Progress report…

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…things have finally started to make sense at Quinta da Cabril. All the underground nonsense is done. All major groundwork, drainage and foundations are in so things are starting to go upwards. I’ve cut and fitted all the major roof beams so the main shape of the house is now apparent – and it’s going to look loverly.

I’d sit down and have a nice cup of tea if I hadn’t lost my kettle somewhere in all the rubble…

I’ve posted a few more pics at flickr

I didn’t surf today.

Blue Tuesday…

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…nobody told me that yesterday was the most depressing day of the year. Personally I had a fine day doing manly buildery type antics and frollicking around with large timbers, concrete blocks and barrows full of cement.

I’ll make more of an effort to be miserable today…

I probably won’t surf today…. *sniff*

All done bar the grouting…

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There is a reason that I’m not a plumber. It’s not that I can’t do it because I can – it’s hardly rocket science (that as we all know is the study of a jet-propulsion device that uses either solid or liquid propellants to provide the fuel and oxidizer needed for combustion. The hot gases provided by combustion are ejected in a jet through a nozzle at the rear of the rocket causing the device to accelerate in the opposite direction).

Plumbers behave as if there is some mysterious art to joining pipes together that only they are aware of. This is of course a complete pile of gonads – if a plumber who on average has the intelligence quotient of a small piece of seafood can do it then, quite frankly, anybody can.

There is no real reason I’m not a plumber other than I hate it. That is it. Simple. End of discussion.

Tiling and grouting however I could just do forever. Because it’s fucking scintilating…

I didn’t surf today but I did have a bad day at the office.

A conversation, briefly…

Halfway through shovelling and barrowing a mountain of rubble and broken bricks from one end of a building site to another AD turned to me and said…

‘I love doing this shit…’

‘Why’s that?’ I enquired, slightly bemused.

‘Well – I feel like I’m working hard…’

‘Uh huh’

‘It makes me sweat a lot…’

‘Er – okay…’

‘…and…’

‘Uh huh…?’

‘…and most of all… I can’t fuck this up!’

I didn’t surf today. We started on my house though – more of that later…

Busman’s holiday…

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It must be said that this week has been fine on the surfing front and to top it off every morning I’ve had the pleasure of laying concrete for the new shower block at Ollies campsite. I love a bit of concrete…

Almagreira campsite has a communal thing going on – people get to stay here and get fed and washed if they help out around the place – scrubbing toilets and emptying bins – that sort of thing. So my skills as a buildery type person are being utilised to construct the next stage of lavatorial comfort and oblutary joy. This so far has consisted of getting up reasonably early every day this week and trying to turn a rabble of hungover surf bums into something resembling a team of labourers. Using a bare minimum of materials, a few rusty tools and an ancient cement mixer that definitely has an identity crisis we’ve dug drains, created shuttering and poured, laid and levelled several slabs of concrete creating the platform on which to create the desired construction.

Obviously the progress has been slightly hampered by good waves, large fruity cocktails and England losing the rugby. I shall let you know how phase 2 takes shape in a few weeks time when I return.

I surfed today. I got a thorough drubbing at Secrets – ’twas large and lumpy and I did like it oh yes I did. I’m still not telling you where it is because I’d still have to kill you…

On the one hand…

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…I could go to work and get covered in cement and sawdust. Get hot and tired. Probably bruise my left elbow on a random rock and cut my little finger with a chisel. Lose my tape measure again and break a fingernail or two (I tell you – this building work plays havoc with your cuticles).

On the other there are clear blue skies and empty beaches. The waves are coming in at five to six foot (a clean, long range swell with little or no wind – this will continue for at least the next week) so I could be surfing perfect waves, lounging around in a hammock and drinking large fruity cocktails.

A tough choice…

I didn’t surf today. Yet.

Been busy lately….?

…we started off with something like this…

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…did a bit of this…

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…and ended up with some stuff like this…

more living room ceiling

You can find a few more photos on my flickr page. Quite tired now – I might go and have a snooze…

Nuts – I forgot to fit the kitchen – back in a bit…

I didn’t surf today.

My Babel fish has broken…

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Being one of the few English people I know that has actually managed to get their mouths around any semblance of Portuguese I was most horrified to realise today that my mastery of the aforementioned lingo had completely evaporated. I was talking to the carpenter (giving him a slight roasting for making a few fundamental mistakes – such as doors that won’t open and windows you can’t see through) when my brain stalled mid-sentence. Completely ground to a halt. All my linguistic knowledge evaporated in a moment. I couldn’t even swear at him properly.

Nuts.

On returning to the Grimstone and attempting to communicate with AD and Nick I realised that I couldn’t speak English either which was slightly comforting in a strange way. I’ve realised that my tiredness threshold has been surpassed and the insomnia coupled with Grimstone activity has started to affect my brain in strange and interesting ways.

I’ve been hearing Leo Sayer singing in my head a lot recently. I wonder what that means……?

I didn’t surf today.

PS Dearest Clients, your doors and windows are now loverly ‘cos I mended them. The builder.