The kingdom of rain

The kingdom of rain

In the middle of this month the heavens opened and the Minho region of Portugal got a soaking, particularly Ponte de Lima which received almost 8cm of rain. The rest of the country: nada! We were in the path of the appropriately named Storm Betty, and heard the phrase Reino da Chuva for the first time. We were of course delighted, the area remains green and lush and I don’t have to fret too much about watering the plants at…

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Goodbye Azul, Hello Lima

Goodbye Azul, Hello Lima

So the sale of Casa Azul went ahead. Not without a few minor issues: we had to stop the proceedings to collect the original copy of the habitation licence. At the council the woman behind the desk couldn’t find it, are we sure it was ready to be picked up today? A phone call later and she finds the precious document in a different in-tray. It is received with sweaty palms. And then the notary insists we arrange a meeting…

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Red tape

Red tape

“The collection or sequence of forms and procedures required to gain bureaucratic approval for something, especially when oppressively complex and time-consuming.” The key phrase here being oppressively complex. We have been used to Portuguese bureaucracy since our arrival, and one thing we have learnt is that whenever you go anywhere to get anything done you take all the documents you own about everything. Whether it was getting married, obtaining Portuguese citizenship, renewing our driving licence, updating the size of our…

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Another brick in the wall

Another brick in the wall

Another three weeks, another giant leap forward. Despite most of our photos showing blue skies it has been quite rainy this month, with some torrential downpours. Fortunately, these have been mainly over the weekends so the workmen have been able to crack on. And summer rain, in case we need to remind ourselves, is one of the reasons why we moved up here. So this was the last blog stage: And now? Well, Richard has made this nifty vid of…

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Leaps and bounds

Leaps and bounds

Gosh, it’s just under three weeks since the last post and so much has happened it’s difficult to keep up sometimes. Firstly, the new house of course. The reinforced concrete first floor / ceiling has been done and dusted enabling us to walk through the ‘kitchen’ and ‘dining room’ and onto the ‘balcony’. Then we experience the best thing about the house, something which was not on our must-have list: the view. Actually it seems rather high up, and there…

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Going up!

Going up!

Five weeks in and the demolition job is over and done with. The whole house has been gutted, the espigueiro taken away (we have a boa vista!) and by the end of April the first of the trenches for the foundations had been dug: It looks enormous but it’s deceptive. In fact the two bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms on this ground floor are going to be rather small, but what we will have is a much greater “living outside” area….

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From one day to the next

From one day to the next

They say a week is a long time in politics. Well, the same could be said for the house: 2 weeks in and it’s completely gone! Okay, not gone but really only three and a half walls remain. Builders? Demolishers! The two men and their crane have slowly but surely taken away the roof, chimney, floor, inner walls and one outer wall, the extension and the huge pile of enormous stones that had supported the wood burning oven. They have…

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Two men and a crane (hurrah!)

Two men and a crane (hurrah!)

We were down in Casa Azul sorting things out there when the builder (alive and well, thank goodness) messaged us to say work would begin on Tuesday. So that morning Richard walked up to the house with Betty to see what was happening: nothing. It seems that they would start after lunch… Not long after 1.30 pm a couple of blokes in a lorry turned up as did the builder in his van. We spent some time with them all…

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The builder

The builder

So, aside from all the council people and estate agents, there are three main people we have had to deal with: a lawyer, an architect and a builder. The first two we found locally (near Casa Azul that is) but for the builder we needed someone up where the new house was. So how on earth could we find a suitable person? How could we find someone who could turn an old granite house into a home we liked? Someone…

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A post about posts

A post about posts

When we got the builder’s licence it was such good news. We were then able to pick up from the Council a special log book he has to use, and a poster which he needs to put up outside the work with the official info on it (needless to say neither of these things were done with Casa Azul). We handed these over, and the builder replied: Great, we just need to get the water and electricity installed. Now neither…

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