What with penfold having the mumps, every timber yard gone camping, and mother and sister landing for a visit, there was nothing else to do but take a week off.
And a fine week of touring it was, not for the Portuguese in the same train carriage as mother and two daughters wept with laughter while mother played the The One’s hand of our seminal game of tricks and trumps. An impossible-to-explain-rooted-in-family-history moment that all reunions should be made of.
Nothing hurts quite like going back to work after a break. The One and I failed to turn up on Monday and then spent Tuesday and Wednesday giving ourselves a collective hernia with things that were too hard and we did not have the energy nor strength to do. By Thursday we were both practically sick and stayed away. The next week though, with one woofer back on board, I managed to get a few things done: how excellent it is to have someone around who does everything in half the time I do.
And so to the subject of amateurs and expectations. Sometime I’ll draw up a list for the first time owner-builder-Portugal and probably beside the first number they’ll be don’t get disheartened when you find you can do only half the things you thought you could/would. Or make that a tenth. I am all bravo and força, sure, and if left alone I’ll do practically anything, but send in a few more experienced persons and watch my violet shrink. Not out of lack of guts you see, more out of the intelligence that they’ll be doing a better job and a good house is not a place for amateur crapola. Hear me humbled.
Humbled again am I by the scale of tasks still ahead. We were meant to be moving in yesterday and there’s more to do than I can make a list of. This week I’m chucking everything I’ve got at it: we are camping out with the woofers and hitting it hard.
Indeed, the windows… loyal readers might remember a nicely popular post about the windows I bought and was/still am restoring. The update, two or what years later is that despite the project being lost some delicious windows and doors remain in the plan. The favourite Pombaline ones haven’t found a place yet, but the French ones that have been chosen for size are coming up a treat. Did anyone suggest using an angle grinder to strip them? Yes, like using a combine harvester to trim roses, but with a delicate feminine hand it is possible to achieve a brutal but satisfactory result. Mindblowingly quickly. Another thing about having 20 year old workers around: they don’t care for petty perfectionism, they just get on with one job to make way for the next. Once my attitude to getting a short film made: Don’t Make it Perfect – Just Get it Done. As for all that double glazing palaver: timber shutters and velvet curtains.
Anyway, I have about 37 windows and doors left over – if nothing else I’ll have the best greenhouse in the country.