I should have stayed in bed!

Yesterday morning, I acid brushed the new brick exterior garden wall, it was dry in minutes, then I gave it a coat of weather protection, I don\’t know whether it is the weather here, or the composition of the product, but that was dry in minutes, so then I varnished it, and it looked good.

Marcela then decided she wanted to try out the swimming pool pump, we somehow had to get the water from the pool across the parking area, across the road to a pipe that leads to the river, it ended up with a hotchpotch of hoses, a 1\” hose held in the air by Marcela, whilst flowing down into a 2\” hose, to stop it flowing back and out, I was on the 2\” hose, stood in the middle of the road, and every time a vehicle came, I had to move the hose out of the way. Initially this worked fine, but there was a problem, the pipe from the road to the river (I don\’t know why it is called a river, we would refer to it as a stream at this point) was blocked , so we ended up invading the neighbours land to unblock it, and he caught us! but no problem, he was soon on his knees, arms covered in sludge unblocking it for us.

We continued with this for an hour or so, with various degrees of success, until I decided I had had enough, my back was killing me, from bending all the time to shift the pipe, I will have to tie a rope around it, to give easy access, and in that time the water level had gone down about 3/4 of a tile, so it is going to be a slow process.

Then it was putting up more window blinds, I moved the bamboo ones from our bedroom, they look really nice, but they don\’t keep the light out unfortunately, the only ones we could find that were not white, were \’girly pink\’, so that is what we are stuck with, they match most of Marcela\’s things, so she is happy, me?… I\’ll wear my sunglasses!

Marcela returned from collecting both her swimming pool cover, and the parts for the BBQ, we had had fabricated locally.

This morning John arrived with his brother-in-law, to finish off a couple of jobs that had been left part done, they started moving the mountain of gravel from the road, into the garden, but we will be having words tomorrow, I had talked to him about the front garden, and said how happy I was with the work I had done on it, and I was just waiting to go and buy some humus to finish it off, to later find that they had, topped it up with gravel, mixing it with the sand, I was furious, I didn\’t want any more stone in it, and they had only done it, to save them carting it a few yards further.

We suspect that John talks a good tale, like many Colombians, he had lead us to believe he had a pile of work waiting to be completed, but he more or less begged us to let him get on and build the  septic tank and grease trap up to the surface, fabricate concrete lids and landscape the surrounding area, for a very modest price, as we have family coming for Semana Santa, and only this morning Marcela had established that the inspection is unlikely to happen before then, we gave the go ahead. It will be John doing the work, so I shall be keeping an eye on the work, because Ramiro was the best worker, and John announced today, that he had had to let him go, as there had been more problems over money, I was not surprised, but it is a shame.

I started putting the BBQ parts in the brick built housing, only to find some didn\’t fit, I double checked and the fault was the Fabricator, not me this time, apparently he had converted my inches to centimetres, and got it wrong somewhere, anyway Marcela has spoken with him, and if we take them back in the morning, he will rectify the faults.

From that I moved inside, and finished off fitting Marcela\’s shoe racks in the vestier,  move over Imelda Marcos, Marcela is here!!!! that is another room now totally finished…for now!

This afternoon, I hitched up the trailer and headed off to Homecenter to buy a load of timber, on arrival, the staff were very helpful, and asked if I wanted it cutting ?????????? But only on Monday I was told there was such a long list it wouldn\’t be ready before Friday, so now it would be next week, \’Oh no sir, that was because we were busy, and needed to catch up, we can cut it for you now if you wish\’, I hadn\’t got my cutting list with me, so I thanked him , loaded up with the help of another Storeman, and headed home.

I stopped at a \’Deposito\’, which in effect is just a Builders Merchants, for three sacks of cement, which they loaded on the trailer, on top of my sheets of OSB, and off I went, only to hear a loud bang, and then every vehicle passed was hooting, so I pulled over, to discover I had no cement in the trailer…Oh God! every motorists nightmare, I was convinced the with the weight of the cement, it wouldn\’t move, all I could think of, was \’Insecure Load\’, one of my pet hates when in the job, and imagined cement all over the Autopista. Oh well, I would have to face the music, so I took the next turn and went back, as I approached the Deposito, all the Staff were outside and waved me over.

One of the men said my sacks of cement had come off down the road, I was about to drive off to look for the leftovers, when they shouted at me, I stopped and got out, to see a stream of Staff coming out carrying, the first sheet of OSB, the second sheet of OSB, the third sheet of OSB, I only had four, and I then realised there was only one left in the trailer, they then came out with the three sacks of cement…intact, they had shot off the trailer like a sledge, the Staff had retrieved them and carried them back to the Yard. All my pine was tied to the side of the trailer and hadn\’t moved, the OSB would have been fine without the added weight of the cement, as it was flat on the trailer bed. the second attempt, the cement went in the back of the car, and I roped the back of the trailer to stop the sheets moving. Thank god it hadn\’t caused an accident, that taught me not to be so blasé.

Back home, and the gates safely shut, the Carpenters were finishing off a repair on the damaged door, it now looks fine.

Marcela helped me unload the trailer, and put all the timber in the workshop, that was it for the day, not that I needed anything else.

Published by Phil Sale

I moved to Colombia from Spain in 2012, and I am happily married to a Colombiana.

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