I am an inch shorter!

Yesterday, was a long day! We left here at 10am and Marcela had to do some chores in town, after which we headed for Medellin.

Firstly we went to look at some second hand office furniture, but decided that it was too dangerous to get out of the car in the area, so scrapped that idea. We then parked in the centre of Medellin, and Marcela went into her Company office to drop off some documents, after which we went for lunch.

From there we trudged across town ( Yep! you guessed it, traipsing around Cities, is not my idea of joy!) and went to a couple of Jewellers where they make rings to order, to order our wedding rings, we checked on mainstream Jewellers, but they were more expensive. We ended up back at the first one we had visited, and placed our order.

Then it was another hike, to Marcela\’s Notary, to get copies of her documents for the Notary conducting the wedding, we go to see him on Monday.

After wearing another inch off the soles of our shoes, we were back at the car, but far from finished!

On the way back we stopped off at the hypermarket, and bought another desk and chair, and a unit for the lounge to put the phone and music centre on, then did our food shopping, then home!

Back home, I put together the unit for the lounge, and then checked my email, there was one to say that my visa has been granted, but there was a mix up over the payment, I had paid too much, and the Agent in Bogota was returning on Monday to get a refund, however this was wrong, and the lower price only applied to US Citizens, and was going to cause an unnecessary delay, so I fired off another email…

This morning I received a reply apologising, and that my passport with visa, would be back either Monday or Tuesday, so fingers crossed!

I was up at 7.30am, leaving Marcela to sleep in,  I cut up a pineapple, and some meat we had bought, and put the meat in the freezer. Then I put together my desk and chair, and now I am up and running! By this time Marcela had appeared, we had breakfast, I went for my shower.

Now I am preparing lunch of cauliflower cheese, and then we are off out again!

Wedding Plans

It has been ultra hot here today, or maybe I should say humid with no breeze, and really it has been the first day that I have felt, uncomfortable.

This morning was spent cleaning, and catching up on correspondence, just after midday we left here, and went first to pick up my translated and legalised documents for the wedding, now I just have to wait for my visa.
Then after lunch in one of the Shopping Malls, we went to the Wedding venue, Marcela has picked a very nice place, the set up, is similar to having your civil wedding at a Hotel in the U.K. the differences are in the way the Reception is handled, I am told by \’Her Indoors\’ that you receive your meal altogether on one plate, main course and sweet, should be interesting!! You also have your photos taken with a false cake, which ke.eps the cost down, and you are dished out something from behind the scenes, but if it is as tasty as the piece I was given today, it will be very nice. We have been invited on Saturday evening to go for a sample meal and cocktail, although I will decline the latter, and let Marcela make that decision!

The fault list is getting shorter.

It has been a funny sort of day, this morning I did some cleaning, and then an hour ironing, whilst Marcela was working. We then had an early lunch, as the man was hopefully coming to repair the shower, and some other jobs.

Sure enough, first a woman from the rental Agency came first, followed by the Plumber, he sized up the job, and then we went off with the woman to buy the parts!!! We bought the shower head, because they were happy to leave us with a cold shower, and they bought the other bits needed. Marcela had the idea that when we leave, we would take the shower head with us, but now it is fitted, I am not so sure, in fact I will be happy to leave it!

On return home, the Plumber got started, he repaired the cistern, the leaking tap in the laundry room, and took the \’cold\’ shower head from the en suite and put it downstairs in place of the old electric one, and the one we bought he installed upstairs, but could not get it to run hot water… eventually it was found that the slower the water, the hotter, but that means a trickle. This makes sense because the heater is in the shower head itself, and therefore the faster the water passes through it, it has no chance to warm up. At least Marcela is happier that there is warm water in the shower.

Marcela then started working again, so I then put together a unit to install in the shower room, but we then found it would not fit in either, so it has ended up in the under stairs space, not exactlñy what we had planned, but it gives a bit more storage.

I then had a shower, and I have to say, other than the water being a little warmer, I am not that impressed, I certainly wouldn\’t want one in our house, I rather pay more and have individual boilers, or electric showers, but time will tell.

I must be really wicked… ha!ha!

I think that I was as little naive to say that there would be nothing to report yesterday, I should have said, there would be no time to report it!!!

Sebastian arrived at 6.30am, and he ran me ragged, it is long long time since my Nephews were that age, and I had forgotten how demanding they can be… Marcela, spent the morning in the bathroom, doing God knows what! but everytime she appeared she was doing her hair, in the mean time, Sebastian had found the boxes from the washing machine and everything else, so we had to build a house, and I kept being \’invited\’ into it, even though I did not fit! and then I became a horse, and this morning my knees knew it, there are times when I wish we had carpets.

Eventually lunchtime came, and we took Sebastian out for a burger, I was good and had a chicken wrap! Then we took him to the Kids Centre, which is a bit like a Wacky Warehouse, but in addition there are also simulator machines, driving cars, motorbikes etc. and Sebastian thought these were great fun, as he enjoyed mowing down Pedestrians and crashing into anything he could see! So to end it, we went on the Bumper cars, he insisted on going with me, so we had to keep crashing into Aunty, who I think was glad when it was all over!

Back home, I was knackered, but Sebastian was showing no signs of tiring, he was eventually collected about 7pm, and I was fit for nothing!

We had put out the rubbish for collection, it is a different system here, but it works, the rubbish is only collected twice a week, so in the house, you separate food from the rest, and keep food in a plastic bag in the bottom of the fridge until collection day, then you can put out as much rubbish as you want. If you are in a gated community you just put it on the edge of the road outside your building, then shortly afterwards someone comes along and goes through all your rubbish looking for re-cyclables, and then an hour later the bin wagon comes along for the rest.

I went to bed just after 9pm, and went out like a light, and we have got him again this afternoon, but he has school for a few hours, so it will not be quite as exhausting!

This morning, Marcela has started working again, so I mopped through, and then after filling the washing machine, I did some odd jobs, before starting the ironing, and there is plenty of it, because all my clothes that have been in cases for two months need pressing, so heaven help me when my boxes eventually arrive from Spain! Whilst doing this the Technician arrived to sort out the fridgefreezer, which had a small electrical problem, in that the fridge light would only come on if you opened the freezer door, he soon sorted it out, but then I was in trouble, because he needed the serial number, and unlike any normal manufacturer, it was not on the back of the machine, it was on a label inside, and I emphasise was!, because I had scraped it off, as it looked unsightly inside the fridge! anyway he got around it somehow.

Now I am just having five minutes, before we started a whirlwind of jobs, and of course Sebastian, this afternoon!

We went out as planned, and then picked up Sebastian from School, on arriving home, we could not unlock the front door, but there was some movement, so it was not a case of a key being in the lock on the inside, I was happy that the lock had shifted inside, and was bust. Marcela contacted the Agent, who said it was our problem, so we found a number and Marcela eventually had someone en route. In the mean time, Sebastian\’s Dad, Oscar, arrived to collect him, and he agreed the lock was broken. Eventually the Locksmith arrived, and agreed, so Marcela phoned the Agent again, who spoke to the Locksmith, and eventually gave the go ahead, we would pay, and be re-imbursed!!! It took the lad a while, but eventually we had a new lock, which worked.

Señor Oddjob!

Today has been spent, fitting many of the things we have bought over the last couple of days to make the apartment more user friendly, so my new drill has had plenty of use!

To be honest it is nice to not have much to report for a change! Tomorrow we are looking after Marcela\’s Nephew for the day, so there will be nothing to report, you will be glad to hear.

Relatively… a lazy day.

It has been a bit more relaxed today, we had a good first nights sleep in the apartment, and woke late by this weeks standards! I then had a cold shower, and Marcela went round to Mum\’s for a hot one…coward! While Marcela was away I decided to put her desk and chair together, and to be honest it was a pleasure, I think it is the first time I have had flat-pack instructions that made sense, and every part was in the box, clearly labelled!

I also tried to ring the UK, but kept getting an engaged tone, when Marcela returned, she rang the phone company, and international calling has to be activated, and will take twenty four hours!

Marcela then prepared a lovely lunch, while she was doing that, I brushed through the house, we then changed and went off to visit her nephew who had a hernia operation this morning, but he appears to have had no after effects, and other than being a bit groggy, from the anaesthetic, he was his usual cheeky self.

We then went shopping again! but this time only two bags of goods, much more civilised!

No let up!

Marcela\’s Mum, was not very well this morning, and after an early visit to the Hospital and her Doctor, she was told to stop the diet, as it was not good for her… that has goaded Marcela into going astray, so it looks as if we will either have to find another diet, or give up, two out of three feeling unwell, is not good, especially when I have only been here a week.

The technicians arrived this morning on their motorbikes, and installed the internet cabling, and cable TV, all the equipment carried in rucksacks. I then brought all my cases round to the apartment, and after lunch, we brought some of Marcela\’s clothes round, then Maria, who was feeling a little better, wandered round, and after sorting out the rest of our kitchen bits and pieces, the three of us went off shopping, I bought a few more tools including a cheap drill, and a wrench, to install the washing machine, and put up some hooks, we bought a desk and chair to, so Marcela can get to work again, it looks as if I will have to get used to flat-pack again!!
Back home, and food in the apartment put away, Marcela took her Mum home, and whilst out, there was a knock at the door, and two men arrived to fix a faulty toilet cistern, the Boss, spoke excellent English, having been in the States for twelve years, and we had a long conversation, during which he saw the washing machine standing in the middle of the floor, and offered to fit it, which he did, and refused to take any money for doing it, well that is one job completed, and I didn\’t even break into a sweat. We pointed out a few small jobs that needed fixing, and he promised to return at the beginning of next week.
Then it was shower time… Marcela was first, and the first call was to establish that the water was cold,  there are two showers in the apartment, the en-suite is cold water only, the other, downstairs is of a kind I have never seen before, primitive, effective, and damn dangerous, it is an electric shower head, which is bolted on to the water supply pipe, and an electric lead, taken from the head, to the power socket, or what we would call the shaver point.  The second call, was for a smell of burning, the plug was red hot and the socket melting, so I yanked it out by the cable. That will be another call to the Agent, and meant I had another cold shower!
Despite these problems, the apartment is taking shape now, and feeling more like a home, it will certainly surfice until we are in a position to buy our own place.
There are many differences in culture, and some will take some getting used to, but I already feel at home here… I will describe some of these differences from time to time. One very noticeable difference here is how every one, loves, and wants to support the Emergency Services, well I presume they do, because so many vehicles of all shapes and sizes have blue lights fitted, front, back, underneath, flashing, static, LED\’s, you name it, they have fitted it, I think it is rather touching!!  Another, I have never seen before, is that milk is supplied in plastic bags, you can get cartons, but the majority seem to buy the bags of milk, you can buy a special plastic box to stand it in, it certainly reduces the space in the waste bins.
Well… tomorrow is another day.

Shop til you drop!!!

This morning, Marcela was up at 5am, to go off for an early meeting, so I ended up getting up at 6.45am myself, after breakfast, I had to hang around until 10am waiting to see if I received a call confirming delivery of the washing machine, as none came, I walked round to the apartment, and started on the final cleaning session, and sure enough, in the middle of it all the machine arrived.

Three young lads, humped the machine upstairs and started chatting away to me, so I asked them to slow down, which they did, and one of them said he spoke a little English, what he could speak was very good, we had a laugh, and after signing for delivery, they left.
I then finished my cleaning, and shortly afterwards, Marcela turned up, and declared that the diet was over for today at least, and so we went home, where I showered, and changed, and we went out for lunch. After which, things became serious again, because if we are going to move into the apartment tomorrow, then we had some serious shopping to do. As those who know me, will be aware, I hate shopping, I cannot think of anything more, that I rather not be doing. If I go to the shops, I have my list, buy what I want, and leave, job done, but not if you go shopping with Marcela! ha!ha!
Eventually, with two overloaded trolleys, we made it back to the car, and packed everything in, and dropped it off at the apartment before going home. On arrival I found that I was even more popular, because Marcela\’s Mum, had also been on the diet with us, and with the sudden change, she needed DinoRod, Oh Dear…!
Tomorrow morning is another early start, as we have to be at the apartment by 7.20pm in case the telephone company arrive to connect the internet.

Cleaning Day!

We had an early start, as the telephone company rang last night to say they would be at the apartment any time from 7.20am, and sure enough, as we walked up to the entrance gate, they pulled up behind us. The line was checked, and found to be in order, so we were given a number, Marcela signed the contract, because until I receive my Foreigners residency card, I can not sign for anything! We we then told that the line would be activated shortly afterwards, which it was.

Having had a closer look around the apartment we had found that it had only been given a quick once over, even though four people had been there all day. So armed with rubber gloves, and plenty of cleaning powder, which I can only describe as being the same as Vim, for those of you old enough to remember it! we set about scrubbing the place.

We then had to stop, as the sofa unit and bed arrived, and again later when the fridgefreezer arrived, we then went home for lunch, returning to start again, this time helped by Maria, who had returned from her work.
We packed up just after 6.30pm, and I was whacked, there is only a little bit left to do, I will finish that in the morning whilst Marcela is at a business meeting, I have got to be there to accept the washing machine, and then on Friday, hopefully the internet will be turned on, and we will move in.

Another manic day!

This morning, I spent time catching up with some clerical work, and then finished designing and printing the Wedding Invitations and envelopes, most of the work had been done by Marcela\’s sister,Sandra, before I arrived, we just had to make a few alterations to get it into my software program, and then print them off… all ten of them, because in Colombia, the Invitation, goes to the whole extended family unlike in the UK.

After lunch, we set off again to the shops, I\’ll be glad when this is over, it is a never ending job, starting from scratch, and shopping, unless for tools, has never been my favourite pastime! Today, we have bought the Fridgefreezer, Washing machine, and kitchen equipment, the first two are being delivered tomorrow, so it looks as if I will be at the apartment all day, it will be interesting in the morning, my first encounter with Security… I hope they let me in!

We then went back to the furniture store, and paid the balance for the items bought there, the bed and sofa are being delivered tomorrow, but the dining suite next week, as we wanted non-stock chairs!

By the time we had returned home, it was dark, belting down with rain, following a violent thunder storm, (which has not cooled off the temperature one bit), and I was shattered. So we have unloaded the car for the night, had some dinner, and that is it for today!