Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Busy old Philistines

It´s wild out there this morning. Every dog in town is barking, howling, hooting, or yapping. The sun is shining down bright, and the news man says this is the only sunny place in Spain today -- and it will remain so right through to Friday.

It´s wild in here, too. There´s a truck out back dumping a load of sand, and a truck out front loaded with drywall and boxes of insulation. Extra men have been called in to unload things and stack them around the yard. The dogs are underfoot... or in Tim´s case, lovestruck and constantly moaning and mooning and running down to the plaza to visit Segundino´s German Shepherd, who is in heat. Which probably explains why all the other dogs are wacko too.

And in the middle of it all walks in a pilgrim: Dael, a bearded old soul from deepest Scotland. Coffee is made. A tour of the works is conducted. Paddy takes the dogs out for a quick spin.
(the picture is Jesus the tile guy and Franco the plumber, doing up the kitchen walls.)
We need to go to Villada at 11, to see about putting me on state medical benefits. Paddy gets free medical care here, seeing as he is English, and England is part of the European Union. I am American, but seeing as I´m married to him, I´m supposedly entitled to free medical care, too. So we shall see. Socialism is not so bad. (I don´t know what the American paranoia is about socialized medicine. The state-run medical care here is right out on the forefront of European medicine. The hospitals are more hygienic than those in USA! Even so, I now have private medical insurance. It costs about $1,200 a year. Amazing.)

In the afternoon is a rather important Town Meeting, wherein people from St. Nicolas and Moratinos will supposedly discuss re-doing the Moratinos town hall to provide us with a community meeting/dinner/reception/card-playing space. No one´s sure where the put the doctor´s consultancy room (he comes by every Friday.) We´ll go and see what happens.

Dael the Scot is stopping at Sahagun. He´s coming over for dinner tonight, so we have to get things here straightened up here and there both... I´ve gotta get the lasagna out of the Sahagun freezer and over to Moratinos to thaw in the microwave. We´ve gotta keep the dogs out of the house, as they´re pouring very expensive self-leveling concrete in there, irresistible to Una.

Being busy is good, especially when it´s sunny. Here are some pictures of the progress in the backside of the house, the part that faces the weather. Up top is January, all that bare adobe takes all the harsh wind and rain. It was in sorry shape.

The men have since removed the tin roof, built a whole new brick wall in front of the really wavy adobe one. Above the tile roof they attached chicken wire to the really eroded adobe, and laid on successive layers of concrete render, to seal it from the weather. (the other side is drywalled, but with sufficient space inside to ´breathe.´ Adobe´s gotta breathe, man! It´s a living organism!)

I´m part of an internet user group of expats who are doing over old Spanish houses... a pursuit considered terribly middle class in UK. My use of drywall and contractors and other ´shortcuts´ a couple of weeks ago earned me the title "Philistine!" (I rather enjoy that... when I covered religion I proudly wore the label "Unwitting Tool of Satan" for a while!)

Sometimes I do agree. We bought a funky old mud house, and now all this drywall and concrete and straight lines are going to rob our place of all its rustic charm. And then I think of what it´s like living in a house with dirt walls exposed to day-to-day friction and moisture. The spiders, the mice, the bits of straw in my dinner...

Bring on the drywall, boys! And if you want, use a nail gun to stick it up there!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is my advice for what is worth. My wife and I pay around 150 euros a month for a Sanitas medical plan and we´d been very happy with it.

I`m happy to see things look much better than used to in The Peaceable.