4th December

Yet another bright and sunny day. And a gentle start as we have the architect coming today, so we have had to postpone our trip to Valencia till tomorrow.

Passed the morning pottering in the garden and doing some logging. Also Keith called around about the telly exposed by the garage clear out and we tried it, but it was knackered so it ended up in the bazura.

Peter turned up about 12:20 and set to on the toilet tap, it only took him five minutes to fit the one I’d bought ages ago and never had the nerve to fit. Then, after a flurry of calls about where Nirvana actually is, the Architect, Manuel J Cabrera (then something double-barreled) Dr. de Arquitectura, arrived and introductions made all round – its Manolo to his friends, “his nickname” as he put it. We then let Peter and him discuss what we were proposing but it soon turned to a conversation about the state of the steel beams. They need cleaning off of paint and concrete and protection coating before being rendered over properly if they are still sound. Otherwise we are looking at a complete change of priority and expenditure. Manolo was insistent that we need a ‘topograph’ or survey to validate the size of the plot and the building on it. (Apparently we are allowed a maximum of 0.3m2 of living space per 1m2 of land area.) An extra €500 we weren’t expecting but of future use so a good investment. Manolo’s fee is €1500. So that’s €2000 + IVA of course. Manolo explained about Obra Major and Obra Minor. The change of use as we would know it by walling in the balcony and effectively adding another room is definitely Obra Major and needs his services. Changing the coloured and bedroom windows, and the garage door are not and are Obra Minor. Apparently the Town Hall fees are higher for Obra Minor but that is more than off-set by not needing an architect and survey. He was clearly concerned about the steel beams, but then showed a fascination with Hadrian’s Wall, we mentioned coming from Northern England and he asked if that is near it, and has an ambition to walk its length. He then told us all about needing iron for our citrus trees and what to do with the Nispero. So we got some history and horticultural advice thrown in for free.

Before setting off for our new watering hole we called down at Keith’s and sorted out the AFPO website foibles in less than an hour. The Señora has really got her head around what the guy at the end of the bar said. She brought us a tapas with our first round that had only one piece of pan to one side. Same again with the second round. We then had an intense but positive session over the menu and ended up with a salad to start then Conejo con Ajilla for the main course. We had flan to finish. All washed down with a couple of beers and glasses of rosada. With coffees and two Soberano and the pre-prandial rounds the whole thing was only €43 total. An excellent evening.

The stars looked very bright in a clear sky on our walk home for a nightcap after a lovely meal at our new watering hole. Probably the best day weatherwise yet, shame about the house!