Monday, September 06, 2004

Ah Sí Señor


Señor M. is certain that the sequence of work for the kitchen element should be,

  • removal of the old cabinets
  • removal of the old tiles
  • retile the walls and floor
  • construction and fitting of the cabinets
  • install new double glazed units for windows and doors
  • complete tiling around window and door apertures
  • install granite worktops
  • fit appliances
  • re-hang internal kitchen door
  • stand back and admire his work

When we query this he is at pains to assure us that he must start work immediately if all is to go to his plan. He begins work before the ink is dry on the cheque for the deposit on the work. And within the week he has reduced the kitchen to rubble.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Any colour you want as long as it's...

The painter arrived with some samples for us to choose from, he was recommended by the owners of the specialist paint store we had visited in Figueres. The proprietors had often employed him to work on their own home. His work they said was good, he was also very clean in his methods and although not the cheapest, asked fair prices for his work

He painted coloured swatches on the wall and then asked us for our opinion.

Sample 4 was not practical because of the soil that would be carried on the wind from ploughed fields on the farms around about us.

Sample 3 was a little too orange.

Sample 2 was not available in the anti cracking specification he had advised.

Sample 1 this years black, was available in the anti crack formula and also toned with the
various shades contained in the stone work.

And the winner is Sample 1.

The only complication is that he can not paint the window and door frames until the double glazing has been fitted. He will either return after the fitting of the windows or he will give us a discount of 250 euros if I paint the frames. So thats another job on my list!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Wake me up when it's all over!

September has arrived and Spain is back at work.

7am and the first of the three teams of builders are on site they will work on the roof, exterior wall repairs and the cornice which is crumbling.

8am and the kitchen supply company are here too.

8.30 The plasterer 'paletta' or ‘yesoista’ delivers his materials and negotiates his space on the site.

10am The Window manufacturer arrives with another 'paletta' who will remove the current windows and install the steel frame that will hold the aluminium frames in place once work begins, they need more measurements.

Every two minutes I have to speak to one or another of the firms involved about supplies and potential problems. No sooner do those conversations start then a telephone call from one of the companies involved is called for; I am handed a series of mobile telephones and I take part in three way dialogues; my Spanish is being pushed to breaking point.

1pm Thank god for their siesta! Everybody leaves the site.

3.30pm The work resumes with a vengeance.

4pm The next piece in the jigsaw falls into place, the 'palettas' responsible for fixing the 'piedra' to the lower part of the external walls arrive. They will work till 9pm or 10pm as necessitated by their work.