Radiators…

This was last week’s view of My Bedroom in La Casetta. Remember? It is also this week’s view too. Please note the lean-to radiator. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. No. The radiator was supposed to be mounted & radiating heat by now. How come? Good question.
We have waited for four months to have heat. Heat means drying-out the walls. Drying-out means the walls can be painted. Painting means having all our lighting fixtures mounted. Mounting means calling in our cleaning lady to scrub & scour the house. Scrubbing & scouring means we can move-in with our furniture & belongings. Moving-in means we can live… and cook… and sleep in our house. That’s how I understood The Math. Have the builder AND the painters understood this same simple & linear equation?
NO THEY HAVE NOT!!! 
The builder thought to himself… Well, the painters are painting so, this means they don’t need the radiators to dry-out the walls. 
Whereas, the painters said to me… We could sure do with some heat. Our masking tape doesn’t even stick to the walls or the flooring because, they are still too wet. 
This was odd. I had asked the painters to tell the builder, if they ever found that they needed heat. I then asked the builder to ask the painters to find out if they needed heat. Did either of them do that? NO, THEY DID NOT!!! 
The problem with these guys… basically… nice fellows is, if they see no reason to do something, then, they…
A) don’t do it…
and also…
B) they do not call, write, fax, e-mail or tell you face-to-face that they haven’t done it… what you have bitten the bit to have done… like… how about… maybe… perhaps…  gosh… install the frigging radiators… to have heat, to paint the walls, to mount the lighting fixtures, to clean the house, to move in, so we can LIVE!… and COOK!!… and SLEEP!!! in what we have just spent several thousands of Euros for the Right & Privilege to do so. Gads.

An update…

OK…
La Casetta has been painted…
There is heat…
The kitchen is ready to rock ‘ n roll with un piatto di pasta or, un caffe’
The electricians come on Tuesday to mount all the lighting…
And, the cleaning woman will start on Thursday to scour & scrub for two days…
We are waiting to hear when the darn antique furniture… which was bought almost a year ago!!!… will be ready for the move. We do know that it won’t be until at least the Saturday after the Easter weekend. The dealer’s truck & staff are available only on Saturdays. Gads.

An almost finished cordolo…

Cement hardens fast, even in the rain & humidity of Codiponte, this first week of Spring. 
A few views of what a cordolo looks like before the restored tree trunks are returned to their favored places, marked by the iron plates, bolting them to the cemented cage of the cordolo.

Wherever there is a plate, there will be a beam. The cement of the cordolo on the inside will be hidden by a band of stucco. The interior walls of stone below it will stay visible.

All that wood is the new exterior cornice to hide the cordolo from view. 

By the end of the week after Easter, this first of three roofs of La Casa Grande will be finished. Then, the roof of L’Esseccatoio… or, drying shed…  will be tackled before returning to complete the other two roofs of La Casa Grande. Don’t ask me why this is the procedure. I just get to pay for it all. Gads.

We are getting closer…

This is almost OUR SAGE GREEN.
If we can get that contraption under the right window mounted & connected to the water heater in the attic, the color will lighten considerably, as the walls dry-out from the warmth from the radiators. 
In the meantime, I am practicing my Hallelujah’s, in preparation for The Day THE SAGE GREEN arrives. Gads.

When…

We won’t be in La Casetta for Easter!!! 
Here is The Dammit of all the feste italiane, which have Come & Gone, while we wait to move into 1/3rd of our Tuscan farm house down in the Lunigiana…
Natale… or, Christmas.  Once-upon-a-time, there was a contract stating we would be in La Casetta by December 20th. Promised for sometime in mid-January, we forfeited The Daily Penalty for several costly Extras to be stricken from payment. We would have done better to have opted to stay with The Daily Penalty. We are now nearly four months late. The Math says it would be a lot of Euros by now.
Santo Stefano… a rest day after Christmas.
Capodanno… or, New Year’s and, in my mind, the best time to fool around with a move. Such a worthless holiday… wherever. However, it was NOT in the cards.
Epifania… the Italians do not officially have a Santa Claus. Instead, they have this Medieval witch, La Befana, who brings toys for the Good and coal for the Bad. We got neither and still no house!
Santo Valentino… it’s not an Official Holiday but, the Italians make a big deal out of it anyway… fools for pink & hearts.
Domenica delle Palme… Palm Sunday, when everyone gets a palm frond. I don’t need a palm frond. I need my house!
Pasqua… The Italian name for Easter and a much less of a deal than…
Pasquetta… when Italians troop out into the country en masse for The First Pic-nic of the year. You see, they are never far from eating. Hmmm? Maybe, it is why their houses are never finished on time.
And, finally…
Giorni dei Santi... Saint Days, one for each day of the year. Ninety-six to date. Your Saint Day is the Saint covering your birthday. In my case, I have the totally unheard of saintly presence of Blessed Federick Ozanam. HE HASN’T HELPED!!! What Saint could with a name like that? Gads.

The moment for il cordolo…

The skies always appear to be grey & full of rain…
meanwhile, the Work-guys are moving a pace with the cordolo. The wood pieces you see are the forming troughs for the cement & iron rod structure of the cordolo.
Here you can see the iron cage of the cordolo, which will be enclosed with another piece of wood before pouring the cement. The iron is soldered to make a sort of chain link… like the band of a hat… all the way around the various parts of the roof. Then, additional cross beams are placed on top of the restored tree trunks, which will already be in place within short iron troughs connected to the cordolo, followed by a sandwich of an under-roofing of wood panels with an isolation filling in between. Finally, an additional rain-proofing is put on… in day-glo yellow… before the ultimate touch of the terra-cotta roofing tiles. I am out of breath! Could it be all the excitement? Gads.

The Garden today…

There goes the neighborhood…
the Garden is in a worse state than to have us called White Trash… whatever that is in Italian… though we are NOT in Puglia… one of the junkiest regions of the Italian boot… or, Campania… representing Il Mezzogiorno… or, The Italian South… in this exalted category. Think trash & what comes to mind? Naples, the capital of Campania, for sure!!! 
We have a good excuse though. We are a building site. But, come to think of it… this might be those citizen’s excuse too. However, we hope to be finished by June. Some of the beauty spots I’ve seen near Napoli are in a perpetual state of construction. I hear it’s a way to avoid paying the taxes you get socked with when all is done & finished.
So evident is our bright orange plastic fencing around The Garden… like a nuclear waste dump… and said to be for Reasons of Security & Safety… the Carabinieri came a calling the other day… looking for clandestine workers besides other nefarious occupations with builders. Thanks to Mr. Berlusconi… his rightist government is more than just hysterical about immigrants… it is maniacal. It suspects they are lurking everywhere. But, hey! I AM AN IMMIGRANT!!! You missed me. However, I am gainfully providing work for the local Italians… let us NOT forget this Vital Point, please. I also have Il Permesso di Soggiorno to do so.  
What to do? What to do? What to do with The Garden? Nothing until the cement mixer finds another home.
Poor scraggly prune trees. All that ugly dirt is waiting for the go-ahead for Marcello to arrive with his ditch-digger to set all like it was before. I cannot wait to seminate! I feel it to be My True Destiny!
NOT forgetting to get my hands on tearing out all the junk I keep finding. This is a tractor part engaged in making a make-shift fence. Wretched contadini! Gads.

Little black hoses…

Gosh…. will Wonders never cease? And, so soon after My Initial Shock with a paint color earlier in the afternoon. I had no idea that the dangling black rubber tube draped across the facade of my years old farm house is my only access to running water in La Casetta. However, I do have a hunch some clever person will come along & invent another method and/or placement for said tube. Burying it might be an idea, no? So novel too. Gads.

The SHOCK of My Life…

Naturally, the photos do not do any Justice… 
maybe you had to be there, when I walked in to see a yucky candy wrapper blue-green on my newly stuccoed walls of La Casetta. I knew… instantaneously… it wasn’t The Color I had spent so many Euro’s on various paint candidates to find just THE RIGHT SAGE GREEN for Mr. You-know-who.
You can see the difference between the wall as I found it today and The Right Sage Green on the middle panel in the photo below. Sadly, all those colors look off in the photo, with much thanks to the rainy day outside with its waining & wavering light. 
I called the painter but, my cellphone conveniently was out of juice, refusing every attempt to be kick-started. I then called our geometra, however, he wasn’t available either on his. So, I corralled our builder and he said… Non e’ giusto. A man of few words, is our builder. He then left me to gaze at the horror. Finally, while soothing my worried color sense on a piping hot plate of gnocchi & funghi at my favourite local trattoria, our geometra called to tell me that that sickening blue-green was only the primer coat. WHEW!!! Crisis averted. Gads.

The MarGas Experience…

The MarGas Company? Well, cutting right to the ditch…
I waited for over four months and had to pay nearly $3,000 to have four guys take two days to cut a gaping twelve foot long trough and on My Ramp too, stick an ugly iron cover over a hole already dug off ramp and probably gouged out by a previous Gang of Four from the MarGas Company, run a cheap industrially looking black tube into the guts of a Communist looking niche with a perforated G A S on its door, which is pretty Communist too, if you think about it, and, before high-tailing it back to whence they came, from frigging Viareggio, an hour’s drive away, they slathered a cheap cemented over it all and said… My, oh, my! What A Good Work we have done?
Hell, if I had known it was going to be a simple Cut & Cover, I would have hollared for a pick… and done it myself… dammit… and saved myself some Euros!!!

I cannot wait to see what my first gas bill is going to be like. Gads.