The morning the earth moved

AndalucĂ­a, 3rd of April

DiggerOnly two feet from the back of our house was a wall made of breezeblocks which held back earth about seven feet high and thirty feet wide. The wall was leaning towards the house rather precariously and so we asked our builder for a quote to remove the wall and a three foot strip of earth. At about ten o'clock this morning I heard a loud thud against the bedroom wall as the first of the breeze blocks fell over.

DiggerLa excavadora, the digger, was here and the work was underway. It has been here all day and has completely transformed the back of the house and the driveway. We have spent most of the day watching in awe as endless lorry loads of good earth and old grapevines were taken away to be dumped who knows where. We certainly didn't have time to change our minds! Our property suddenly looks much bigger and it's easy to sweep into the driveway now that the rather narrow gates have been removed. We have been assured that we don't need a wall now and we just hope that the soil stays in place.

Spain clockwise

Everything here seems to work like clockwork (touch wood) and the co-ordination of the different professions is excellent. Now it's the end of the day and el fontanero, the plumber, has appeared to move the water meter that was set into the old wall, re-connect the water and re-connect the gas. Sorted, Spanish style, while we have the luxury of sitting in the square eating tapas!

Cesspit mystery

cess pitWe never did find the cesspit and suspect it may be under the front terrace which we don't want to dig up unnecessarily. No problem say the builders, we'll just make a new one to serve la cocina, the kitchen, and la trascocina, the utility room. Here it is today under construction.

Extending the vocabulary

I'm really beginning to notice the big gaps in my Spanish vocabulary. When I learnt French at school I remember learning the words for all the common objects in life, for example wall, wardrobe, shelf, drawer and so on. After several years I could hardly string a useful sentence together but I knew a lot of nouns! The way I have learnt Spanish forty years later has enabled me to communicate much more effectively in a short time but now I am finding it very frustrating not knowing all those common words. However, it's great learning words for a specific purpose - like going to buy un armario, a wardrobe, today and I hope that learning in this way will make the words stick in my memory.

Sent by: Sue

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