Packing up

Exciting, anxious, stressful times?  If the adrenalin isn’t coursing through the veins every now and then something must be amiss.  It makes the senses more acute, awakening that primeval fight or flight condition.  An adrenalin rush isn’t exactly what I need at the moment, as having somewhat carelessly broken a bone in ‘me foot’ I’mContinue reading “Packing up”

‘F’s to the fore.

I guess you could include F****** A in the above but the F here alludes principally to the façade, floors and other fixtures and finishes. But firstly, the finishing and the closure of yet another chapter in my working life. The teaching year in Barcelona is beginning to wind down and I have started toContinue reading “‘F’s to the fore.”

Seafood and sofas

Clichésville here we come….well, the circle has almost been squared and with each week that passes the finish line would appear to be just around the next corner.   No, we are not about to announce a concrete opening date, but the changes that are taking place each week are palpable. Most recently, holes have beenContinue reading “Seafood and sofas”

Snow fun (does anyone remember The Stooges?)

One diversion I’ve omitted to mention since we started this blog is skiing. Well, today I rolled back fifteen or sixteen years to enjoy a superb day’s spring skiing – in France. Hardly next door to La Rectoria, yes, but an invitation from friends to join them for a weekend’s skiing was not going toContinue reading “Snow fun (does anyone remember The Stooges?)”

Rain stops play

My weekly visit to the site has been postponed until tomorrow.   Persistent heavy rain prevented any kind of activity today including a visit we had planned to Montmelo.  The motor circuit is just down the road from here in Cardedeu and home to the Catalunya Grand Prix.  The plan had been to get there earlyContinue reading “Rain stops play”

Shades of white

‘There aren’t enough hours in the day’ …..bollocks!   If there were more I can only surmise that I’d be awake for longer and therefore get proportionally less sleep.   As things are right now when we are not working our ‘spare time’ is taken up by La Rectoria.   And now our antennae are more acutely tunedContinue reading “Shades of white”

Pause for thought

Winter has but flirted with Catalunya this year.  Last Sunday we spent a sun splashed day in the garden continuing to cut back the neglected hazel trees which line the edge of the lawn.  In the bright, warm and intense ‘winter sunshine’ I had to strip down to my T-shirt as temperatures touched 20°C.  NotContinue reading “Pause for thought”

Cool off and reflect

This past week has been cold by any standards and most mornings I have had to scrape ice from the car windows with the thermometer showing -4°c as I drove off to work.  The cold snap had done nothing to improve the somewhat dire situation in the Pyrenees which have been largely bereft of snowContinue reading “Cool off and reflect”

La Rectoria de Sant Miquel a public presentation: Arquipíndoles, Col.legi Arquitectes de Girona

 On a very wet and pretty windy evening on Tuesday 22nd of  December, Goretti was invited by the Collegi d’Arquitects de Girona to give a talk about the restoration of La Rectoria.  Hers was one of seven talks that evening, the theme of which was ‘Construir sobre construit’ or ‘Building on top of built’….Restoration I guess,Continue reading “La Rectoria de Sant Miquel a public presentation: Arquipíndoles, Col.legi Arquitectes de Girona”

Butifarra, bamboo i barbacoa

While I’ve neglected to keep you up to date with progress on La Rectoria, the builders, plumbers and electricians have been anything but idle.  On the first and second floors all of the partitioning has been built delineating bathrooms, bedrooms, storage areas, living rooms and dining rooms.  We are now being harried to make decisions concerningContinue reading “Butifarra, bamboo i barbacoa”

Indian summer – getting ready for the party!

With what has been a glorious week of weather, the roof has been made water tight, if not yet finished.  On Thursday the final insulation and water proof layer were put in place and on Friday the final compression layer was applied.  Therefore, rain or shine the roof has been sealed and all that remainsContinue reading “Indian summer – getting ready for the party!”

‘Back to work’

On the building site and in the classroom it was back to work this week.  Hods and grammar books in hand, the summer was over and work commenced.  The workforce on site has been doubled – from two to four – and the difference is self evident in what has been achieved this week alone. Continue reading “‘Back to work’”

‘576 days’

Thoughts on the house have taken something of a U Bend turn this week as our attention has moved to the bathrooms.  Which leads me neatly to writing a wee post script to last week’s piece.  A French motorway service station information board drew my attention to the fact that much of the route we hadContinue reading “‘576 days’”

‘In Absentia’

Of late we have turned our backs on La Rectoria and have for some of that time been home.  By home I mean the land of my birth, my spiritual home, Scotland. ……’you can take the man out of Scotland but you can’t take Scotland out of the man’ kind of thing.  Nationalism, that feelingContinue reading “‘In Absentia’”

‘Dipping ceiling tiles – fun for all the family’

So here we go again.  This isn’t a reference to the blog but to our second camping expedition to La Rectoria in the space of one month.   Camping doesn’t cause me any problems, relative peace and quiet, no TV, your day dictated by the number of daylight hours etc.  No, it’s trying to remember everythingContinue reading “‘Dipping ceiling tiles – fun for all the family’”

‘That end of term feeling’

The schools in Catalunya broke up for the summer holidays five weeks ago and since then many of the kids have been occupied in Cases de Colonies (summer camps) of one form or another.  Our five year old son spent three weeks attending what could loosely be called a tennis camp…..swimming, tennis, gymkhana, water fight,Continue reading “‘That end of term feeling’”

‘Something to grumble about’

The sun is high in the sky during these weeks and if you are fortunate enough a walk may occasionally be accompanied by a light warm breeze.  Not surprisingly, mornings are the freshest part of the day and if I feel up to it I go for a short run around Cardedeu. As rapidly asContinue reading “‘Something to grumble about’”

‘Horseradish and heat’

Who better to draw on today for a suitable metaphor than Noel Coward and his ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’.  For so it was today.  Better prepared for hot beating sun –  30°c in the shade – armed with strimmer, visor, wide brimmed peasant style fedora, factor 50 cream, bottles of iced water I set to likeContinue reading “‘Horseradish and heat’”

School desks

School day memories have come back over the last few days.  Tucked away in the corner of what is our store room in Cardedeu is an old wooden desk of the type we had at Lathallan all of 40 years ago.  At the front is the wooden furrow where pens and pencils rested and sittingContinue reading “School desks”

‘Concrete and steel’

On Friday I was meant to go into Barcelona first thing to meet up with a colleague, but leadened skies and heavy rain put paid to that.  Goretti had an appointment with a serraller (blacksmith) and  Albert our aparellador (surveyor) at La Rectoria to discuss the ‘finishes’ to the periphery  of the windows, arches and doors.Continue reading “‘Concrete and steel’”