Happy Christmas!!!

Well it’s Christmas again (almost) and we seem to be having a “Ground Hog Day” week!  This time last year we were having heavy downpours and days of rain forecast and yet again a few days before Christmas here we go again!!  After spending all summer waterproofing all the areas where we thought our leaks were coming from imagine our disbelief when yet again a damp patch appeared over the window in our lounge (where the terrace drain is) and on the side wall where we had no damp at all last year! Thankfully the other wall that was absolutely saturated last year has stayed dry with the slightest circle of damp appearing at one corner so all the work sealing the wall seems to have paid off and we don’t have water coming in under the log store in the lounge so all in all we do seem to have cracked 80% of the problem – just got to locate the remaining 20%!  Phil seems to think it’s the other side of the terrace where the house joins up with next doors and their roof-line buts up against us – the amount of rain running down the roof and into the gully has been torrential so the water’s bound to find a small hole or crack to work it’s way in.  Trouble is it’s so difficult to get to and seal but we’ll have another go in the summer when everything dried out.  As for the leak above the lounge window – Phil will get the scaffolding out in the summer and point up all the bricks that form the under part of the small roof overhang as we think the water could be working it’s way back up.  Problem with the houses here is that they’re not designed for heavy prolonged rain and many other people are having similar problems with their terraces – some make ours look like nothing (which in the scheme of things compared to last years leaks we’ve got off very lightly so far!!!).  However they are forecasting some dry weather from Friday onwards and we are hoping this year that we’ll be able to get up to do some snowboarding on Xmas Day.  I’ve got some new snowboard boots that I bought back in March and haven’t had a chance to try them out yet!  Been walking around the house in them to bed them in.  Fingers crossed I get to try them out at the weekend.

Phil managed to get our new front door fitted and it’s looking good.  The old door is still in-situ as he’s got to do some more work on the new porch yet before he takes it out.  In the meantime he’s finished building the new fireplace in the hallway which will house our new log burning stove that will (eventually) run the new central heating system (fingers crossed it’ll be up and running by next winter!).  He’s now decided to take it easy on the run up to Xmas and is currently on Formula 1 2010 on the PS3 and doing very well with his races!

We’ve been wondering for quite a while if the local town hall would ever repair the little street that runs down the side of our house through to the back street, as they seem to have repaired every other street in the village.  I asked at the town hall a few weeks ago and just got a shrug of the shoulders and a “no se”!  However we awoke yesterday morning to the sound of a dumper truck outside, voices and then lots of thumping noises – upon opening the window to have a look we saw at least 7 people outside starting to break up the street!!!  We had a chat with the Jefe (boss man) who said they were repairing the street – yipee.  However after digging down not to far they started uncovering the old drains that service our house and the old water supply pipework that feeds into our house.  There are pipes everywhere and no one has a clue where they all come from and go to – we have 2 stop taps outside now – one which was buried and we didn’t know about.  As we had to go out working yesterday we left them to it.  Upon returning we discovered that the buried stop tap was turned off which had cut the water to our kitchen, however the water in our en-suite was still running so it appears we have two water supplies feeding into the house!  The street had been left as a rubble building site and we had to clean out the rubble from the broken drain cover and put something over the top to stop rubbish been washed in and blocking it (it services our kitchen, bathroom & water run off from the back terrace and patio so if it blocks we’ve got BIG problems).  As it started raining last night and hasn’t really stopped since it’ll be a quagmire out there by the time they come back to start more work on it – which by the look of the weather will be after Xmas now!  At least they’ve roped off the 2 ends of the street to stop people walking through it.  We asked the Jefe it they were going to install new drains but he said no – however after uncovering the old rusting water pipes he said they would replace them with new ones – once they’ve worked out where they all go to and come from!   I have a feeling the work outside on the side street is going to take a few weeks!  I’ll put an update here in the new year.
Ginger is still with us and well – sleeping at the moment as it’s too wet to go out – she came for a quick walk with me this morning when the rain eased up but she’s definitely not in the mood for going outside at the moment!  She ended up having a shower yesterday as she’d found something a bit smelly and rolled in it so in the shower she went.  She did the same thing a few weeks ago and had 3 showers in one week – she smells lovely afterwards (our orange and chamomile shampoo) and once she’s all dry goes soft and fluffy!

Well that’s all for now – hope you all have a great Christmas whatever your plans (I fear some of you back in the UK may not be going far with all the snow – at least you’ll have a white Christmas!).

Hasta luego

Mel & Phil 😉