Monday, 21 August 2017


Last night we went out for a lovely meal at a Mexican Restaurant in Bello 'Guadalupe'

We had reserved a table for 5pm when they open, which is when this photo was taken, and why it is relatively empty, people are pouring in behind me.

Suffice it to say, we had a lovely meal, and in the next day or two I will put an entry on the Restaurant review page!

The gloss was slightly taken off the evening, when we arrived home, to receive a phone call from Diego to say he would be at the house at 8am today, to sort out the leaking drain. There went my lie in!

This morning I was up at 5.30am, took the dogs out, and then fed them, had my own breakfast, then started to arrange things so Diego had a clear start when he arrived, which he did at 8.30am, but I won't criticise him, as he comes on the bus, and then has to wait for a motorcycle taxi to come up the Vereda.

We started by making one hole in the side of the house, where the existing pipes enter to join up with the old system, but it was dry, there was a little damp, but nothing you wouldn't expect to work it's way up through the earth.

Diego then opened up a second hole, but we couldn't even locate the pipes in that one, so we opened up a third hole, where the old kitchen used to be, luckily Diego was careful how he opened that one, as the pipe was set into the wall, out of site, but again everything was dry.

I then had a brain storm, and suggested to Diego that maybe the problem wasn't with the pipes after all, but the Septic trap, where all the 'clean' water is filtered before heading off in the drain. I thought maybe the floor of the trap was not sealed. However when we lifted the lid, we ran some water and Diego spotted the problem immediately, the render around the exit pipe had worn away, and the water was heading out of the trap into the earth and not the tube.

Diego, being Diego, dived straight in, not that it was that dirty in there, as I had cleaned it out and changed the filters only a couple of weeks ago, but he didn't wait for the offer of boots! The pipe wasn't seated correctly at the join about a foot into the outside soil, so he ripped it out, fortunately I had some pipe and couplings in stock, but it wasn't an easy job, and Diego spent a couple of hours lying outside the trap with his upper body down inside, it can't have done him much good.

Pepe and Tito adopted Diego, and fortunately he was as soft with them as we are! as you can see, Tito was never far away.

There wasn't room for the both of us to work in the trap, Diego had to open up a big hole in the side of it to access the old pipe, which meant a lot of cement going in, that posed a problem, because all the water from the kitchen, the wash basins in the bathrooms, and the showers goes into the trap, so Diego's idea that we not use them until tomorrow, just wasn't practical.

As you can see from the above photo, I found an old piece of flexi pipe, with some temporary couplings, Diego rigged that up between the entry and exit pipe to direct the water straight through the trap, until the cement has dried.

Tomorrow, I will remove the flexi pipe, and straighten out the filter, hopefully the problem should then be resolved.

Whilst Diego was doing that, I cut a the concrete blocks, to fill in the holes in the side of the house

we then used some natural stone taken out earlier to pack around them, and Diego cemented them in place. After which I told Diego to pack up, and I would finish off, he had a cracking headache from working out in the blazing sun, albeit he had refused the offer of a hat. I thought he had done more work, than we had both anticipated, so I paid him extra, and he left happy.

I had lunch, then cleaned up, and mixed some more cement render, and gave the holes a top coat, which I then sponged off to match the surrounding wall.

All the sacks of rubble were moved to the parking area ready for removal, the drying area brushed clean, then the washing machine and other bits replaced, by which time by back felt as if it was broken.

It was time for a shower, and a siesta!

The second job of putting in a new floor in the drying area, will have to wait for a while, Diego is self employed, and has to take work where he can find it, so thinks it will be a month before he can return to do that job, which will take four or five problem!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Quiet Couple of Days!

Yesterday, my first job was to hitch up the trailer and disappear down the motorway to buy the 20m2 of floor tiles for the area to be renewed, I only bought the tiles, because I don't yet know when the work will be done, and didn't want the adhesive or grout to go off, so I will go back for that. Back home I used the wheelbarrow and stacked them in the kiosko out of the way.

I then did a bit of cleaning, after which I painted the newly welded tool shed door, and the metal bases of the posts holding up the balcony, that I installed a couple of years ago, the latter were starting to show signs of rust.

It was the time to clean the swimming pool, I had finally worked out how to use our adapted vacuum, and decided that as Marcela is busy most of the time, it had to be done. So once clean, it was time for a dip, as it was baking hot... I really need to make more use of the pool, I wasn't in long, but it was really refreshing.

This morning, I went off the Copacabana to do the food shopping, it was only 11am by the time I had finished, so decided to come straight home, and prepare lunch here.

There is a meeting at the school this evening, the idea being that the local Police Comandante is going to enlighten us on the new Police Code (Código de Policía), given the opportunity I think we will trap her on her Officers non action under said code, on the Fincas de Recreo and the loud music. There will probably be examples to show her, as the neighbouring Fincas appear to have been rented out for tonight, more's the pity.

Update: We went to the meeting, and true to form the Comandante cried off, and sent his Sergeant instead, it must be a cultural thing, the Alcalde/Mayor does exactly the same, he hasn't attended one meeting, always sending a lackie! and did we accomplish anything? not really, just more excuses given.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Things are Finally Moving!

On Tuesday afternoon, we had someone else come to quote on the jobs I want doing, repairing an underground pipe leak, and replacing the outside concrete floor at the side of the house, then tiling it. Diego was spot on! he gave us a quote for each job, there and then, on the basis that I am supplying the materials, and will labour for him. He told us that the estimate of materials needed had been over estimated by the other guy, he believes on purpose, so I'm glad he never bothered to quote.

The damaged pipe, Diego wants to break through the wall of the house from outside, and see if he can spot the damage and repair it, before resorting to taking the pipe to the rain water downpipe, that really made me happy, a bit more work, but better a proper job!!

My neighbour Jorge turned up at 11.30am yesterday, with a big industrial welder, his is elsewhere on a job, and was the reason he hadn't been, just a pity he didn't speak up earlier, the welder he turned up with was 220v and all my system is 110v, however I have the 'new' 110v welder, I have yet to learn how to use, and he could have used that on Monday and saved himself some grief, so I dug that out, and my gate / door to the tool shed is once more intact.

I started on my new medication yesterday, neither diets nor exercise have helped me lose weight, so my Doc has resorted to medication, but now I have to be careful what I eat, as anything with fat or grease, could result in disastrous and immediate effects...enough said, so far it hasn't been too bad, but it does mean that I can't eat my favourite Colombian food which is chicharron, to compare that in the UK would be to describe it as roast pork crackling with the fat and meat still attached, the thought of not being able to eat that for three months, doesn't bear thinking about!

This morning, the first job as always was to walk the dogs, it had been raining over night, and was quite fresh, but there was a strange phenomenon, I have only seen here.

clouds above and clouds below, with the mountains in between, weird. The clouds above must have been the rain clouds moving away, because not long after, out came the sun and it was baking hot.

 After breakfast, I went into town to drop off another complaint at the Town Hall, I think I keep them in business! and then I went over to Bello to do a job for Marcela at the shop. She has a Laptop on the front counter, with a security cable to the wall, so it can't be stolen, only, for the last two days, the same lad has been back twice, and been seen trying to remove the screwed in eye hole from the wall, so I replaced that with, an eye hole expandable bolt, let him try and remove that!