Mill on the HillPortugal


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August 31, 2009

I arrived late yesterday to be here when the builders get here to discuss the schedule for replacing the Heath-Robinson tin roof.

For a roof, when rain is seldom and light, being rotten, bodged and sieve like isn’t much a problem. But 2009 had the stormiest and wettest spring since the roof was constructed in 1997. My clothes still smell fusty after their mushroom gathering for evidence.

No amount of patching can prevent further internal rain. So today the roof comes off and hopefully a new one will be added before any other surprise showers come again.

How many times has waiting for a builder resulted in being let down?

I said I’d fly in, and would be here today, to meet the builder at 09:00. That was 3 weeks ago, over a bad phone line, and communicated in pidgin English with Rachel trying a bit of Spanish to stop me from just talking louder. I’m the eternal optimist. I flew in and am waiting.

As a bath lover (back in London) I was seduced by the Bathstore 50% sale, so I bought a fancy Jacuzzi for my flat. The Bathstore were very helpful as they asked for my money, they gave me a list of approved installers. Gullible I paid through the nose and got done royally.

My beloved bath is not straight, It rains in hall when the plug is removed, (just to remind me of last spring in Portugal I guess) The installer failed to turn up for 3 appointments, he painted the floor, couldn’t do sealant properly and made a disgusting little door that reminded me of sharing awful flats in the 1980’s. The bathroom is abandoned and the Bathstore just waved small print.

So here am I waiting with an increasing sense of foreboding for 09:00 and the tradesman SNAFU: No show.

In the Alentejo generally tomorrow means at some point in the future. After 4 years one adjusts. So why did I fly in for a 09:00?

I called the builder. No reply….