The holidays are over, the New Year has been seen in, the Reis (Kings) have come and gone and the Christmas tree……well, it hasn’t been put away or recycled in some municipal chipping scheme.  No ours being in a pot, was bound up and taken up to La Rectoria this morning.  The intention being that it will be replanted ‘al costat de la casa’….next to the house providing annual external Christmas decoration, Hark!

Yes, holidays there may have been but our builders et al have been cracking on – more later.  Meanwhile today Goretti and I had a meeting with Angel, our Fuster to get a better handle (no pun intended) on finishes to wardrobes, windows and doors, locks, hinges, cupboards and all things carpentry.  His workshop not unexpectedly was all things wood; workbenches and vices, power saws and clamps, thumping great hydraulic presses and rolls of laminates.  We were shown to a bench arrayed with a neat row of dyed wood samples – 20 odd – labeled in ‘English’ with an arc of nail varnish sized bottles of dyes arranged behind these.  Next to this were three larger samples of dyed wood, which it soon transpired were suggestions for the finishes to the windows.  The ‘dark oak’ finish was, well, just too dark. The ‘olive’ a tad too green, with the clear winner being ‘old oak’.  One significant decision made.

Goretti presented our case as to what we wanted the ‘carcass’ – the interior – of our wardrobes to be.  Hinges for the doors of these were shown (satisfactory) and then the controversial ‘toca-toca’ opening and closing system for the said doors.  Yes controversial as I for one have had my reservations of the system – tap the door in the appropriate place and the door simply opens.  Easy,yeah.  But where do you touch the door?  Will your white door remain white for long?  Sorry, I’m too much of cynic for ‘toca-toca’ and the consensus is to fit handles.   Units for the commercial kitchen were gone over – functional and simple.  Finally, cupboards for linen etc. were touched on and the meeting with our genial joiner was over.

Next up was a brief meeting at La Rectoria with Joan, our local Alcalde (mayor) and gardener.   We were seeking advice on how to cut back and make more productive the hazel trees which mark the edge of the lawn.  Of late they have become somewhat lanky and unproductive, bearing few hazelnuts.  Once we know what to do, management of these little gems should be straightforward.  Care of the ‘plataner tree’ is less so.  Standing to the front of the house some 20 or so metres high, it’s slender fingerlike branches point sharply skywards and these need regular attention and given the size of our specimen someone else will have to undertake the task of its annual ‘haircut’. 

About two weeks ago we enlisted the help of local farmer Pere, to prepare the ground adjacent to the house for sowing as a lawn.  Our son and his cousin greatly enjoyed the spectacle as the soil was torn up and many of the bamboo roots with it.  We have been told the best time to sow the grass seed is at the beginning of march and so be it.  We had hoped to attach a video we made of this wee event but on finding that we would have to pay WordPress a fee of $60.00 or thereabouts, you will have to settle for some photos instead.   The final item on the gardening front  has been our request to look after the small floor beds and borders between La Rectoria and the Church.  Some of these we would like to use to grow herbs, rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, basil, chives etc, primarily for the kitchen, but in addition to other fragrant ones to offer up rich aromas as you approach the house.  A formal arrangement will be established with the local village.

Which leads me neatly to finish off.  The final coat of plaster has started to be applied to the rooms on the top floor prior to painting…….they really are cracking on.

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