… when with never a stain”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Daemon of the World, Part 1
We drove up with light rain forecast. I glanced at the iPhone. I was about to say ‘It’s raining in Marbella,’ when, suddenly, it was.
But the pueblo was its usual sunny self. I busied myself in the garden, while he cleaned the fridge and pulled it out to clean behind. A good distribution of tasks I thought.
‘It’s meant to rain tonight,’ I said. Partner has little faith in the weather forecasts on the iPhone and iPad. One is Yahoo, the other is The Weather Channel.
But lying in bed, even he was forced to admit in the early hours that it was raining as we listened to it plopping gently — and then not so gently — in the patio.
Come morning, we took Snowy out in something of an intermission, when it was just spotting. By the time we got back, it was downpour time. I gazed sadly at the rain as we were out of bread, but it was the sort of rain that no one in Spain ever ventures out in.
We watched it and listened to the soothing noise, splashing on the terrace, dripping onto next door’s hideous metal chapas, dripping … dripping … Partner suddenly got up and went into the dining room. Ah yes, dripping in the dining room too.
‘Do you want a bucket?’ Ever helpful me.
‘A bucket? It’s leaking right across the ceiling! And don’t touch the light switch!’
I waded in. Half the room was flooded, admittedly it wasn’t ankle deep, but it was still very wet. I remembered the dip in the roof we’d noticed a few years ago and panicked.
Meanwhile, Mr Practical had already started moving everything and mopping up. I was instructed to dry and move records, books, and all other clutter that was in direct line of inundation.
Next, he jabbed a few holes across the crack where the water was coming in to release the pressure.
Did next doors have a ladder? (Ours are in Gib.) No. But never fear, a decorator always has more gear than necessary, so he used one of his trestles to investigate the roof. By now the rain had stopped after an hour or so of mopping, drying and moving.
The rooves on the old houses are made of cane and mud, with tiles on top. There are vertical beams every 60 cms for this precarious covering to balance on. The cane on one part of our roof had rotted away. It comes free out of the bank of the stream and had been there for at least sixty years.
José came to
interfere help as usual and ordered Partner off to the arroyo to collect new cane. After farting around for some time trying to cut it to the right length, Partner jumped in the Land Rover and went to the builders merchants for sand, cement and racillos. No idea what they are in English or the correct word in Spanish but they are a long flat sort of oversized tile that fitted between the beams instead of messing about with cane. Then the proper (original) roof tiles are replaced.
Partner finished work about 6.30 pm when it got dark. He’d been working since about 9 am. Before that he’d cleaned the bathroom, while I got on with some editing. The final touches were to drape the old Caranex tent thing over it while the cement set. Total cost for materials: €8.40 (he went back for an extra bag of sand).
Estimated cost for someone to come and do it? Hundreds of euros, maybe less if we got one of the local blokes.
And apart from the repair cost, the other good news was that the oak sideboard and table weren’t damaged. Phew! I was so relieved I even got out the beeswax and polished the sideboard before it got sheeted up again.
The next day we took the Caranex off, and I cannibalised it for potentially useful bits before we chucked it.
Anyway, the alcachofa liked the rain. I chopped it back according to my book after it had bloomed, although Spaniards never do that. Now there are four separate shoots growing!
The post-rain rose is for Sonel, after her lovely blog post about roses past their prime. I even managed to capture a buzzy that I didn’t know was there. Vision with post photography hindsight.
And after the rain, a walk down the arroyo, now running with a small stream, and lots of wild flowers. Autumn is like spring here as things come back to life after the long hot summer.
And, back to the beginning, drip … drip … drip. The hot water tank in the flat was leaking this morning.