Final post of 2018

December 28, 2018

The last post of the blog dates October 26, over 2 months ago. What happened some of you will be wondering. Much has happened since, but not all that interesting to write about although I might be wrong. Here is a last update in the year 2018.

Killing 2 birds with 1 stone....
After completion of the ground floor of the cottage with the three arches I needed a change, a different focus and high on my personal wish list was - and still is - to work on the former coal storage building. I found a way to work both on the garden in front of the cottage and the coal building: first we dug out the base for the last wall in the cottage garden and then we filled this with a lot of rubble from many of the inside walls of the coal building. Five walls we removed of about 4 by 4 meter and all have been used in the foundation of the 25 meter long wall, curling itself around the transformer building of Gesa (the electricity company). We even needed more material which we took from the ever increasing pile between our house and the coal building. I will tell a bit more about this 25 meter wall...

Final wall before we can sow the grass seeds for the lawn before the cottage.

The garden before the cottage had already been improved the past years, starting with creating the orange grove and the wall before it and the 'royal staircase'. The only section which still needed to be landscaped was the area around the olive tree and the transformer building of Gesa. It didn't have the same touch, the same style and we needed a path from the cotage to the orange grove. So we came up with the idea to create another wall and along side this wall a path. This has been our main focus for the past months and it's almost ready. The only part of the job we did not take on is the actual creation of the wall with the natural stone (piedra), which as I have mentioned before is by far not as easy as it looks. The guys whom I hired for this job will complete it next week. They have already completed over half of the wall and it looks great already.

Coal building: what has been achieved sofar?
As mentioned, many of the inside walls between the concrete pillars of 40x40 cm have been removed. Still about 2.5 inside wall to go and then the demolishing part will be taken over by improving it. These inside walls have been made of hollow concrete blocks of 40 long, 20 wide and 20 high (cm). I calculated that in total we needed to remove 1280 blocks. At the moment the building on the first floor looks already very open.

Creation of the backside wall.
The backside wall of the coal building is the first major job to take on. It's full of cracks and we need to get this improved before we can start with extending the current 3 main arches with the last 2 meter - and we need to demolish 1 of these main arches and reconstruct the whole arch, also a huge and challenging job. The ground floor of the coal building is not level at all; towards the back of difference is about 30 cm, which is not acceptable. Eventually we will remove the whole concrete floor, but for now we only made a ditch at the back of the building. It proved that we are on the bedrock already which needed our 200 kg hammer on the 4 ton excavator to drill it out. This has been done as well as the framing for the rebar mats. Next week we will place the forms and then pour the concrete. We borrow the steel forms of 3 x 1 meter from a neighbor who is a professional builder. I will for sure keep you informed about this in the next posts.

Electricity and ground area around the tower.

We have already prepared the main electricity cables from the workshop to the coal building; 3 phase will be installed so we can also use heavy machinery running on 380 volts if needed. The area around the tower has been completely cleared and after completion of the backside wall the gap is closed which enables us to finalize the area around the tower.
What's next?
After this we will repair or re-create some concrete pillars, then make the steel framework for the roof and finally place the roof panels. I have no idea how quickly everything will go, especially because we need to refocus on the cottage garden as well after the wall has been completed there.

Wine of 2018
A week ago I tasted the young wine of this year and..... it's not bad. Oxidation has not taken place as I had put the lid of the steel barrel on the wine and 10 cm above it. It's still young and not yet suitable to drink, but it's the best wine we have made till date.

We wish you all a Happy New Year !