Casa Oretani – The Story Part II

So nearly another month has gone by and the weather has been somewhat unkind to us. There has been plenty of rain and even some snow. Personally I don’t mind the rain, we need the water here, but it sure messes up a builders schedule.

Anyway, we left off in Part I where the first floor got poured. So it’s “manos a la obra” and lets get some walls going upwards again for the rooms upstairs.

Félix the boss man checking the work.
Walls go up and windows appear

Mrs. HM with her helmet marked “Rouse”

Cool, we got a corridor.

And then it has a ceiling!

To give light to the stairs
The beginnings of the stairs

Add some steps…
And then a bannister.

So no hitches so far…oh hang on, what’s that white stuff? Seemingly the guys saw the snow come down and hightailed it before the roads got too dodgy. The weather hasn’t been too bad but we have had a fair bit of rain, 20% more than last year they say. Good for the ducks I say. They also had to do a safety course for a week so another bit of a delay. I just wish they told me so I wouldn’t be going out there expecting to see stuff done.

The “blizzard” in Ciudad Real

Anyway, the snow melted rapidly and it was time to finish off the upstairs structure and get some roof on.

I see a few bedroom windows
The view from the windows upstairs is overlooking the park and up towards the hill which was a volcano. Yes, that hill there is a volcano. In case you don’t know there about 60 volcanoes in the Montes Norte area and the one in Picón is El Volcan de las Porras which probably gets it’s name from the spatter formations since a porra can mean a fritter and so some of the rocks look like spatters of batter! Or it could come from another translation where porra means bomb as there are quite a few volcanic bombs in the area, especially visible on the road to Piedrabuena. But I digress…that volcanic stuff is for another entry.

View towards the hill

At this point I should mention that just during the  week the swallows and martins have all come back and are flying about like lunatics looking for nesting sights. The skies are thick with them. I feel bad, because over the past few years they have used the derelict upstairs part and the kitchen as a nesting place, which of course have changed quite a bit since they were here last summer. I intend to make it up to them by putting in nest sites for them for next summer. I hope they don’t hold a grudge.

At the back we have two more bedrooms and the windows of the upstairs corridor.

The rere with the corridor windows

And so we come to another milestone in the construction of the guest accommodation where the roof is ready to be poured. We’re getting there.

Ready for the pour on the roof

But hang on, what about the family home. The baby is due this week and it has no bedroom built. Well we’ve been waiting for the “viga famosa” which is a massive steel I-beam to go across from the kitchen on the left of the shot below to the bathroom on the right. A concrete beam wouldn’t have been up to the job. “When’s it coming?” I’d ask, “It’s been ordered a while now, probably mañana.” Mañana…mañana, el lunes que viene, next Monday. I was beginning to think this beam was being shipped in from the Pittsburgh, USA steel mills.

Still no “viga famosa”, the big I-beam

So then I go out yesterday morning and find our street is a little blocked up with a crane. I wonder…could it be?

Road closed today

WELDERS!! I-BEAM!!! What a great sight, finally a bit of movement on our house again. I was beginning to despair.

Huzzah!! The “viga famosa” has arrived.

Welding all the beams together for our balcon

It sounded like a steel works. There was grinding and hammering, welding and cutting. Not that I was complaining but I will always remember that it was the noise that turned me off metalwork when I was 12, so I never did it. Woodwork was always more my thing when it came to DIY.

Metalwork was always very noisy

And finally, here’s an interesting shot. Using ancient laws of physics, leverage, pressure points and angles, mathematical formulae and high tech computers have nothing on the Manchegan builder. This complex yet simple method of support which they told me was extremely solid as they grinned at my quizzical looks and taking of photos, is merely to hold the bar on the right vertical for the walls in the upstairs guest accommodation. But that’s for part III….stay tuned.

How to support a roof?

Join us for our guided birding, wildlife and butterfly tours in La Mancha, Spain with Oretani Wildlife.

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