Sunday, 25 September 2016

Oh Bother!

The title does not do this post justice, but if I wrote what I am actually thinking I would have to ban myself!

Health wise, I know a bit more, but I am no further forward towards a resolution, my Orthopaedic Surgeon, has now said he is going to operate on both knees, but due to my age, they wont do a replacement, because hopefully I would still be alive when they had worn out, so he is going to try and clean up the joints, and thinks that should last me a few years, I am having an MRI on my right knee on Tuesday, this is the latest part of my body to collapse, and probably more painful than the left one.

I had a bone gammagraphy to try and resolve the problem on my spinal column, but it doesn't reveal anything, now I am waiting to be referred for tests on my colon to see it that is putting pressure on the spine, but my family Doctor is away, and I can't see him until October 7th, I wont go to another Doc, because I know I will end up being sent elsewhere, so I will just have to grin and bear it for the time being.

The reason for this post!  Last week I cut back our Dame de la Noche shrub, as it appeared to be dying back, and it is just as well I did, because last night, I discovered subsidence under the pathway leading to the house, there is a problem with this further away from the house, but I put that down to the path having been laid on the grass without preparation, maybe I was wrong, this is definitely more serious. I started by poking a stick under the path, and there was only air!

As a result I dug out an access

It goes down nearly a meter and back at least the same again, I have dug the hole out from both side of the path (now the animals have a tunnel), makes it easier to assess the situation, and to fill with concrete!

Tomorrow it is down to the Deposito first thing, to order 20 sacks of sand/gravel mix and 4 sacks of cement to start with. I will have to have it delivered, if only to save my back for an hour or two.
This isn't going to be much fun, walking stick in one hand, shovel in the other...bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Hopefully they will be able to deliver in the morning, it depends on their regulars. Then I can guarantee the rest of the day will be spent flat on my back!
I just hope this is the only major problem, and nothing more serious is happening under the house, if it is, then I will have to rely on my insurance policy...Colombian Builders!

Watch this space.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


The Blog seems to be drying up, and to be honest, I can't see things getting better, any time soon, I was hoping that by now my health issues would be on the way to being sorted, but instead, things seem to be going from bad to worse, resulting in me being unable to spend any time out in the workshop.

I am not yet going to close the Blog, but it will be in hibernation until there is significant improvement in my health.

Thanks to those of you who have been dropping in, there may be an entry here from time to time, but for now, I wouldn't bank on it.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Trailer Maintenance

This is definitely not going as I had hoped, I had the intention of removing the sides in one piece, and restoring then, but after I had undone the nuts, I found, the trailer had not been built to be maintained!... sounds stupid, I know, but it's correct.  The sides have been bolted to the main frame, in such a way, that to try and remove the bolts would have split the boards, so after a struggle I re-applied the nuts, and sanded the side down in situ, just removing the wheel arch, and strap holders.

Once I had finished sanding the old finish off, I again used engine oil to cover the side. it looks a lot better, and should last a while. That's half the trailer done, I'll get the rest done as time allows.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Home Alone!

Marcela headed off Saturday morning, and won't return until tomorrow, she and her Mother have been getting the shop ready for opening on Tuesday, (Monday is a National Holiday!)

Earlier on she sent me these two photos, it looks as if she is nearly ready for business

Apparently she made her first sale today, a child called on them whilst they were working, that is certainly encouraging! The shop is near to a school, so we are hoping that will help, because here in Colombia, the schools provide nothing, everything has to be bought by the Parents, not ideal, but hopefully that will help Marcela. She also intends to liaise with the school regarding stocking text books, so all we can do now is keep our fingers crossed.

I am sure that I will be called upon to do odd jobs, but that is it all wrapped up for now.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Another Project bites the Dust!

It took me a couple of days longer than I thought, after working 12 hours on Saturday, I woke up on Sunday, and wanted to curl up and die, between the pain in my back and feeling ill, I was fit for nothing, so spent the day in bed, I said it was as a result of the heat, Marcela said it was because I didn't stop to eat!

Yesterday, I had a better day, mainly because I went to visit my Colombian Accountant, and as a result of the taxes I pay back in the UK, along with the expenses working on the house, I have again had a nil income tax return in Colombia, so I was happy to pay her fee, but I have been warned that, I am likely to have to pay something next year, as there is a big tax reform coming in later this year, and it is unlikely I will get away scott free again

This morning it was back to the shop, the work was more or less completed, I just had to add some trim, tidy up a bit of the work, put one of the glass display cabinets together, and install the alarm, I arrived at 7.30am and left at 11am...Job done!

Now it is all up to Marcela and her Mother to make it work, although from the interest shown whilst I was working there, I don't think they should have much trouble making a success, of what will be a Stationary store / Papelaria and Costume Jewellery / Bisuteria.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


I've been working for 12 hours today, and don't I know it, unfortunately I needed a few more bits to finish it, which I hadn't got with me, so will nip back tomorrow.

To be honest I am too knackered to post, so I'll keep it brief,

Two shelves put up over the sink, for large sheet card, and one of the boards put on the wall for displaying costume jewellery.

'L' shaped shelves built, just needs a strip tacking down the corner join, the 'L' is intentional, because the toilet has no door, and this saves fitting one, just walk behind the  shelves, and start humming!!! :D

I have also got to fit a board on top of the 'kitchen' sink unit, the Landlord has taken out the taps, so it will sit nicely on top, and be used for the photocopier/printer...I think.

Anyway once this is finished, that is my connection with the business finished, I may be called upon for maintenance, but otherwise I am staying clear!

Hopefully the Stationers / Papeleria will be open for business sometime next week.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Shop Fitting!

I have been put to work, and finding it frustrating that I am limited in what I can do. Marcela is opening her first shop next week, it will be primarily a Stationers, but also selling her costume jewellery. The idea being to give her mother employment, because due to health problems she isn't going to be able to work in her current employment as a Seamtress until retirement, Marcela will share the time spent in the shop, and continue working on the road selling the jewellery to other shops.

Therefore she needs, stands for the stationary, on a tight budget. I thought of plywood/triplex, but as most of it is imported prices have shot up. My next preferred material was MDF, until I went to buy it, when I saw MDP, I haven't worked with it before, but, it should certainly be strong enough for the job intended, so MDP it is.

On Monday I went and bought three sheets of 15mm 183cm x 244cm and one sheet of 12mm the same size, and because of the size I paid for the initial cuts to be made. They told me it would be ready for collection at 2pm on Wednesday.

Wednesday came, I arrived at 2.10pm with my trailer to find they hadn't even started cutting, I was not happy, 'Our fault, sorry, we'll have it ready in an hour', yeah! right, they had it cut for 3.15pm, then I was kept hanging about until 3.45pm until it was loaded on my trailer, as you can imagine, I was not a happy bunny.

Yesterday, I started work, the first job was to work out what I had to cut out of what pieces, because although I had gone with  a printed cutting sheet, showing which pieces were where, I had done that on the premise that they would be using a 3mm saw blade, and they use a 4mm, so the layout was different. Once that was done it was fairly easy to get going.

 Firstly I had to set up my machinery to do the cutting, and that meant having enough support,

I only had one biggish panel that needed cutting down, and I didn't want it to snap.

As you can see, space is a bit tight, I wanted to keep the sawdust to one end of the shop,

Once I had the cut started and onto the rollers outside, it was easy.

The rest of the day was spent cutting panels to size, for the frame, shelves, supports, uprights etc. Once the cutting was complete, I then routed the channels in the shelf to accept the upright supports, which hopefully will stop the shelves from buckling under the weight of the stationary.

By 4pm I had finished, and had one flat pack shop display ready to take to the site.

It doesn't look much cut up, but there is still plenty of work to be done, hopefully I will have access on Saturday, and I will get it built and ready for use.