I always tell myself I’m going to write on the way back. But every time I fall asleep after half an hour in the car, because of the hard work and little sleep. But I also enjoy writing it in Barcelona on our balcony in the sun. Luckily we’re having great summer weather.
The windows we ordered were ready for pick up this week, so we went after work with our tiny Ford Fiesta. They were one by one meter, a millimeter more and it would not have fit. So this Friday we had quite the task getting them out since everything had moved on the way and Luna had to sit in front with me since there was absolutely no space left.
On arrival we saw our neighbour who offered to pick the figs and sell them. He’s an actual farmer, he picks a lot of produce from multiple farms around us and has his own orchard as well. He gave us a ton of vegetables to try, and there were some of the best tomatoes we’ve ever tasted. We showed him the terraces with fig trees and he told us he can take care of maintenance as well, which is nice for our first year here. After this we did some groceries and visited our neighbours in the evening.
Saturday morning we visited our neighbours early, we asked him if he could help us to place the windows. He’s done it a lot of times and has a special concrete cutter. There we met a neighbour from the UK who’s working on the house on the other end of the valley. He told us he’s building a filter system (like we want to do) to make the water potable. We also talked a bit about insulation, and we got a few more ideas to fix our walls from the outside. After a few cups of coffee and fully motivated we took all the tools to our place.
The neighbour started cutting out the old windows, the wall is pretty thick so we still had to do quite some chipping and hammering to remove everything. In the process the ugly bars were removed as well! It felt like a prison with those up, but it’s often used as home protection in the campo. This was all done in a few hours and we started fitting the windows in their holes, we hammered a few long nails that will get cemented into the walls and hold the window in place. With everything ready we used expansive foam and let this dry for a while (picture 1).
After drying we used cement to solidify the hold and make it look pretty (picture 2). To do this we were told to use our hands and move the mortar up, after doing all the windows we were told this could damage the skin on your hands a bit. It didn’t hurt much but we’re running out of moisturizer. Apparently, if we do this more often, we could lose our fingerprints.
At night we were completely beat, but our neighbour made some lovely vegetable soup. From fresh produce from their garden. After filling our bellies we took a dive in their bassin with the kids. They added an extra part to their bassin where fish and plants filter the incoming water. But, since the water was so close to the edge, we were scared to splash the fish out.
On Sunday we were hoping for a little more relaxation, we did some minor jobs around the house. Like maintaining the compost pile and putting some more things together for the solar system. One other task was the discovery of the entry to the pipe that feeds into the bassin. Tho and the neighbour were looking for it yesterday and opened a pit, but no pipe yet. The pipe is not giving as much water as it did before and we think there is some block. We’d also like to make sure we don’t flood our fields so would like to place something that can block the canals for that. We saw some signs for another one of those pits, but haven’t been able to find it.
During this we were also using the irrigation to fill the basin and Tho placed a can of coke in the distribution control we do have access to (to keep it cold). Suddenly the speed and volume of the water went crazy and saw his cola floating by, so Tho ran for it to catch it. While doing this we saw a bunch of water coming up near our car, initially we thought that was from the flooding. But apparently two of the underground pipes don’t connect properly and we had sprung a leak. We don’t know if this has moved, but a block further down the pipe caused the pressure to go up enough that the water escaped there. But that’s a concern for another time.