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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Little by little


Day 2 of Repairing the Outdoor Sink has seen Toni attempt his first bricklaying with my humble self in the secondary (but vital) role of cement mixer.

I am not necessarily convinced by what one might call the “integrity” of the structure and Toni is now immersed in various self-help videos on YouTube in an effort to perfect his technique.  I am perfectly willing to encourage this as long as I do not have to do anything more taxing that stirring – either cement or tea.

The real irritation of the whole project (apart from the fact that we did not destroy the original structure) is that in the real world of renting in the UK I am convinced that “fair wear and tear” would mean that the landlord is liable to “make good”.  This, as I was so often reminded by David, is not Britain and the rights of Spanish landlords are many and their duties hugely sparse!

Getting anything “done” is always met by the agents telling us that they will ask the landlords.  But they are the landlords as well so the Dickensian subterfuge falls flat each time they try it – but it works for them and they feel that they have to do nothing after the “landlord” (i.e. them) says he is not willing to fork out for, basically, anything.

Therefore, yet again, the self-help approach that means exploring yet another facet of building or house repair that we have not yet come across.

I suspect that the might brick piers that have been constructed which tower four brick high, might well be re-cemented as the thin layer of gooey liquid which was applied to the brick’s surface may be augmented by a more convention dollop of something or other to ensure some sort of stability.

As we had to move a storage shelf thingie to get at the sink, I have been going through the treasures unearthed by the move and throwing most of it out.

I can only assume that the swimming goggles have been breeding, as I have no recollection of purchasing such a multiplicity of swimming aids.

I must admit that I am getting fussier about what goggles are acceptable as virtually all of them seem to let in water unless they are put on so tightly that I imagine that I must look like Marty Feldman by the time I have done my customary twenty minutes.

Those goggles which are most congenial to me are made by Zoggs – a brand that used to be advertised by showing a seal wearing a pair.  I can see the positive reasoning behind such an image but I do find the picture just a little disturbing.

The glasses that I have unearthed - a not inappropriate word given the amount of dust caking their external surfaces- are in all shapes and sizes with just as great a variety of coloured lenses.  I have no intention of being specific about numbers, but just let us say that if I was considering a garage sale then I could have a substantial section of the place set aside for them!

Meanwhile the building work extends itself into a third great day.  Eight bricks!  If Toni and I had been building The Great Wall of China the Barbarian Hordes would have swept past the small sump of bricks that we would have created and swamped China and the rest of the world and we would now be living in a very different place!

However, in this reality I am off to Barcelona tomorrow afternoon to meet one of my ex-colleagues, have a little culture, eat a few tapas, have a discrete drink and try, vainly I fear, not to gloat!
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