Finca renovation – Part Whatever

The last two weeks have seen another blitz on the finca renovation project.

Part of the problem is that we have too much stuff. Not only do we have too much furniture for a small house, we managed to bring every single bag of paper insecurity with us to Spain so our cupboards were crammed full of papers dating back some 20 years.

After all, when I started in journalism, on my first day, I was told I MUST keep all my old shorthand notebooks. It turned out the company had an injunction against it by an unmentionable firm, due to some rather sloppy reporting and editing, so it was decreed ever afterwards that all notebooks should be kept for centuries.

I followed this faithfully in my private life until this last fortnight when I chucked away half my life in a desperate attempt to gain decent living space.

Anyway, project dining room – cupboards and bookshelves emptied – temporarily housed in sitting room.

Walls needed repainting big time. A combination of neglect (working in Gib), humidity, and dust, had left them looking very sad and dilapidated. Still, have painter as partner and it was all soon as good as new. Took less time to paint the walls than it did to sort the wretched papers, and dust off all the books.

The window frames and shutters were washed down with sugar soap, they had a zillion coats of varnish on when we first put them in, and they looked as good as new after their sparkling treatment.

All the furniture was washed down too, and then polished off with beeswax.

Sheeted up and ready to go

Bookshelf emptied and sitting room full of transposed junk books and papers

A closer look at some of the books piled up all over the sofa – poor dog had nowhere to lie

But a quick wave of the magic wand (only took a week) and the books have mysteriously disappeared from the sitting room …

… and are back on their shelves

Paintings back, desk clean and tidy, and shutters looking like new

Finally, we ate at our dining room table for the first time in rather too many years than I care to remember – it had become habit just to drop things on there until it was piled high with junk.

And when we weren’t working on the dining room we decided to give the terrace garden a good hose down. Moving nearly 100 plantpots from one side to the other and back again isn’t a lot of fun.

But there were some bright moments.

Tea kept us going (this one is Assam).

Next doors helped too – one day they cooked us tortilla and made a salad for our lunch.

And after a hard day’s work, we usually chilled out with some sort of salad mix – here with olive pate and vegetarian slices.

Next installment – the kitchen.


12 comments on “Finca renovation – Part Whatever

  1. A lot of hard work by the sound of it, but certainly worth it.
    I love your table and the shutters too.
    Poor Pippa not having his sofa to lie on.
    Assam tea, one of T’s favourites.


    • It really was worth it, we’d let it slip with A’s work commitments. The hardest bit – IMO – was sorting through all the junk and paperwork that I’d brought with us from the UK. I’ve still got some left to sift, but it’s wonderful to sit down at the table to eat :)

      We got the window made up at a local carpentery firm so A and José knocked out the old one and fitted that. It came without glass though, so we had to buy that separately for A to fit. Glazing is not a Spanish thing so both the glass shop and José were pretty surprised that A was doing it himself :D

      He’s got plenty of rugs :)

      I used to be a Darjeeling woman but I seem to have turned into Assam woman. Lovely flavour and so refreshing when you are working (saves opening the beer before you have finished!).

      PS Don’t know if you did, but the pics blow up, they’re small cos they were imported from blogger :( but full size gives a better idea.


      • Yes, tea sounds a better option when halfway through a job, a few Peronis and I’d never get the job finished.
        Think I’ve created a new word, that should read sound, not spund, no not been on the beer either, it’s fat finger phone time again. ;-)


        • Thought you couldn’t see this on the ‘phone, hoped Virgin was working for you again. I changed spund. I automatically change peoples’ spelling these days as most come back and comment about it so it’s as easy to correct the obvious ones :)

          Actually A has had a beer working at home, by which I mean, he asks for one, I take it to him, and then he forgets about it because he is too busy working :D If it’s more than a one day job, then I think you have to pace yourself accordingly and not try and do too much. Plus I always have to knock off early to open up the canteen.


  2. Ah, I see what you mean about the shutters. They look great although in my mind I had visualised them on the outside. Don’t they get in the way on the inside? It doesn’t look like they can fold flat against the wall because of the window recess. We’d have a dreadful time with our windows as we have very large sash windows which sit in the 18″ thick walls. The shutters would have to 24″ wide x 5 feet high for each half of the shutter!


    • You’re right they don’t fold against the wall. But they are they to keep out the dust and rain and wind. Don’t forget in Ye Olden Dayes there was no glass in the windows….

      And on the outside we have the rejas. These are the Spanish decorative wrought iron things that are basically there to stop thieving bastards getting in through your windows. Now I will need to find a pic of the rejas :D


          • EEK! Crime here hasn’t sunk down to the point we need bars on the windows – well not quite ;-)

            I guess they are now mainly used for decoration rather than defense in the same way I see several houses with shutters on the outside in the UK where they have double glazed windows and curtains anyway.

            Mind you I guess in summer when we have the windows open for fresh air it would be good as even here it is not recommended to leave windows open at the front of the house if you are out in the back garden as the thieves will take any opportunity to get in. Several of our neighbours and friends have been burgled in the last few years, some of them during the day through open windows.


          • But they have had bars in London on ground floor flats for years. And in Newcastle one of my colleagues lived next to a woman who had a roll-down shutter over her front door. Drove Rosie mad when she wanted to sell her house, as she thought it made the area look full of crime :D

            As with shutters, originally there would have been no glass so again the rejas were practical. They are still protective. You wouldn’t get house insurance without them. A soft target. We heard about someone who was broken into by thieves who had carefully removed the individual rejas day by day – but replaced them so everything looked normal, until they had finally finished the job. Whereupon they took the completely sawn-through rejas off and broke in. I always check mine now.

            Yes, I never left front or back open if I was out the other side. Doors locked too.


          • Wow, I guess I’ve been lucky to live in areas of relatively low crime. The first house I lived in after moving out of home was a remote semi-detached cottage at the end of a long dirt track (I had my 1st Series LR at the time) and I could leave the door open all day and not expect to lose anything. My neighbour was a gamekeeper for the local estate and he was not the sort of person to mess with which I guess helped! ;-) I lived in a few urban houses in later years but am now back in a relatively rural located small village. The most common crime here is opportunist gypsies who tend to go for tools in garages and sheds.


          • My parents used to leave our door unlocked all the time. Probably helped that we had a large unfriendly boxer dog in the kitchen at night.

            We were hit by gypsies. We went down the town for something, leaving the dog leads on the terrace and the gate unlocked. ‘Who’d still those?’ said Partner loftily. Er, gypsies, dear, as we discovered on return.


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