Anyone driving past the house over the last few weeks will be thinking to themselves that nothing seems to be happening. Indeed it has been a bit disheartening to turn up and once again have no workers on site. Everything has been going much more slowly since the start of the year and our optimism that we will move in next month is waning.

The culprit, or at least the scapegoat, is the weather. Two internal coats of paint are needed, and we’re told it’s not until the first one is done that all the fixtures and fittings can be installed. A second coat is the final job. However, it seems that the rain is making the air too moist for the painting so it’s all been put on hold. Which is rather frustrating to say the least as the forecast is a bit grim.

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed a difference though: we have gutters! We turned up one morning feeling a little forlorn to see a large van parked in front of the house. A couple of guys had already put up one gutter and were onto the next. Like many of the jobs once they get going things happen quite quickly and despite the very heavy showers the gutters were done and dusted by Monday.

The following two days were fine, in fact nice enough that we could pop to one of our favourite restaurants in Viana do Castelo and have lunch outside. Richard also managed to get a round of golf in. It was disappointing then that on popping into the house we saw nobody had turned up. Thursday was awful: heavy downpours and strong winds. We hunkered down inside, there seemed little point in checking up on the house. So imagine our surprise when we arrived on Friday to see four men painting! Not only that but they had been there the day before too… what about the rain? we asked. They shrugged their shoulders and carried on.

I forgot to mention the olive trees in the previous post. It was a year ago last February the two huge ones were cut down, rather drastically it has to be said. But this is 12 months later:

This is of course both one of the wonders of gardening, and one of the drawbacks. That it should have grown so much and so well is just marvellous, but it just goes to show what happens if things are left. All of the trees we’ve planted are doing okay, despite the deluges, and I’m looking forward to moaning that they have grown so quickly they need to be pruned.

Meanwhile, there are guys at the house. There are electricians putting in the sockets and wiring for the Man Cave (which also includes Crovan Brewery), and others who are plastering the internal walls. Roll on sitting on the balcony and admiring the view with a glass of one of Richard’s homemade beers. His latest, Lima IPA, is his 57th brew and very nice it is too.

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