The first order of the day is to apologise, for the standard of my Posts, I have just been reading back, to see where I am up to, and saw a number of errors, due to big fingers, which I have now corrected.

I do read through my Posts, before publishing them, but obviously not well enough, I must do better!

Now to update on the past few days, albeit it feels like months.

I had some good news for a change, because I suffer with high blood pressure, I have to go for an annual eye check up with an Ophtalmologist, that has been delayed due to Covid, but last week, I finally had the test, and past with flying colours, she recommended that because of my age, and consequently thinning skin, which will effect my eyelids, that I start using eye drops on a daily basis to keep them moist, but otherwise, I am good to go, thank god at least one part of me is still in working order.

We had a knock on the main gate last week, and it was EPM, the electricity provider for this area, the man had come to do a Meter check, he immediately caused panic, because he said we had the wrong meter for a Solar system, and he would have to disconnect us from the Grid, fortunately, although Marcela was out, my friend Jaime had just been finishing off a job here, and stayed throughout to help me out.

I explained that the Solar Engineer said, he had had a long meeting at the EPM Office in Medellin, and complied with their requirements, after consulting with his Boss, he thankfully agreed. The Engineer, then did a full wiring test, and stated that all our running needs appeared to be supplied by them… So where is our solar power going?

We have since had correspondence with our Solar Installation Company, Natam Energi SAS, and a copy of the letter they received from EPM, we have to pay to have a bi-directional meter installed, and until it is, EPM can’t state categorically where the problem is with our energy supply, Natam have also stated that as the ‘damaged’ solar panel is working, they will not replace it, albeit, if we want it replaced, we can pay for it to be removed, shipped to Bogota and re-installed, are we impressed?… I think not.

Marcela has spoken with the installation Engineer from Natam today, and apparently we have three options,
1. Buy the Meter and they will install it, do the legalisation process, and depending on the resulting report, re-imburse us for electric paid for from EPM from the date of installation.

2. Employ a third party to install a meter, but then depending on the installer, we might have to sort out the legalisation process with EPM ourselves.

3. Get a quote for EPM to install a meter, obviously then, legalisation is not an issue.

We have talked it over, Marcela contacted EPM, they do not install Meters, they just charge to legalise them, which sums them up nicely. She has spoken with our Electrician, who has never installed a Meter, he is fully licenced, and could do the job, so he is making some enquiries regarding the legalisation side of it before deciding.

It makes sense to use our Electrician, because if later there is a problem, we can call him, however if not we will go with Natam.

Woodwork has been slow to say the least, I have been having terrible trouble getting stain, and varnish to dry. This isn’t the best time of year, as we are in winter, although we get some hot sunshine most days, it is very humid, which is extending drying time.

It has taken nearly a week for the first coat of varnish on the dog crate top to dry, I gave it a light sanding, last night, and a second coat of varnish this morning, hopefully once dry, I can complete the assembly, and take it into the house.

Never one to sit and twiddle my fingers, I decided that I would strip down a coffee table, I made years ago, change the design, sand, stain and varnish that as well.

I wanted to cut off the rounded edge, so it had a chamfer like the dog crate, make it look a little more modern. I know the colours will never match, the dog crate top is made out of chanu, a light coloured wood, this table is made out of reclaimed abarco, I rescued from the garden at our last house, stripped and reused, it will be darker altogether.

The top was easy to remove, because it was attached with pockethole screws from underneath.

I sanded the whole table back to bare wood, I then decided that rather than use my Router, I would cut the chamfer with my table saw, that might not have been the best decision, it was relatively easy to set up the table saw, and I cut three sides without a problem, but on the fourth, as I was finishing the cut, due to the weight of the abarco, I dropped the table top on top of the blade, which was still spinning, and it cut into the top. Fortunately the table was sufficiently long, that I could cut the damaged area out, re-chamfer it, and it was still long enough to fit on the base.

I then stained it with the oak, before leaving it to dry. This morning I gave the whole table a coat of varnish, as in both projects, I am using a semi-gloss varnish. The legs and base will just have the one coat, the top, like the other, will receive a light sanding, then a second coat when dry.

With the oak stain, it certainly does look a lot darker, but more in keeping with the rest of our furniture.

Published by Phil Sale

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

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