No rest for the wicked! No sooner is the shuttering finished then the order is out for the concrete to be poured. Stress levels high - but so are the expectations. If all goes to plan then we will have the concrete shell of the pool ready very soon. Which is just as well as we are beginning to get enquiries into availability for the summer. Thankfully not everyone is put off by the photos of a big hole alongside the legend "swimming pool coming soon!"....
Almost looks like we had changed plans and decided to put an extra apartment in at the bottom of the garden rather than the swimming pool. Seriously impressive effort erecting all the woodwork - which is only going to be there for a week! The pool seems to be much bigger than we originally laid out (but isn't) but we are all get very excited now!
The weather is glorious at the moment so we were able to get the concrete down today and hopefully it will have set and be ready for work on the shuttering to start tomorrow. Lots of decisions needed today about the final finish, pool mechanism, filtration systems, etc. The stress levels have gone up...
Now everything is beginning to take shape and I can see why they've dug such a big hole! Hopefully we will be able to get the first concrete down this week so that the guys can start on the shuttering for the walls. All very exciting!
We now have one very big hole at the bottom of the garden! Absolutely incredible how much stone has come out of the ground - some of the bigger rocks we will use as features around the garden / grounds, whilst the smaller stones will be used to rebuild the last part of the garden wall in the corner (and to fill in where we have had to open up the wall to allow all the lorries, etc through). In the meantime the smaller rocks will be stored on the olive grove whilst they await their new home.
So we have finally broken ground for the pool. It sounds like this has been the easy part as - apart from a few large boulders - there has been a bit more earth and rubble than we possibly expected. Haven't gone down anywhere near far enough yet and I think we are now at the level of the bedrock - so it will be a bit harder going for the next few days. But it is an exciting start and we can start dreaming of lying by the pool listening to the kids splashing around and having a whale of a time.
At long, long last we can finally get started with our swimming pool. However, the first step is getting the area ready and clear from all the rubbish, rubble and weeds that have accumulated in the area over the last 16 months or so! This is no easy task so it is time for the big boys to move in - it is quite incredible how much **** a digger and a big truck can clear within the space of a few hours!
Once we can finally see the ground we can start trying to work out exactly where the pool will be positioned and start planning out the other main features of the pool area. These include a ramp down from the main terrace (near the shower block) and some steps from the main "drive". However, it is now clear that we have a huge amount of space - albeit at several different levels - so we need to work out exactly how everything will tie together.
Finally, I think we have a plan of attack and are all set for next stage..... breaking ground!!!!
With a break in the weather we've been out in the garden trying to tidy up some of the areas that need attention. First up we've been able to recycle (or I think the new word is upcycle!) some of the building materials used on site as a trellis for some of our new plants to grow up. We had a very successful trip to a recommended garden centre / nursery - so have a few more plants dotted around in the beds (only just managed to get all the plants into the car!).
Meanwhile, the builders have concreted over the corner niche of the garden and laid a small patio - will be a perfect little quiet area later in the summer. They have also pointed the wall in this zone to make it a bit easier to maintain and also make it a bit more pleasant to sit by.
Still lots to do - really need the irrigation system sorted so that I can try and get the walls / pathways finished well ahead of any guests arriving this summer!!!
Just another couple of days of decent weather and the terrace outside our apartment is done and the first top coat of plaster is done. The guys even managed to plaster and paint the really ugly grey chimney from our boiler and top it with a cute little hat that they made for us.
Very happy indeed with what has been done - makes a huge difference in terms of the general outlook. It also makes the masseria look bigger than it did before.
The weather here over the last week has been dreadful - cold, wet and very miserable (with plenty of thunderstorms rattling through as well) - so the progress that the builders have made is incredible. The first job (after clearing away the rubble) was to level the patio which - in true form - was not only on slightly different levels but also sloped backwards towards the house - so again rainwater was draining back into the walls rather than away and into the garden! They have also managed to strip back all the old plaster off the downstairs wall to the living & dining rooms, but up the new base coats (
Ian and Lucy