…is, well, physically exhausting. And, for me, much more often, much more rewarding than a day in the office. And I’ve been doing quite a bit of it for the last three weeks. Having spent the summer welcoming friends and family, lazing about in the sun and not making that much progress towards having the house ready for the paying guests, October finally saw some action. Finding and hiring amazing Tone (guy simply knows how to do anything, has all the tools, is willing to listen to me, has good ideas on his own – what more can a girl want?) was the autumn’s best move.
We (I) started with tearing down old stone walls nearest to the house. The idea being that we need the immediate house surroundings to look as decent as possible if non-friends are to start enjoying it all soon. Having it all finished and beautiful seems like a very, very distant future.
Then rebuilding started. Tone does tricky bits like corners. I fill in the gaps and do the straight bits.
And, as well as liking doing it – I, apparently, am a natural (for a woman from the city I guess). Seriously though, it really is a cool and satisfying thing to do. Immediate reward – check, physical exhaustion – check, people being impressed – check.
The corner was done by Tone.
This is view from the top – only 40cm up and one will be able to sit on it and enjoy the view towards the big green.
Taken by success of the first wall, I immediately started taking down the second one – so both are now finished to about 70%, and I hope Tone will finish them during the winter.
The process is relatively simple – we do it in a very old fashioned way – with no mortar to bind the stones. I will try and do a post about the build and my experience of it with useful links.
To make it more interesting we constantly alternated between projects during these last few weeks. Few hours or days inside, few hours or days outside. We spent at least three days adjusting old doors to fit their new surroundings. Here showing the ones in the apartments. Success?
I love how the blue came out after a bit of scrubbing – these are the doors from the original house and were a bit more dirty blue from the smoke and soot.
Back on the outside (weather was gorgeous for the last three weeks), the fence was built at the entrance to the property. A bit ranchy, but works well I think – and lavender hedge one day will make it beautiful (we have to wait and see if it will survive the winter).
The garden raised beds are in place (with garlic, shallots and broad beans put in to see if they come out in the spring). Still a bit bare – patience, patience, patience….
To elegantly tend the beds, there will be stone paths between them. There is no shortage of stone.
All was done properly, with cow manure and hummus added to the soil.
While weeding one day – this monster started getting out of the ground. And out and out and out it went for at least few minutes. The stick on the picture is one meter long – so is the worm. Crazy. I guess I should not worry too much about the quality of the soil with these things burrowing into it.
And, of course, random selection of animals that befriended us (the amazing beard goat was just a sighting on one of the walks). The rest regularly come to us for treats. Since I know Vanja (and it is a very long time indeed) I was jealous (not having had much direct experience with owning a dog or a cat) that he has some special power with animals. Now I know that having food on hand is the only thing to make them be your friends and faithful followers forever. Cats and dogs in Lovrinići at least.
After all the work (another post with more progress to follow soon) – I spent one very lovely Sunday morning in Oprtalj (they have antique fair there once a month).
And finally witnessed the view from many of Istrian postcards – I could clearly see the town on top of the hill – Motovun, I guess it was a bit too far for the camera to get it. Just imagine a lovely town on top of the left hill.
And for the end – I caught these two ladies walking home after the mass in Oprtalj – the future 😉