he’ll be calling to get us to help him with his place.
So the great chimney has gone, the interior walls have gone, the ceiling has gone, the water barrier is going up, insulation going in, new ceiling going in, The plumber/electrician has been sacked, my local supplier is back in business and a massive spreadsheet of a schedule has been printed. Onwards and upwards.
And with much relief this pokey little house does make one pretty nice lounge room/kitchen. I had been mourning the loss of a luxurious 50m2 lounge from the project plans, but actually 24m2 does just fine. Believe you me, lifting a ceiling by a metre-plus adds up to way more than 1500mm.
Meanwhile on the exterior, it’s getting hotter and that time of year when I obsess about bushfires has arrived. As with every year, I try to discuss it in a civilised manner with the neighbours and every year the ignore me. I am from the city, they are generations of forestry people. I bet my right foot they don’t have home insurance and nor have I because Portuguese insurers don’t like houses with building works. Most expats, more diligent than I, insure with a British company. And so it goes on the to-do list – the thought now of being wiped out (again) keeps me awake at night. Along with the choice of bathroom tiles, naturally.
Actually my darling horrifically expensive hand painted blue and white 19th century tiles have been sold to someone else and I’ve just located several boxes of dusty boring standard whities of indeterminate provenance in the building yard… so sorry, I know you were all dying to have your vote, but tough titties. Maybe I’ll leave the kitchen curtain print for the public to decide.