Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spreading around cement

We have a few places where we need a couple of buckets of cement.


The first was just a little bit to finish off the wall on the lower patio.



Then a few loads behind the walls on the top level so that we can then put on some blocks on as the soil layer is a little bit higher than the top of the wall.


Then just to use up the remainder of the cement a little bit of the decorative garden wall.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tip top

A few weeks ago we built a small wall on the lower patio. we needed to pour some concrete behind this wall to finish it off.



So with that now done we can start work on the rest of the lower patio.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Garden mania

One of our aims this year is to try and grow as much of our vegetables as we can, so just before Christmas is our main planting season (no chance of frost here) before the winter rains set in.


So the first lot of brassicas are in along with onions, and boniartio (sweet potatoes). The old crop of sweet potatoes are being harvested and eaten as needed.


Up at the top level we have carrots, leeks, more brassicas at the far end, the tomatoes and peppers will be going soon.


Then back down on the lower level are the potatoes, these are the first crop planted in October which should be ready to harvest in January.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Having got the first part of the lower patio done we decided it would be nice just to put a small wall in at the end by the ram just to neaten things up.


So a few blocks later here it is, also at the same time we have straightened the edge of the ramp just to give it a better edge.


Just needs a fill with concrete behind to top off.


Also we have dug over the veg plots ready to take  brassicas (Cabbage, Cauliflower, broccoli)  and then beetroots and turnips in the second bed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Rinse and Repeat

Time to repeat the steps and do the third section of the Lower Patio.


Now this needs a few weeks to set before we bring down the cement mixer.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another stab at the slab

Having given the first section of the lower patio a few days to dry, it was time to move on to the  next section.


Once the frame is all pegged out it’s time to run up and down the side of the house with the cement until it’s filled.


So that's now 2 sections complete on 1 more to go then the cement mixer can be moved down then only the gravel needs shifting and that can be done in short periods over a few days.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Making a start


Finally we have made a start and poured the the first part of the lower patio. We have to mix slightly smaller mixes due to a small problem with the motor, and it’s hard work going up and down to the cement mixer but once we get the next couple of bits done we can bring the material down and the mixer, and mix at the bottom which will help to speed things up.


Just dug up a couple of the boniarto plants, and have a couple of nice ones to eat and the plants get stuck into water where they will produce roots ready to be planted for next years crop.


Then the potatoes were lifted ready to be  used to seed the next crop of spuds, the beds then will be raked and prepared to take the winter bulk crops like cabbages, beetroots and onions.

Friday, October 21, 2011

We’ve got your number

Finally after 4 years we have got the number on the house.


There it is we have just to paint the numbers and there it is.


Looks good doesn’t it.


And here is the chimney all blocked up with just a small gap at the top.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quick Step

The funny thing is sometimes the work seems to go on and on but every now and then things take a sudden jump.


The steps are now up to a point and we have started to put the top on the cupboard at the back of the steps.


And the painting of the east side of the house has moved on too, with both the walls and the window frames painted.


And we have made a start on the chimney, as we won’t be using this anymore with a real fire just as the vent exit for the extractor in the kitchen, it doesn’t need such a big opening, which lets in water when it rains. So with some cut bits of racillionies we are blocking it off except for a small gap at the top.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

There that’s better.


With all the work now done and the back of the house, the sill is now been fitted to the other window. We can put the pagoda back up for a while.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Busy Day

Today was another one of those days when we go round and work on half a dozen jobs at once.DSCF3948

A few more blocks go on to the steps, we are almost at the point of putting on the top of the cupboard to hold the watering valves.


And a little bit of concrete to make the base of a manhole to take the cables to various places on the lower patio.


Then using the rest of the cement just set in the top of the walls. And in the top of the photos you can see the rows of spuds that we have been putting in over the last few mornings, after we paid for someone to bring there machine in a rotivate the terrace as we haven’t fixed our machine yet.


Oblique shot showing the rows of spuds which should be ready about Christmas time.


Cleared out a levelled the corner by the font of the house ready to concrete the lower patio.


The window sill under the other window has had a few offcuts of tile and cement put in to bring it up to the right level for the tiles, then the paint touched up, once the tiles are on you won’t even notice.


We aren't the only ones working, our new German neighbours are having a lot of building work done to their house too.


And Tabby keeps an eye open for what Meep is up to while she lies in the shade.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Windows on the world


With the windows in and the walls painted, just a few finishing touches needed, a good example is the window sills on the outside. These are made with special tiles that you can buy which have a curved edge specifically designed to kick the water off. The are also the perfect colour as they match the paint of the woodwork and contrast against the yellow of the house just right.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Spot the difference


Now it may take a moment or two to spot what has changed between this photo and the previous ones. Yes it’s the drains that run from the outflows on the roof down and under the patio. So now when you have to go outside and it’s raining, you don’t get a face full of water if the wind is in the wrong direction. Also because these drains take the water well away from the house, the rooms under the house shouldn’t get as wet as they have in the past.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Oh No!!

Well it looks like the brown stuff has hit the fan, there were a couple of reports in the local papers this week about the situation between the education department and social security, and following this everything is stopped, there will be no “convocatoria” until the situation resolved, which could take years. We are now at rock bottom, we cannot at present see any way to move forward, the private teaching will give us a little bit of money to help out but not enough to cover everything.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A little bit more


It may not seem like much, but the surround for the back door is now finished. It’s had two coats of paint and looks fantastic. Also the wall has had it’s second coat and is finished as well. With these walls painted, we are hoping that the dampness will not get into the walls as much as in previous years.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A lick of paint

A last we are finally getting to what the whole objective of the work we have been doing is getting some paint on the outside of the house.


There that looks so much better, I must admit seeing the house now with just a single coat of paint on the western wall makes such a difference. But if you look closely you can see that at the far end there is a bit which isn’t done. We haven’t done this bit cause it drops down there and until we get the lower patio and steps done we can’t reach that bit.


And on the other side the wall on the bathroom is done.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Down the drain.

With the lower patio up to a certain level the drains to carry the water from the roof away, hopefully keeping the lower rooms dry so we can use them to store things with out getting damaged. 


First things first, dig a ditch, luckily due to the fact that this is largely infill material this is fairly easy.


Next a little sand to bed the pipe down and enable us to get the correct level. Also running a couple of conduits just in case we ever want to put power or something in the corner of the terrace.


Then re infill and tramp down to cover.  No just the tricky bit at the other end which involves redirecting the exiting drain from the bottom of the ramp so that it flows down and joins this drain. The also involved a bit of hard work chiselling away the rock to get the out flow in the right place and level.


Then just a little infill and a few rocks to make up the wall and job done.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Odds and Ends

One of the problems we have is that we have a large number of different jobs on the go at once so sometimes we end up doing half a dozen different jobs in one day, and today was one of those days.

First to tackle was some more blocks on the lower steps area.


On the back of the steps is going to be a little cupboard which will house the grey water valves and other stuff.


Next  just a little trim of the concrete under the window in the dining room so that we can put on some tiles to make a nice window sill. This is something we overlooked when we built the window in the first place.


Then just a few more bits of rendering on the vent hut


And there all jobs done for today.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


To finish off the vent hut we just need to put a small coat of render on to provide a good surface to paint and blend into the existing surface.


And with the left over render we can finish off one small area at the front of the house which just needed a little to smooth everything off.


with this little but of filling the front is now ready for painting.


Back of the house starting to look good.