The last few weeks have been a combination of busy and slothful. Colin took a little trip to the town of Murcia one day and got a bunch of household things from Ikea. One of the wall lamps we got was missing a piece and when I got hold of their customer service they told me they’d deliver a whole new one in a few days and exchange it for us. Unfortunately the driver couldn’t find the house, even after we’d what’s apped him our location to his phone.
We’ve done a lot around the house – Colin has hacked a bunch of weed shrubs from along the drive, and the carpenter has done several things including installing new locks on all the outside doors and putting up the new light fixtures in the foyer and the sun-room.
We’ve also had the hunky furniture removed from the sun room and some nice patio furniture put in, as well as doing a thorough cleaning of the floor, table and chairs. The dust from the storm back in March is still almost everywhere but we’re cleaning it up bit by bit.
We’ve gone on a few bike rides, mostly trying to find our way around on the back roads without getting lost. It starts getting hot fairly early now so we need to get going at a decent time in the morning to try to beat the heat.
On one of my solo rides I passed a field that may have been the site of the fire some weeks ago – all recently burned black right up to the road.
Getting the pool filled wasn’t as quick or easy as we thought – we had to call the local co-op guy every day to get our allotment bit-by-bit but it was taking forever so in the end a different fellow with a tanker did the final filling in no time, although for more money.
Then we had to deal with the sludge that was still left. A quick lesson from the carpenter, then another from a friend of his that takes care of pools and we were finally on our way! I can’t believe how much I enjoy going out and just jumping right in – it’s so refreshing on these hot days.
The Tour de France came and went and we watched every stage on tv – a much more interesting and exciting race this year than any I can remember. No more of one robotic team controlling everything, and lots of surprises. In fact on one hard mountain stage two Canadians were on the podium – Hugo Houle in first and Michael Woods in third!
We’ve got an ongoing problem with wasps – there was one nest on the ledge of Colin’s dressing room window, and another under one of the roof-edge tiles of the sun room. They like to dip onto the surface of the pool to collect water and we’ve been killing them like crazy with our fly-swatters. One of them got revenge on me yesterday, however, when it stung me on the upper neck right behind my ear.
Going by my reaction the last time I was stung I dropped my watering can and ran into the house shouting for ice. I lay on the sofa holding an ice cube to the spot and praying that wave after wave of throbbing pain would not hit me like they did last time. I was very lucky and nothing much happened but some redness and swelling.
In addition to the wasps we’ve swatted we’ve scooped hundreds of dead ones out of the pool that have died from some other cause – perhaps they drowned trying to get water, or maybe someone snuck poison into one or both of the nests.
The fellow that’s doing the balustrade/railing for the stairs came the other day to see if they were going to fit properly and should be returning to install them tomorrow – that will be great as they’re a bit scary right now.
I added a strip of white tape to the edge of each step so you can at least see where the next step is on the descent.
Another water issue we have is the pump to the house. There’s an 18-thousand litre tank at the bottom of the property that gets filled from a pipe by the co-op. That gets pumped up to the smaller upper tank that holds 3 thousand litres, which then gets pumped to the house for showers, toilets and sinks.
An ongoing problem is that the second pump sometimes shuts off and we can’t get any running water, sometimes for hours. One of the many great ‘pleasures’ of having an older house that’s partly ‘off-grid’.