Most of the work to the property, thus far, has taken place outside, or in the alpendre (barn) attached to the house. We have been able to continue life pretty much as normal, with no serious disruptions to our domestic routine. All that changed on Monday morning!
The renovations that will transform this tired, neglected house into a beautiful home and recreation business, have begun. Father and son, builders Frank and Lee – sturdy Englishmen who have lived in Galicia for twelve years – have, in just one day, ripped out the downstairs bathroom and cut a new doorway through a solid stone wall. The mess and noise are proving unsettling and unpleasant. We can escape to the village cafe, but the dog and cat will, for the next six weeks, spend their days locked in upstairs bedrooms, with all their creature comforts, of course, to keep them safe. Dog will continue to enjoy his daily walks, and when the mist clears and the sun comes out to warm the air, we will sit on the terrace with him, as we did yesterday afternoon. But he no longer has the run of the house, and the cat is not happy to have been evicted from her favourite spot in the sun-room/library/study ( we are re-naming rooms and this one doesn’t have an official name yet).
Raphael has developed little man-crushes: on Eddie, who is building the new concrete woodshed, Lee, the dashing bathroom destroyer, and Geoff, who painted the upstairs, tore all the ivy off the exterior walls and put the new roof on the pergola. We feel a bit left out; are we now merely “girls”, who feed him? When the stone-cutter screeches, and the dust is flying, it is to us, his “mamas”, that he runs! Minnie the cat is fast asleep on her blanket, on a sunny windowsill, far from the madding crowd. As long as her bowl is kept full, and her litter-box emptied, she is content. Oh, to be a cat!