Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let there be Water…

The final connection to the bathroom to be has been done. now there is water in the room. Ok I have not got the fantast idea when the rest of the work will be done but all the services are now in the room.

Also need to make good the hole that is still in front of the front door.

Water pipes to Bathroom

As part of the work we also sealed up the hole in the wall that all the pipes come through.

Closing the hole into the bathroom to be.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Spanner in the works

We went over to the town hall this morning to collect a piece of paper which is our grant for half the cost of putting in the bathroom. On the way out of town there came a knocking from the engine we pulled over and I stared the car while Helen listened. “Turn it off “ she shouted. Helen suspected that it was the timing belt that had gone so we decided to call a tow truck to take the car to the workshop for them to have a look at. While we waited for the truck to arrive a group of people arrived and asked if we were OK. We explained the we were waiting for the tow truck due to the problem with the car and they said why didn’t we come and wait at there house which was  just up the road. It turned out that the couple had lived for a while in Venezuela and could speak a little English. So while we waited for the truck we have a chat and were given dinner just as the truck turned up. With the car loaded on the truck it was time for the long drive all the way over to the capital. When we got there the workshop was shut but we left the keys with Sheila's brother-in-law who works in the office there. The bad news came early next week when we were given the quote, just a little over 1000€ as we had broken all 4 sets of valves.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Carrots and Onions

This afternoon once the rain had cleared. I started to plant out some of the veg for winter. the first thing to go out was the carrots and onions. These are planted together to try and confuse the pests and keep them away.
The strange looking silver things are in fact orange squash bottles that have been sliced in half. these should help to protect the seeds and plants underneath.

The pepper plants that we put in as two inch high little things at the beginning of summer are going well and producing lots of lovely red and green peppers.

Top of the wall, mah

It seems to be a week for toping off walls – First we have finished the curved parapet wall at the front of the house. When I say finish, I mean that the wall is built, now I have to get the whole thing rendered. I am not looking forward to that, my plastering is not that good.

The last block on the curved Parapet.

Miracles of Miracles, We have finished the first repair to the terrace wall, its only taken 2 years to do it….. Now we just have to finish the second repair and put some concrete in at the base of the walls so that more does not collapse.

The wall is  finished….

And we have started to reinforce the base of the wall to
stop more coming down.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm a big girl now

Yes, I am a big girl now.

Every year in September I have to go and do the paperwork to sign on as self employed. This involves going to the Hacienda (Tax Office) Filling in a form (Cost 1 euro). then taking that form to the counter and getting it stamped, then off you go all the way into town as the Tax Office is on the road out of town by the port, to get the forms photocopied. Then you walk all the way back to the Social Security offices which are next door to the Hacienda to fill in another form and go to the desk to get it stamped. Then they give you a bit of paper that you have to take to the bank to pay this months contributions So it then its back into town to the bank.

This year I managed to do all the paperwork with out assistance and without having to have somebody along to translate.

I would like to thank Sheila for all the times she has helped me with this in the past.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thank you Dan...

I wanted to especially thank Dan at the end of his two week stay for the help that he has given us. He has pushed us to get things done and probably done more in these two weeks than we could have done in a month. I will admit that it has been hard to have something for him to do… mainly because we are not that well organised although I have most things that we need to do in my head, they don’t all ways come out in the correct order

One of the main things he has helped us with is repairing the terrace walls that have fallen. In April Sheila and Carlos helped clean up the last fall and then we put in the concrete base for the wall, but that was the last that we worked on it. now in the two weeks that wall is almost finished. It would have been completed but we ran out of rocks.

How the wall looked when Dan Arrived
What it looks like now

Dan also helped us with the other wall that I have been working on for most of the last two years. (I seem to ignore these walls in favour of the house or patio). It only needed the top finishing with concrete but we never seemed to get around to it. Well thanks for the help with that as well Dan. All that needs now is to be toped of with a concrete cap and it is finally finished (will it be another year before that is done?)

Other wall with top reinforced with concrete. 

And from below.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Drains a GoGo.

Now it is final the time to get the drains to where they need to go, into the bathroom, though it may be sometime before the bathroom is done. Once the connection is there that is one more thing off my todo list.

Its not a hard job just run the three drain pipes across the entrance way and then through half a meter of wall (that Dan was so good to have tunnelled out). You are probably thinking why three pipes, most drains only have one. Well we are looking at water recycling so any waste water from the shower, sink or bath needs to be kept separate from the waste from the loo. The other drain is for rain water and any ground water that gets under the floor in the bathroom.

Instructing Dan on how to do drains (The blind leading the blind)

Finally a connection to the bathroom From the top;
Main drain to the loo, next gray water drain
and finally rain and ground water drain

And here are the drains in the Bathroom to be.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Final bits of the bathroom roof

A year ago we had the roof put on the old water tank so as to use it as the bathroom. To finish the outside off, the roof needs a parapet, some drainage pipes and the walls will then need rendering. I wanted to do this as last year the bathroom walls leaked where the rendering had cracked due to the building work.

The first job is to create the parapet walls. The one by the front door is only 1 block high but the one on the side of the house by the gate is 3 blocks high and has a curved corner by the gate. This wall also curves down the the current low parapet on the old roof.

As well as put the blocks on, drain pipes have to be added so the the water gets off the roof. These had to be cut into the edge of the concrete roof to provide the correct angel.

Blocks laid out for low parapet wall with pipe for drain
after it was cut in to roof concrete.

Blocks in place.

And from the other side

Work on the outside parapet wall.

Work ended for the day, time to clean up.

Friday, September 04, 2009

In goes a beam....

I have been a bit worried about the old kitchen chimney since we removed the fire hood, so we have a nice little concrete beam to put in to support the roof and chimney. We cast the beam a month ago so that it would have time to obtain it’s strength. and now with Dan here we can try and get it in place.

So with a hammer and chisel I started to cut the holes in the wall to take the beam, as the roof slopes one was much larger then the other. But very shortly (and with Dan helping from the outside) we had two very nice holes.

First hole on the inside

And on the outside


And the smaller one on the other side of the room

Now with the holes in place we had to get the beam in the holes…. The first idea I had was to bring the beam in through the kitchen door and up and into the holes. but as the beam was up on the car park, the through suddenly hit me .. Why lug it all the way down and then strain lifting it up. it was much simpler to just put it through the first hole from the out side. Which is what we did. I will not say it was a simple job but with the three of us it was not long before it was in place .

Look a beam….

I had planed to put a bed of mortar on the top of the beam before jacking it up as the ceiling was not even. But this did not work to well as the mortar hardened to quickly so we have to remove it and jack it up again. Before mortaring the beam in at the ends and leaving it to set for several days.

The beam in and waiting for the mortar to set.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The magical tunneling seal...

Dan Has arrived for a two week visit, but he says that he is not here for a rest, but to work... GREAT! So we have put him to work tunnelling into the old water tank that will be the bathroom. its over half a meter thick at the base and part rock and concrete.

A happy drilling sealy

So of Sealy went with the new heavy drill and half an hour later the drill started to spark and quit... So he was left with hammer and chisel

Now just left with a hammer and chisel

And it was not that long and he was through.....

We have break through

A hole in the wall .

OK we now have the hole so we have to put the drains in... Oh and we need to get the drill repaired or swapped for a new one...