Saturday, June 30, 2007

Breathing Space

Well thankfully today the previous owner of the house came and cleared out one of the rooms down stairs. So we now have another room available in the house, which means we now somewhere to store some of the boxes that arrived on Wednesday. On another note the plastering has been done in the entertainment room and I have got mains sockets and lights wired in the to rooms on that side of the house.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's Here

Well after three months our stuff we had shipped from england has finally arrived. This morning all 62 boxes were delivered. Everything seems to be OK in the boxes we have opened so far. One of the most welcome items in the shipping was all the major power tools, and also our DVD collection, we had brought a number with us but after 3 months we were beginning to run out of DVD's to watch. The biggest problem now is where to put everything, as the rooms downstairs at the front of the house are still full of the previous owners stuff we are very limited as to where things can go. This may create a problem in doing the floor in the entertainment room as a lot of the boxes are in there.

Monday, June 25, 2007

There's a hole in my floor

Yep there's a dirty great hole in the floor. OK it's there intentionally, after months of just sitting around and not getting a whole lot done we have started to try and crack on and get some things done. We had a planning meeting an came up with a list of jobs for the week and stuck them down on a sheet. Yes those of you at the telegraph where we used to work will get the irony, yes we have a resource sheet.

The first of the jobs we have decided to tackle was the floor in what we are calling the entertainment room. This will be the room where the telly, computer & stereo will live. The main problem in this room is the damp in the floor. Having spoken to David & Ann who are an English couple that live at the other end of the village. They have already done up their place so know a few of the tricks, so we will have to lay down a damp proof membrane under the floor, but to do this and still have enough space to put tiles down without having to remove the doors means that we have to remove all the floor and re lay.

As we're taking up the floor this was the ideal time to run the cable conduit and put the wall boxes in for the mains, 12v, TV & Satellite antenna feeds, Front and rear speaker connections, & Network connections. So we have been chiseling into the wall to put the wall boxes in. the main problem is that the wall between this room and the bedroom is very thin and made of concrete mixed with rocks so if you are not careful you can got right through and come out the other side. But all the boxes are now in the wall and all the conduit is run on the floor ready to go under the concrete when we have lifted the other 2/3's of the floor. The wall should be plastered later on this afternoon.

Right now the lifting of the floor is on hold as we are having to prepare clear spaces ready to receive all the boxes of our stuff which has finally arrived from England.

And as requested here is a picture of Helen in her ghost busters outfit dusting the vines with sulphur

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Of Windows, Floors, Water and Grapes

As always when one thing is done another three pop up ....

The first set of windows is done and they look good .. here are the before and after photos..

Although the second window is not painted yet, still waiting for the putty to set, at least you can not hinge the panes out.

The channeling out of the floor for power conduits was going well, and I suppose is still going well but after talking to another English couple who have renovated a local finca, we think it will be better to remove the whole floor so that we can lay a damp proof membrane to stop the damp coming up through the floor. OK I here you say, just add it on top of the sub floor that is there now. The problem with that is that the floor level would then be too height for the doors and door sill. So it looks like more of the floor has to go.... The work so far is shown here.

The filtering on the gray water recycle test blocked up again - so that has been temporarily removed and for now greasy and very dirty water will not go into the system. For now that will have to do..

Next on the list are the grape vines, 3 terraces of vines, at first seemed like a good idea but we did not quire realise the amount of work it would be. I have managed to handle on terrace so far. Striping off the extra leaves and shoots so that the grapes are exposed to the sun, I am not totally sure what I am doing - just following instructions for the Guy we brought the place from. And then you have to dust them with sulphur to help stop mold. We have this thing that sits on my back with a bellows attached to go around like one of the Ghost busters to dust the stuff... Got one terrace done yesterday and it rained today so I will have to do it again tomorrow...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Play Time

Well last night I finally got to do one of the things I came out here to do. I actually got my telescope out and set up, OK it was on the roof which is luminated by a street light but It was a beautiful clear night. So having hauled the mount (Which is no mean feat, that thing is heavy) up to the roof and got things basically aligned. We started to look around Venus was a spectacular crescent in the eye piece. Then we had a look at Saturn which was just amazing, crisp and clear though sadly the cassni division was not visible but I was only using the 80mm refractor. After a little hunt around for a while (Possibly seeing M51 but very faint) we then noticed that Jupiter was visible so we slewed over to that and were rewarded with beautiful image with the bands across the planet clearly visible. Then sadly we decided to call it a night. Overall though the clarity of the sky was fantastic and the seeing magnificent. Also the money spent on the mount was well worth it.

Now all I need is for our items to clear customs and to arrive here then I should be able to get the pillar drill out and mount the 10in Meade LX200R OTA


OK, OK!!!

Project planing is underway and so is the preparation for the planing permission for the new bathroom and the covered terrace / out side kitchen / barbecue area... I hope that we can get it all done for the end of the year.

Just realised why doing the windows has dragged, I may have only done two windows but that is 36 pains of glass that have been replaced and that sounds like a lot of glass, 36 pains of glass (around 12 new pains and 3.5Kg of putty)

One other accomplishment is that the test gray water recovery system is now operating - OK that is a few meters of plastic pipe, some guttering and a 500 liter tank. The plan is to use this to test out different filter materials. So far sand was a complete failure as it completely congealed and would not let the water through. Currently we are using 3 sizes of gravel - this seems to work OK But is starting to clog up as well.

We need to gray water system to be in before the bathroom is done so that it can be connected to it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Things are getting on top of me

Every morning I wake up and no mater what I got done the day before seem to be faced with a list of things to do that is a mile long.... There are times when my head spins just trying to work out what to do next.

Have got one set of windows primed and all the glass put back in. I have done windows before, both in the UK and America (USA), but here the putty (when you can get it) seems to not want to stay put. The window I did two days ago has putty running down the frames.... It seems to take about a week for it to set.. I am not sure if it is just the wrong sort of Putty or due to the weather. Mind you most people use bathroom sealant to put windows in. The only problem with that was that most of the pains that had been put in with sealant have fallen out.