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Author: jackie

1,601 days

1,601 days

Saturday 18 May: it was raining. The car was packed, yet again, with more of our stuff but this time we had Betty with us, squidged in between boxes and bags. When we arrived the heavens opened and we all three stared at the house, rather reluctant to get out. A break in the downpour saw us leap out and into the house to be welcomed by the view of the valley beyond. It was our first day in the…

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Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

I just checked when the blog was last updated: 28 March, so not even 3 weeks and yet (fanfare please) it seems a lot longer because so much has been done. First of all we have an anniversary (to celebrate?). 11 April 2023 was the first day work started on the house. Let’s remind ourselves what is looked like on that day: The crane had been up a while but the first thing they did was remove the doors. And…

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Ho hum

Ho hum

March has remained a somewhat gloomy month overall. We have had both breaks in the rain and workers back on site but we have reluctantly realised that we won’t be moving in next month. We had a long meeting with the builder last week. He seemed to suggest that most things would either get done straightaway or very shortly but that really doesn’t seem to be the case. Two big things have happened though: firstly, the windows and doors have…

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Guttered!

Guttered!

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…

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The dig

The dig

We are greeted, on our morning dog walk down to the river, with quite a cacophony of sounds. Leading the charge are the thrushes. There are a number perched high on top of the chestnuts, easily spotted on the leafless branches, calling out a series of repetitive screeches and squawks. It’s not at all musical, I’m not sure why they are called song thrushes. They are joined by the more pleasant warbles of the robins and wrens, the flute-like song…

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Getting plastered

Getting plastered

Happy New Year! January has already given us four seasons in one month: a touch of frost, high winds and storms, downpours, sunny spells and glorious sunshine. Today we have drizzle. Nothing has stopped us either sporting sunglasses or donning our waterproofs to brave the elements and stretch our legs. The coast is one of our favourite destinations for the weekly family outing: we have the beach to ourselves and a seafood restaurant is always near (and Betty, exhausted, is…

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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…

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Storming ahead

Storming ahead

A stormy start to November, with Ciarán doing its best to leave a mark. Not as destructive as the tornado that hit Jersey but certainly enough to whip up the waves to destroy the boardwalk and paths down to the beach. Betty didn’t care, she was delighted to be running along the sand once again, it’s been a number of years since we have taken her to the seaside. No shells for us to collect but lots of lovely colourful…

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A month of two halves

A month of two halves

The start of October was a real scorcher, as predicted in the previous post. This meant two things: we went out and about a bit more to take advantage of the weather, and more work was done on the external walls of the house. Street markets are extremely popular up here, and on any Sunday the beautiful Avenida dos Plátanos along the river Lima has something on. Every second Sunday it’s the Feirade antiguidades e velharias, basically antiques and old…

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Strolling through September

Strolling through September

A surprisingly cool September. Building-wise a tad sluggish, slowly but surely, step by step. Having said that the photos taken over the month do seem to show some progress. All the internal walls have been covered. They are now lined with a double layer of silver thermal insulating material (a kind of posh bubble wrap) and bricked over, both downstairs and up. The only wall to remain uncovered is an original external wall which separates two rooms, one which is…

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