It isn’t the easiest thing in the world, re-building (or even building) a property abroad. You are completely reliant on the photographs that you receive along with the very occassional report. So my trip bback to Madeira in June was a trip of real highs and real lows. I had planned my trip thinking that phase 1 would be complete and that phase 2 would be started and nearly finished (more on phase 2 later).
Although the builder and architect that we are working with are very conscientious my expectations were that phase 1 would be completed and that phase 2 would be nearly complete. It may sound very strange, but I was hoping to ‘take ownership’ of the property during this trip. One of the things that I was aware of was that we had never been on the property on our own, so having that time and space was something that I was looking forward to. I was hoping to put the first coat of paint on the storage room.
When I arrived at the property it was a real low moment. It looked as though nothing had happened. It wasn’t completely true but that’s just how it appeared.
Phase 2 was putting the ceiling boards into the storage room and bathroom, fitting the overhead lights, tiling the bathroom completely, and fitting all the bathroom fittings. Phase 2 – wasn’t really started and my expectation was that it would nearly be complete. When I walked into the bathrrom and saw that two walls had been build (one was wrong) and nothing else – it was a really low moment. After a few minutes of reflection I realised that actually we were lucky – this just proved the standards of the building team that we were working with. They were unsure of a number of elements, so had stopped working until I arrived back in Madeira. This allowed me to organise for the wall that was wrong to be corrected before the work could continue.
As I was on my own on this trip, I was able to spend a lot of time reflecting. I found a fabulous place between two villages (on a path along the shore line) to learn my Portuguese (yes I started my lessons during this trip) and just reflect. During this time I realised how lucky we were … we were working with a unque team of builders – they really wanted to do what we wanted even if it meant the whole project took longer. So from a real low when I first saw the house to a real high, when I realised that although we were not in the country during this phase of building – we were getting the quality of building you could only dream of.
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