Four years, but who’s counting?!

Four years, but who’s counting?!

I think they say it’s the lull before the storm but for us the lull has come after, house-wise that is. It was a quiet December for the workers with not a lot to report. The upper level has been prepped for the plastering machine but it seems more needs to be done still on the lower level. The boiler room has been been plastered by hand and is actually finished, apart from the flooring. We have chosen the style of railing for the balcony, as simple and as thin as possible.

We went a few times during the month to work on the land. There is an olive tree between us and the neighbors that is getting a bit too tall and leggy, we want it to be shorter and bushier to provide some privacy. Did you know that with Google maps you can go back in time? In 2014 it was enormous, and then you can see in 2021 it had been reduced substantially. Now it is tall again, or rather was as I’ve had a good go at pruning it. Still a bit to go but it will be bushy again we know.

Richard also had a go at tackling the huge pile of branches left over from when the last lot of trees were cut down. Previous attempts have failed, it was all just too wet, but he managed to make some inroads. This time of the year the countryside is scattered with small bonfires.

One thing I did do, which I feel quite proud of, was re-covering the second hand, or rather pre-loved, chairs that came with the kitchen table we bought. We didn’t really like the chairs too much but as they were included in the price, we took them (we got them from a woman advertising on Facebook Marketplace, a great resource for old stuff).

I couldn’t remove the blue covers but was able to yank off the trim. The chairs, there are four of them, then sulked in the spare room for a few months before being seen to. I had no idea what material to use until, in one of the local antique markets, I found this rather fetching brocade in a warm yellow, perhaps ‘old gold’. There were about 3 metres for 7 euros; I didn’t bargain. Then endless hours were spent on YouTube on how to actually cut and apply the material. It always looks so easy when the experts do it. Anyway, armed with staple gun and a newly acquired hot-glue gun I set about giving them a facelift. I was pleased with the trim too having scoured a number of haberdashers. Whether they will go in the new kitchen is another matter but I was chuffed with the finished result. The paint pots have also been out. We brought up a couple of Ikea chairs from Casa Azul and they too have been given a new lease of life with a splash of colour.

We needed to ask for an extension for the building work. Our building permission is for a year, starting January, but it wasn’t until April that work actually began. Armed with a whole load of documents from the builder and the architect we returned, somewhat pessimistically, to the council to start the procedure for the extension (remember it was four long years ago this month we bought the house, so slow and painful is Portuguese bureaucracy). Imagine our surprise when we discovered we needed far fewer documents and it was all incredibly simple. We are just waiting for the email to say it was approved… So overall a good year and we are really looking forward to 2024. We hope you are too. Feliz Ano Novo!

2 thoughts on “Four years, but who’s counting?!

  1. Your chairs are v impressive ! And the house is looking good too. What a relief that the planning this time was more straightforward. Well done all … best wishes for 2024 x

    1. Thank you, Sue! The chairs were fun to do. We’re hoping the building gang will be back in force soon. Happy 2024 to you too J x

Leave a Reply