Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Parents helping out

Kev's mum and dad had not been out to visit because his mum had had a quadruple heart bypass and she couldn't get insurance to fly. They are both in their middle seventies but with a very young outlook for their ages. They wanted so desperately to come and see what we were up to and experience our way of life. They managed to find insurance and came out for a week in April just as we had been here for a year.
They were both keen to help us out any way they could. Kev's dad is a whizz with motors and his mum will just muck in with what ever. Anyway to cut a long story short... they offered to come and stay for 4 weeks in September so that we could get on with the job of sorting the path at the front of the house. Kev's mum was to be cleaner and cook for the 4 weeks so that I could be Kev's labourer yet again. Kev's dad was going to service all of our pumps and motors within the 4 weeks.
When they arrived it was almond picking season and they all had to be husked and bagged ready to go to the co-op for selling.
Oldies at work!
Needing husking
They did the lot and saved us loads of time...about 100kg in all.
In the four weeks they were here we concentrated on the front pathway, second terrace and pergola. We wanted to build something that would enable us to grow grapes and kiwis and give shade to the front of the house in the summer.

What it did look like.
The first job was to dig out the footings and concrete them.
Next job was to put the blocks on top.
We then had to collect more stones from the land to put in the hardcore.
These were the original steps, we used them as hardcore too.
All this from one small set of steps

And then the concreting started in earnest
Next we sorted the garden where the steps were. We want to eventually grow Saffron in this patch but we needed to get it filled with manure first to improve the soil.

We then put up the pergola. This was made from metal bars that the previous owner had left. We measured them all and worked out which ones would fit best without too much cutting.

Kev testing if it is strong enough.
After this was the second terrace at the end...more concreting...deep joy!

All of this took the full 4 weeks. Kev's mum was an absolute star...cooking our meals and cleaning the house for us. Kev's dad got 2 of our old pumps working. He didn't think it was much but it has made our lives so much easier when we need to pump out water from the store. I would welcome them coming again for as long as they wanted!