2012 – Hot, Hot, Hot….

Well summer certainly hit us this week with temperatures here in Pinos rising above 40 degrees!  There was a breeze blowing but it felt like sticking your head in a fan oven – not even Ginger wanted to go out for a walk in the heat! The cross we have to bear for living in this beautiful part of Spain (“lucky buggars” I hear you muttering back in the UK as you dodge the latest downpour)!!!  Over the winter months, when it can get down to freezing temperatures here in the mountains, we forget just how hot it can get.  For those lucky few with pools, they can dip in and out to cool off, for the rest of us we just have to keep drinking the beer!!!

Another new website is The Lecrin Valley, providing information about our beautiful area and some of it’s history.  August is fiesta time here in Spain so we’ll soon have our senses bombarded with loud rockets going off, marching bands & the usual mid-night fiesta music – I’m sure Ginger can’t wait!!!!!

Back to more news on what we’ve been up to.  At last the Utility/Store area is now all painted and finished!  It took a while but was worth it.  I spent a couple of days unpacking some of the boxes that have been storing odds and ends for the last 6 years and these have now found places in the new cupboards etc.  Slowly our box pile is going down.  In the current economic climate I think we’ll be here for a while.  Some other jobs done are: side of the house all newly painted, roof tiles pointed up, last new downstairs window in & new reja – decorative bars, fitted (recycled stair rails – hubby has slowly been dismantling our stair rails to make new rejas – just have to be careful when going up and down stairs now – we’ll get new ones eventually – it’s all part of the plan – well his plan). Reja now painted and window ledges sealed.  Next job is to sort out the corner of the old mill area at the back of the house where we store all our “stuff” so that things can be moved around and placed in some sort of order to give us space to start work on another area of the house.   It’s like a game of chess with strategic movements of furniture/boxes to give us space to proceed with the next lot of work.  So as you can see we’ve been keeping busy with one thing or another and one day I’ll be reporting that at last the work is done and we can finally open as a B&B, BUT until then we’ll get our heads down and carry on!

Looking foward to seeing my friend again who is coming to visit in September and having some R&R time together.

Well that’s all for now folks.

Work on Utility/Store Progresses

Well it’s been 3 months since my last update and I can now confirm that we have the new entrance between the utility & kitchen in place and the old one is well and truely blocked up (not a job we were looking forward to and the dust gets everywhere but at least that’s one more messy job out the way).  Now that we’ve got used to the new route into the kitchen it is soooo much better.  Hubby is just finishing off the last few decorative trims on the units and then I’ve got yet more painting to do.  I’ve already painted the Store Room, Cloakroom, Passage way & Doors, just the the last bit to do and then I can repaint the kitchen too and that bits all done!  He’s even fitted our new door buzzer which connects to an entry phone in the utility so I can talk to whoever it is waiting in the porch – if it’s some one I don’t want to see then I won’t bother going down to answer the door!!!  Not sure what the next job is as that on the list stored in his head.

After a very dry Spring we are now well and truely in to summer and after a week of nice comfortable temperatures they are due to start rising again into the 30’s within the next few days.  Ginger has already had a hair cut (did that at the end of May) and after a hour and a half and a carrier bag full of fur she was looking quite sorry for herself but now it’s getting hot she’s glad she hasn’t got the winter coat.  She was beginning to look a little “portly” and we thought that after the haircut she might lose a little of the portlyness but no – she’s still looking a little on the chubbyside and now nothing to hide under!  As it’s getting hot I’m sure that like us she’ll not feel like eating so much and will lose the “Winter Layer”.  We’ll see – if not I see an enforced diet for the winter months.

Spring 2012 Has Sprung

My word – where has the time gone!  Can’t believe the last time I updated the blog was October last year – I’m getting very slack in my old age – forgive me.

Well over the winter we’ve done a bit more on the house – the outside is all finished now and we’ve been back working inside.  We’ve taken yet another floor out and replaced it with a nice new strong one.  We weren’t going to do it but hubby wasn’t happy with the strength of the old one and once we started taking it up we discovered a few rotten beams so glad we did.  We now have a new solid floor at a lower level than before in what was the old bathroom area – this area has now been sectioned off to create a new store room, cloakroom & utility.  We are currently working on all the electrics and have already done the plumbing and waste pipes.  We’re trying to get as much done in there before the messy work of knocking through to the existing kitchen.  The new entrance will be where our oven unit currently sits so there’ll be some moving around to do and chaos for a few weeks till the old steps up to the kitchen are blocked off and the new entrance completed.  Fingers crossed by the summer we’ll be ready to do the finishing touches.

Haven’t been snowboarding this year after last years little accident and he still can’t get his snowboard boots on as his ankle is still slightly swollen even after 12 months and he didn’t want to risk it so soon after breaking it – perhaps next year we’ll get to go up – hopefully the house will be nearing completion by then.  At this rate I’m hoping that by Summer 2014 the work will be just about finished and we can start the B&B – till then family and friends are all welcome.  Looking forward to seeing my friend again in September (you know who you are)!!

Well that’s all for now.

Autumn Has Arrived

Where has the time gone – can’t believe we are just 8 weeks away from Christmas!  Don’t want to think about it just yet.

Work on the side of the house has come on a lot and hubby’s been busy continuing the stone cladding along the side street and put the last new window in.  He’s also got the new side door in and so happy the old metal one has gone (everytime you opened it there was such a noise – now we have a lovely new rustic wooden door and a new little porch.  He’s now working on the tile work on the rest of the side wall.  (We’ve decided to put tile cladding on the remaining part of the wall as it is where the house naturally splits and in the future the house could possibly be split in two and half sold off – we’re keeping our options open and always thinking ahead for potential saleablity.  We’ve already got 2 water meters fitted and the electric box has been put in for future development potential).  Considering we lost 5 months of work on the house due to his broken ankle things have moved on quite a bit.  The aim is to get just about all the ouside finished before the worst of the winter sets in and then carry on working on the inside of the house.  Some how don’t think we’ll be snowboarding this Christmas!  Not sure what we’ll be doing this year – will play it by ear.

Happy Hallowean and another update to come before Christmas.

New Entrance Porch is finished – more or less

Well at last we have finished the new entrance porch – well just about – we still have to fit the light on the wall and entry intercom but they are minor things.  We’ve also finished – more or less, the stone cladding on the lower half of the wall at the front and it certainly sets the house off nicely.  We’ve been getting some nice comments from our spanish  neighbours and are really pleased with it. Just got to carry on with the stone work now around the corner and up the street to the back of the house!  Should keep hubby quiet for a while – if you like jigsaw puzzles then this is right up your street – if not it will drive you up the wall – thankfully he’s somewhere in between!!

Summer Has Arrived!

Well summer has well and truely arrived and we have temperatures up in the mid to high 30’s – great when you are relaxing on holiday but having to work in the heat is another matter!  Even the fish in the resevoir below Pinos are suffering and hundreds have died from what the authorities think is oxygen starvation due to an increase in algae in the water, but they are still doing more tests – tests on the water came back normal.  I could see fish floating on the surface when I passed by this morning on my way out of the village.

We’ve made a start on our new porch and have built the new brick archway and tiled the floor and step to the new front door.  We’re tiling the inner walls and the next job is to put the finish on the walls before we can paint.  Then we can add the finishing touches and it’s all done and can move on to the next job – cladding the lower part of the exterior walls in stone.  Suffering with a broken ankle put hubbys work plan back by 6 months so we need to get as much done on the outside whilst we have dry weather and then move back to the work inside.

Still keeping busy with the TV work and other bits and pieces so no chance of us getting bored!!

Our local Fiesta, San Roque, takes place in August from 12 – 16th.  The peace and tranquility of the village is shattered and you can’t find a place to park but they do have a good time!!

Well that’s all for now folks – have a great summer whatever you do.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!!  For those back in the UK – enjoy the lovely sunny, warm weather, for those over here in Spain – make sure you have an umbrella with you!!  We’ve got the UK’s usual bank holiday weather!!  Still at least we know we’ll definitely get a hot, sunny summer.

Just about caught up on our backlog of satellite tv work and now feeling a lot more relaxed.  Back at the hospital 12 May and see what the x-ray brings up for the broken ankle.  If all’s looking good then we’ll order 5 tonne of sand and start working again on the house.  Lots to do on the outside to finish it off and to build the new entrance porch.  Once this is done we’ll start back on the inside work.

Still Plastered!

Just a quick update to say hubby is still in plaster after breaking his ankle on Xmas Day.  It’s now six weeks since he did it and we are now trying to get an x-ray done to see if it’s healed enough to take the plaster off.  I took a trip to the medical centre last week and got a form to fill in and off we went this morning armed with all the necessary paperwork only to find the centre closed!  Not just us though another lady there also wondering what was happening – she pondered and then suddenly remembered – it was local fiesta time so everywhere was closed!  Typical I muttered and she smiled an understanding smile.  So we’re back there tomorrow but before we left I popped next door to Emergencies and asked if the medical centre would be open tomorrow for definate and I was assured it would be – however being a distrusting sole I’ve now found the phone number and will ring up in the morning before we set off to make sure!  If it’s closed then it looks like another trip on Monday.  At this rate it’ll be Easter before the plaster comes off (either that or he’ll just take it off himself!).

Work on the street at the side of our house is nearly complete and it’s looking very nice.  Must be one of the best streets in the village!!

Spring is on it’s way as almond blossom is everywhere around at the moment and it’s looking stunning and the air smells wonderful.  We’ve got lovely sunny weather at the moment but the temperatures are cold – perfect walking weather and to take in the stunning views.

Well that’s all for now – will keep you posted when hubby is released from his enforced holiday (it’s done his PS3 gaming the world of good – up to Level 28 on GT5, trouble is he’s getting bored and restless now and wants to get back to work!).

UPDATE:

Ankle still in the healing process and taking longer than anticipated.  Ended up at the Clinico in Granada last Monday after getting an x-ray done locally and seeing his ankle hasn’t healed yet.  After spending 5 hours at the clinico in Granada he had another plaster fitted and told to come back on 21st Feb for another assessment and to see if it’s getting any better.  They said it has started to heal but it taking longer than we anticipated (probably down to age!!!).  So he’s is still chained to the PS3 chomping at the bit to get back on 2 feet and start working again.

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to our satellite tv customers who have been very understanding and are willing to wait for us to do the work once all is healed – we greatly appreciate your support and it looks like we’ll have a busy time ahead of us.

Weather has turned wet this week but if the forecast is right by the weekend the sun should be shinning again!!  At least the campo will benefit from the rain and all my plants on the terrace which haven’t been watered for a while.

That’s all for now folks – keep you posted on the invalid!

Happy New Year

Well here we are in 2011 and work is continuing on the street at the side of our house.  They have now put new sewage pipes and water pipes in and the street has been dug down, old rocks taken out, leveled out with gravel and wire mesh laid!  Today they came to start laying the new surface but rain stopped play so to speak.  As it’s the weekend no more will be done till Monday now and weather is looking better for then.  Up until now we’ve had a mild sunny week with just the evenings getting a bit nippy.

We had an eventful Christmas – we went up to the Sierra Nevada to do some snowboarding on Christmas Day and met our friends up there.  Weather wasn’t great with very limited visibility but we thought “what the hec”.  We managed to get some runs in and stopped for a coffee/chocolate break at mid-day.  After that we thought we’d go up for another run then try a different one.  However after getting off the lift and only a short way down hubby took a tumble and hurt his ankle.  He couldn’t snowboard down to the bottom so I hiked back up to the ski lift with him to see if he could hop on to get down.  However the weather had got so bad they’d stopped the lift so they had to call for a snowmobile to take him down and I had to make my own down in virtual “white-out”.  Bad enough but as my board had been sitting in the snow it had iced up on the edges and was running backwards!  After scraping the ice off I managed to get it going in the right direction and got down to the center.  I met up with our friends and made our way to the Red Cross center only to be told they’d taken hubby down to the main Medical Center.  We made our way down there and I found him laying on a steel table with his leg in the air and a man putting bandages around it.  Thinking it was only a bad sprain I then found out he’d broken his ankle (he did say he heard it crack twice when he fell!).  After sorting out all the paperwork we borrowed a wheelchair and our friends helped us get back down to the car and hubby settled inside the passenger seat.  After returning the wheelchair we waved goodbye to our friends and we made our way home (thankfully they were staying up at the ski resort for a couple of days and got an excellent days skiing in the following day – which was clear and sunny – totally the opposite to Christmas Day).  Not exactly a Christmas present we’d wanted – I managed to buy some crutches from the local Pharmacy (25 euros which I thought was very reasonable) and he’s hobbling around the house on those and also using my office chair to whizz around on (thank goodness our living area is virtually on one level.)  Two weeks have passed since the break and two more to go before we have to go and get another x-ray to see if it’s healed enough to take the cast off.  In the meantime as he can’t do any work he’s honing his driving skills on the PS3 with Formula 1 and GT5!

Well that’s all for now – will let you know when hubby gets de-plastered!!

Hasta luego

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%!  We 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 – we 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.

We’ve managed to get our new front door fitted and it’s looking good.  The old door is still in-situ as there’s some more work on the new porch yet before we take it out.  In the meantime we’re finishing 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!).  We’ve now decided to take it easy on the run up to Xmas and hubby 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 too 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