It’s quite strange … it doesn’t seem to matter how much we do, or how many things we tick off the to do list, we never get to the end of the list! For every three things we do, we think of five new ones to add!
Many of the things we have to do here are time bound – certain things have to be done at set times of the year whether we like it or not! We were finding that we weren’t utilizing our time very efficiently, and so we weren’t making all the improvements that we said we wanted to do when we first bought the finca.
So the other week Roger started a to do list – now this wasn’t going to include doing things with the trees or veg – we know now when these need doing – but it was for all the other stuff that needs fitting in in between the trees and veg stuff. The kind of things that are the continuous improvements to what we have here – the rebuilding, changing where things go, mending things that have broken etc.
It’s actually quite amazing how things here need re-doing after about two years! In the UK it’s the wind and rain that do the damage, but here it’s the relentless sunshine and heat that undo our hard work. This goes especially for painting – whether it’s the outside walls of the house, or the glossing of the window bars and gates etc. We did everything the first year we were here thinking that would do for 5 years, but no, it all needs re-painting again!
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up working on the trees and forgetting about the other stuff.
The weather is perfect at the moment for working outside, and since we started the to do list we are actually rocking through it at a pace! It gets light at about 8am and gets dark at about 6pm. We still make time for our leisurely breakfast, and stop at lunchtime for a break. Once it gets dark, the fire goes on, the door closes and we’re done for the day! We never miss our afternoon walk with the dogs and make sure there’s time to enjoy the beauty of where we live. You know what they say, all work and no play …
Of course, the big difference this winter is that I’m not working, and I love having time to work outside with Rog instead of being cooped up inside teaching.
But saying all of that, I was walking around the finca today and I actually thought about just how much we have achieved since we got here, and the changes we have made to the place – it’s actually quite amazing what we’ve achieved in a relatively short space of time. I would love the previous owner, Pepe, to be able to come for lunch – I think he’d be stunned at the place – unfortunately, his wife is so unwell that he’s not able to visit us – hopefully one day soon he’ll be able to visit again.
Even though we’re not employed any more, there are things we can take from our old working life to make sure we stay on track here – namely the 5 P’s – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance! We start each week with a run through of what we want to achieve – the big difference of course is that if we don’t get it all done, no one tells us off any more 😂
So, to give you a taste of the type of things we get up to here, here are a few of the jobs currently on our list:
Chop more wood, re-paint gates, re-paint side wall of house, render the shed on the 3rd terrace, take down garage wall before it falls down, build new garage, put trellis back up on side of house, strimming, water proofing on terrace, split and re plant vetiver on banks, re-do steps up to terrace, and make Alice in Wonderland signs (don’t ask!) … and that’s before we’ve cut the olive trees, harvested and cut the mandarin trees, harvested the oranges, pruned the orange trees, washed all the trees and grown any veg! Well, we wouldn’t want to get bored would we …!