Thursday 14 May 2015
Overcast with heavy rain later
The revisit on our main house is tomorrow and OH wastes at least one hour in trying to persuade me to cancel it. Yes, I know some of the paint is falling off the outside wall and the Hammerite has decided to chip on the entrance gates and the patio is filthy, but I know that these are just superficial and it is the location that is the most important to the clients. The lady came many months ago when OH was away and I had cleaned for a week and the house was looking lovely.
OH then says he will clean the patio, which is extensive and wraps around two sides of the house. When I chose the stone, a pale cream colour, I had no concept of how dirty it would become, and was blissfully unaware of the saga that would follow in getting it laid but that is a story for another day. Normally, we would use the well water for all outside jobs but the pump is not pumping up any water from the well, despite its best efforts. We are scared rigid that it will involve digging up the patio to discover where the break in the pipe is. All normal methods of fixing the water supply have failed.
The pump is in the former hen/pig house and has a room to itself. There is a five feet tall water tank and an impressive amount of copper piping. The pump itself sits like a smug red bug at the foot of the tank. Periodically, air gets into the system and you have to remove a small black screw and then feed water into the system, re-screwing up the black screw and turning the pump on until the water comes through. If you don't put the screw in properly, the water shoots up and soaks you and you have to spend an age looking for the screw which will have shot into an inaccessible corner. This method has so far failed and there is obviously a more sinister reason why the water isn't coming through. We still owe the plumber for the work on the new rental unit, although he hasn't quite finished, and daren't ring him in case he decides to part invoice us and we don't have the cash to pay him. Selling the big rental unit will pay for a lot of these problems. The buyers are going to see their notary tomorrow. The alternative is to use the mains water tap but there isn't a connector for the hosepipe so we are stuck and two hours go by whilst OH tries to fix on some fixations and cant manage it. I clean like a demon and put away the vast amount of stuff that is trailing around on every surface and most of the floors. Oh to live with someone tidy!!!
Just before midday, go and see a property fifteen minutes away in a little village. It is utterly charming, mid 19th century, in cream exposed stone. The building is L shaped and the approach is via a flagged courtyard and wrought iron curlicue gates. The lady bursts out of the kitchen, smiling and friendly. I note the basque writing over the door and she is impressed that a stranger would know what it meant (ongi etorri - welcome). I don't say that I only have road-sign basque... Of course the basques do not call their land basque - they call it Euskal Herria - basque homeland, the language is Euskadi (oosh kadi) but I digress.
The rooms are rather cosy in dimensions, the largest being the dining kitchen with massive open fireplace. The table is set for lunch, salade de feves, fresh baguette, vin rosé and a tiny posy of flowers. It is a public holiday today - one of four this month. An obese adolescent boy sits at the table the whole time I am there, stomach rumbling and plays with his knife and fork. I whizz round in an hour and then back home.
OH is hoovering with the end off the hoover. It drives me mad. Why would a hoover have an end if you can hoover better without? At least he has cleaned up the back hall and so called laundry room (dumping ground for all fishing stuff, plus laundry, plus boots and DIY stuff) so at least you can get into the room. I change the beds and get to grips with the voile curtains for the living room. Bought from Ikea and originally intended for the big rental unit, the voile curtains are a good four metres long. The living room windows are much smaller so I pin the curtains up just behind the tape so as they are half size. This saves a lot of sewing and angst as, in my experience, material squishes out when you sew a hem together, and by the time you get to the other end, you have, mysteriously at least a few cms of overhang.
There is a Skype call incoming and, wonderful news, WF has a job!!! Again three months but just a short train journey from his house. Nearly ten pounds an hour too so he will be able to pay the rent, carry on trying to pass his driving test, and save some cash. He will be processing orders for broadband internet. The hours appear to be 8-8 during the week and 8-2 on Saturdays. I thought the working week was 35 hours? A voir.
Have siesta. Rain hammers on the roof and the shutters judder in their moorings. OH is still muttering 'the house wont look good' as I nod off.
The NZ ladies email to say they will be over on Saturday to review the house and meet with AW the builder.