You can almost now hear the clock ticking.  A while back this project seemed somewhat abstract; all mud and rubble, drawings and hard hats, planning applications and minutes of site meetings.  Now with the roof well on the way to being completed, with tiles being fitted and some of the gutters in place, time lines for the completion of the project are becoming clearer.  But remember, if the reconstruction of the house was not a large enough proposition, thoughts of the business that underpins this entire project are becoming increasingly important.

Our target date for opening is now coalescing around the 1st August 2011.  With the roof water tight our immediate thoughts are now on the weekly topic of the bathrooms.  Like any good thriller, that subject is approaching its climax if not its finale and like constipation, it’s not something to dwell on.  I can now sense the approach of a plethora of other issues hot on the heals of all things ceramic, as the partitions are put in place dividing rooms, piping and wiring are fed through the building and holes dug for grey waters and tanks etc.

In the meantime, we are increasingly turning to issues relating to the business – website, record keeping and the management of bookings, housekeeping, gardening, marketing and the more mundane daily chores.  Ultimately, on a personal level there is the family to move there, the school and more.  Lists may be a forte of mine, helping me to prioritise my days and weeks.  But we are now beginning to see the need for some kind of project management thingy……timeframe and deadlines, cut off points and room for the occasional if and but.  You might now have gleaned that I have never benefitted from any type of formal project management training, but there again I guess neither has most of mankind.  So let’s put that dampened middle finger in the air and trust on good old intuition to cobble together some kind of plan.

On site, the first of the two iron curtains that will mark all of the windows and arches have successfully been installed and are already starting to weather and wear, bearing copper and russet blotches and scars.  As mentioned tiles are lying in serried ranks on the roof and gutters fitted.

Back to the business itself, this afternoon we attended a seminar organised by the Department d’Innovació, Universitats I Empresa  of which Turisme is a part, the main protagonist and speaker being Conseller, l’ Honorable Senor Josep Huguet, the head of the aforesaid Catalan Ministry. By way of gist I managed to follow the drift of his talk.  The need for quality public and private tourist attractions and infrastructure in Catalunya…the emergence of Chinese tourists looking for city focused, heritage based attractions.  The broad canvas of what Catalunya has to offer – romanic heritage, beach holidays, gastronomic fare of the highest order, eco-tourism,  the need for improved quality and new means of communicating with an ever changing audience by way of the internet and twitter, facebook and if needs be smoke signals.  Having had the privilege of seeing first hand Mrs. Thatcher leave the House of Commons on the day she resigned as Prime Minister, having shook the hand of Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jnr. whilst campaigning in Boston and having drank a pint along with the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond it was nice to add to my list of ‘flirtations’ with luminaries of political, nae historic importance, that of a Catalan politician.  ‘Squeezing the flesh’ of the great and the good, we mere mortals simply follow our uncertain but somehow pre-destined paths while others try to determine theirs and ours too. ‘And why take ye thought of raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.  And yet …..even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Listen up politicians.

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