Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Back to Work

There is a piece of my fence that borders the road, that until recently has been covered by the azulina hedge on the road side, but with the work I did in the lane alongside us, I cut all the azulina down from the side of the workshop, where it was growing along the fence, and also up into the roof. As a result it is looking a bit sparse, and would be better if it was removed altogether.

At the moment people can look in, they can't see much, but it does diminish our privacy, at the same time there has always been a space at the bottom, and a platform, where the boys can sit and keep watch, especially when we are out, and I don't want to block that off.

I couldn't believe it, this morning I went off to Niquía, to Homecenter, but they had no construction grade timber, which is what I wanted, so on the way home, I stopped at 'Madepino', a timber Merchant, which sold rustic pine as it's name implies, only they no longer sell pine... totally deflated I returned home, thought about it, and set to work.

I decided to use more mahogany left overs, only now the stock is nearly depleted. I cut the parts, the section of fence is only 60cm wide, and with the space for the boys to view out, doesn't have to be very high, I wanted all the parts to have an incline, so water would not sit on any part of it, so I cut a 25º angle on the cross braces, and then using a pencil tied to string, with a nail at the other end, I drew an arch across the top, which I then cut on the band saw.

It was then painted, with preservative I had in stock, and screwed together.

Tomorrow, I will cut away the rest of the hedge, and install the finished fencing!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Preparation For The Next Project

This morning, I headed off to town to buy in groceries, thinking wrongly, that the end of this week was Semana Santa, no it's next week, Oh Dear I am definitely losing the Plot, it doesn't help that we had a National Fiesta this last Monday, that threw me out to start with!

Back home, I decided to prepare for my next project, one that has been waiting around for over a year, not all of my doing, although I haven't exactly pushed to get it done.

The wall!, looks, great, but every year the cracks get worse, despite annual repairs, and it wont get any better, because the other side of the wall is not rendered, in fact the previous owner of our finca, threw up the wall in a day, when the neighbour was out, so it is not only, not rendered, it wasn't even pointed, as a result, any small movement in the ground results in big movements in the wall.

One of the worst places is down the side of this pillar,  the reason being,it is in effect two walls, they are not tied into each other, and at times, the crack is wide enough to see through. I am never going to resolve the problem completely, but by pointing and rendering the other side, it should certainly help, the only real solution, is to rip the wall down and start again, but that isn't going to happen.

Unfortunately, I have been hampered in this project by my neighbour, when we  moved in, she was downright hostile, because of the attitude of the previous owner, but we sat her down, and I told her, that I was not him, and as a result she is now 'a friendly neighbour', but, she is still not keen to give me access, however she has said that if we arrange it, she will give me access when either she or her son are at home, which is probably the best I can do.

My rendering will be much the same as the garage, rustic, I neither have the patience nor talent to make it look like this side,, but then if it is rustic, any future repairs will blend in, and not stick out like a sore thumb.

So I went to AgroZarzal, and bought three sacks of cement and 30 of sand, to start me off, I don't think it will be anywhere near enough to complete the project, but at least I can get going.

 However, my plans were delayed slightly this evening, when I received a call from Henry (Father-in-law) to say he was coming for Semana Santa, and when he heard about the project, he 'told' me to wait, and he would give me a hand...

Two pairs of hands are definitely better than one, although I know I will have to suffer as a result, because if I work alone, I just work mornings,and rest up in the afternoon, when I work with Henry, I think it will be all day, and even wearing a support, I'm not sure how I will cope with that.

Marcela is going to try and make the arrangements, so I'll just keep my fingers crossed, that I can get it done.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Religion in Colombia

Firstly I must confess that I am in no way religious myself, I would class myself as an atheist, why?  well I used to be Church of England (Protestant), but I went through a phase of losing close members of my family, and really didn't see the point in believing in something, or someone who took away those who only did good with their lives, whilst leaving life's scum to continue their deeds, that view was backed up by the number of incidents I dealt with during my time as a Police Officer. That may seem extreme to some, in which case I apologise, but I make no apology for how I feel.

So I look on Religion in Colombia from the outside looking in, rather than being part of it. Colombia is considered a Catholic Country, as is all of South America, but is it really committed to the Catholic faith?

If you look at reports on Catholicism in Colombia, you will see that since it was removed as the State Religion in 1991, the numbers are gradually slipping in favour of other faiths. It is believed that now about 70% of the population is Catholic, and only 25% of those are practising Catholics, which is a play on numbers, lets put that in perspective, that equates to only 17.5% of the population being practising Catholics, hardly an advertisment for the Church. Whilst Protestantism has reached 13% of the populace, and is growing faster than the population.

So why is Catholicism waning? there are many reasons, not least because of the abuse within the Church, but also because the Catholic Church refuses to believe that people would have the audacity to turn their backs on the Vatican, they don't reform, they don't want to change any of their ways to fit in with the modern life, they continue to be dictatorial.

An example of this close to home, the people in my local area are staunch Catholic outwardly, they raised the cash, and built the local school, the Catholic church alongside, with a house for the Catholic Minister, fine...recently the Catholic Church, has been putting pressure on the locals to donate the buildings and land to the Church, to add to their property portfolio, not very christian like if you ask me, I haven't heard if a decision has been taken, but I sincerely hope that the Locals resist.

Likewise you will see people walking to their local Churches, and then during the week, they are propping up Bars, being unfaithful to their partners,etc. This doesn't only apply to Catholics, but it does make a mockery of the description, 'a Religious Country'!

Protestantism in Colombia is a growing business, and I say that on purpose, anyone can start up a Church, many start up in an old warehouse, or even part of a house, people start coming to the services, and the emphasis is put on donating to the Church, unfortunately people here believe that by doing this, it brings them closer to 'God', and we are not just talking about passing around the collection plate like in the UK, we are talking serious money, and that can be seen in the standard of life these 'Pastors' adopt, swish cars, nice houses etc. These people are good actors, and receive a salary commiserate with their performance, in fact many then move on to more affluent Countries, because their income will be even greater.

Is 'Religion' therefore as predominant in Colombia as it was in the past? the answer to that has to be no, like in many countries, people are seeing it for what it is, a self serving institution, with little interest in the benefits of it's congregation, likewise the 'congregation' are seeing that their money is better spent on themselves.