In other news (and I'm painfully aware of how long it's been since I last blogged):
- the excavation work on the kitchen/living room is finished. Now begins the process of laying a concrete floor, then pipes for underfloor heating, then a layer of screed, and then (and only then) whatever flooring we decide to lay. This work included smashing up a huge concrete vat that was once used for making wine. These days, we buy it from the supermarket it in 5-litre boxes for €5, 'cos we're such sophisticated tipplers.
- the process of levelling the ground in the courtyard has begun. Same team, same JCB, same amount of dust and noise - just a different area of the property.
- the copper piping has been installed in the bathroom and Tim has begun wood-panelling the walls.
I'd be the first to admit it's a while since I've ventured up to Gondelim. Pressures of work and all that. Also, it's bloody cold and wet and miserable, far more so than this time last year. So we're more than aware of the need for top-notch heating and insulation, at least for three months of each year.
But Spring is definitely here. It must be, because the mimosa is out and looking fabulous. Plus, the stray female cat that appears to have adopted us has been systematically 'courted' (ahem) by every male cat in the village. The best thing you can say about this courtship (nasty, brutish and short) is that they're happy to wait their turn before climbing on board. I just wish they wouldn't insist on filming it on their mobiles.