This is a story about utilities and how they did or did not get connected.
First there was water. Or more correctly, there was no water. Or electricity or toilets or anything. That was at the time when I thought that I, myself alone, will “prepare” everything for the build while we are waiting for paperwork. Plus, it seemed handy to have water on the property for those few times Vanja and I stayed over (that was a bit scary and also a different story). We could find a spot for a toilet in those 8000m2 (plus, there is a very nice cafe bar or two in Pazin – only 10 min away).
So I, through recommendation, found a guy with the digger who would dig a hole for a manhole. Called water supply guys, manhole guys, digger guy, telephone people guys (thinking we will connect the phone at the same time as lines are running parallel below the village street). Drove 220km, met with the digger guy, water supply guys, phone guys. Drove a bit more to Tinjan, where one buys manholes, bought a manhole. Thought I arranged it all. And, I largely did.
Digger guy and water guys and manhole guys managed to meet some time later, without me, dig a hole, sort it all out, connect the water and make it work. I was in Zagreb and we were on the phone quite a bit that day. Telephone guys never showed up (to this day, although after a while I stopped chasing).
On inspection when at the property next time, the work was a bit shabby – ultimate conclusion was that the idea that I can make anything work well while in Zagreb was way too naive. So, based on that experience, I stopped any further work like this and decided to wait until we have a proper contractor and, yes, the paperwork. Hindsight, shmindsight.
So, when we signed a contract with Kapitel, first thing they had to do was septic tank (which was necessary for paperwork as well – yet another crazy story, that I didn’t bother to mention in relevant post as it is just too silly and it is now over so there). Fairly straightforward. I hope we chose the position well and it will never ever leak or smell or any such nasties.
Next was electricity. We had to take the line from nearby electricity pole and get it to our property. They dug and put back quite a bit of soil in process. Again, as Kapitel was in charge, it looked smooth and easy to me.
Then there was a question of electricity meter. There is a rule in Istria that the meter has to be outside the property gate so electricity people can easily read the meter when they need to. That makes sense as there are a lot of holiday properties around and people are not often there to read the meters themselves or let people in. What doesn’t make sense is the way these meters are displayed. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures. I will post some when I take them so you can judge. These things are such an eyesore (or that’s just me) and they are everywhere.
So, Vjeko and I were hoping to come up with a solution that will avoid anything sticking out standalone and decided to try and build the meter into a drywall bordering our land. And, somehow, although the two of us knew perfectly what we wanted, we didn’t really pass that onto people who needed to know – ie stonemasons or at least Sladjana (Kapitel). We, of course did talk about it, but not in nearly enough detail. I think party that was because I trusted Kapitel so much, especially with any stone work. They built something – and they build it perfectly fine, great craftsmenship, but just really too big and too “perfect” with stones aligning too perfectly like bricks, all in perfect lines. Plus that “roof” – all too “chapel” like.
Really not what I was after. Or Vjeko.
Next time we met, we took photos of the walls we like, made it clearer what “a bit wobbly” means, made some drawings and they built a new one which I think will be fine, especially as the rest of the wall will be built. I really should have known better especially as I do know how important design brief is. Still, live and learn, live and learn, live and learn.
These are the pictures of the walls taken on the propery and in the village. This is the “design brief” for any kind of drystone walls we are likely to build there.
Here we are, all but one – the phone – utilities connected!
PS This is my penultimate (cool word!) post before I start writing in “real time”. I had almost two years of catching up. Couldn’t bring myself to start writing before – it seemed the build will never start. But now as it all has started – posts galore! Things actually did happen in all this time…