Saturday, January 19, 2013

the new wall

I am tempted to go w-a-y back to catch up on the past  few silent, internet-less weeks, but it's all been basically boring, or at least not worth of this space.  I was sick for four of the last six weeks so allI got done was some fine reading, some quality napping, and not much else.

So instead of ancient history, while I am listening to Donizetti's Maria Stuarda from the Met, I'll tell you about the new wall that is now about 2/3 finished.  When we got down in December Fernando suggested that we put up a wall in the front of our lot to keep the riff-raff out, including stray dogs.  He came up with a design he liked, an estimate for the materials and the labor, and last Monday he showed up at 8 o'clock with his mozos in tow.

The lot from the street.  Our house is on the right.

First they had to dig up some beautiful aloe and agave plants (we'll replant when they're finished) and chop down a tree that was right on the corner of the lot.  Next, they dug a trench about 1 1/2 meters deep and filled it with big rocks.  Thus, the foundation.

Next came the filling of the trench with cement and the placing of the rebar to act as the support for both the wall and the pillars to support the gate.

Then the wall was built with cement blocks.

It was at this point that Fernando took a break to supervice the repair on the very top of the palapa up on the 3rd floor. After 12 years the palm fronts across the very top beam were beginning to wear. During any sort of wind storm pieces were pulling loose. A few years ago he devised a solution by using some corregated plastic that was moulded to the shape of the roof and weighted down with bricks strung together with wire. It worked fine for awhile but, like anything here made of metal, the wire corroded and, a few weeks ago the bricks started breaking lose and hurtling down into the front patio. So he has devised a new solution. He sent some young, agile boy up to the top to remove all the bricks, then bolted the cap onto the wooden frame. We'll see how that works.

Now back to the wall.  While Fernando was crawling around upstairs, the builders kept at it.   The brick wall got cemented (it will be plastered white before being painted), and readied the tubes for cementing into place.  This is PVC piping that is centered over a piece of rebar and filled with cement.  The entry was will have a little "awning" that will be covered in tile.

It's now 3 PM and the workers have gone for the weekend but will be back on Monday morning to finish up their part of the fence.  The carpenter will come next week to talk about gate styles ~ solid, slatted, what kind of wood, swing in or swing out, lock or chain, handle or not ~ so I have some research to do tomorrow.  I will go around town looking at gate styles to see if I can hit on just the perfect look.  There are only about four or five different styles; shouldn't take me long.

Meanwhile, the electrician/plumber came this morning, fixed three broken fixtures, a bad leak in the guest bathroom, and will return next Saturday to replace a faucet in our bathroom and try to ream out our shower drain.  I think it's just gotten full of sand.  Victor has a full-time job working for the water agency in Manzanillo and does free-lance work on Saturdays.  So if you can wait, he's very much worth it.  Knows exactly what he's doing.  His house call and work set us back 200 pesos, $16.00.  Thanks, Victor!

The opera has just finished.  It was gorgeous, with Joyce diDonato as Mary.  Despite best hopes,  Mary goes to the gallows and Elizabeth wins.  Again.   Next week, Puccini's La Rondine set in Paris and on the French Riviers. I've only heard this once and am looking forward to it. Puccini is always a gift.

Birthday party this evening for Luly and to meet her Gentleman Caller.  More on that tomorrow.  Meanwhile, here's a beautiful sunset for your weekend pleasure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Liz says:

Well, as all homeowners say: "It's always something!" Loved the wall building saga. Interesting building technique. That "rubble trench" foundation is good in earthquakes. That will be one good, solid wall when finished. I would imagine that it will help buffer Javier & his magic chainsaw & watercraft motor music, too! :-)

When does Alex visit?