Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Friday, 10 July 2015

Melting point

There's a heat wave or three hitting Europe at the moment - if you didn't already know.

Captured by a friend of ours 

We've been on yellow and red alert in this area for the past two weeks and now there are several serious forest fires in Jaen and neighbouring provinces.

...not far from where he was holidaying

About 116 degrees F...

Record highs have been hit this month and on the date/weather displays in cities like Cordoba and Sevilla, there have been figures that seem impossible.  Suffocating.

Here in Villalobos, it's been around 38 degrees C (or 100 degrees F) most afternoons and the nights have remained quite hot until the very early hours of the morning. Sleep is easiest in the afternoons in our cool, thick-walled house. With the fan on. Fortunately, we haven't had to use air-conditioning but the pisos in the town will definitely have needed theirs on almost non-stop to keep the heat at bay.

It hasn't hindered the amazing Miguel and his little team from battling on at our house. FR had eventually arrived at a point in the garden where we could arrange to have a proper floor put down. Masses and masses of work he's put in over the past year - and at times, I have been guilty of wondering what the heck he was doing, (yes, I admit it) but now, the method in his ways are clearly visible. We're going to have a fantastic garden...

As yet, it's not quite finished. In this searing heat, Miguel has been arranging the pouring of concrete across the prepared areas, colouring it with powders and then stamping patterns on it. I will share a couple of the photos as things are - the 'final' photos will follow next week. ('Final' because as you will see, there is still plenty for us to do to finish off what we've started here....)

Trapped indoors as I took this photo....the first section going down.
FR keeping his beady eye on things!

View from Ruy's bedroom window of the area that was next in line for a cemented layer.
(Why is it in black and white, I wonder?)

With the colours mixed but not finished yet.....

Still impossible to imagine the finished look, though I guess it will be a sort of random mix of these two colours.....
There was a bit of an issue about the colours....this colour here is 'Crema' - although I swear to all and sundry that we finally chose a colour called 'Corcho', which is 'cork', I wanted it a bit darker and more neutral than I thought the Crema colour would be, so when I came home and saw this, I had a mini-apoplectic fit! However, it was already done and as it's going to end up different from its 'naked' state here, I am sure it will be fine - and if not, then SO much better than the way it was before! It won't be either grey OR sand-coloured when it is finished.

The colour in front of the door is a bit warmer but we didn't want the whole garden a warm colour - rather one that wouldn't emphasis the heat!

But my, how the men have worked. From 7am until around 12, with the temperature rising above 30C before 9am. It's going to make such a difference to our house and I can hardly wait to see it when they have put the resin coat down and then power-washed off all the excess coloured powders. But I have to wait until Monday!!

Then, the plan is to put out the small pool that we had last year and the year before, in its usual place. In the autumn, in good time this year, FR will finalise the arrangements for a bigger pool for the coming year. Now we have decided on its situation and the land around it is prepared and flat. It will be further away from the house, but takes advantage of the huge amount of land that we have and as yet don't really make use of. Slowly, slowly...we will get there.

And, at risk of making this a much longer post than I intended, I just want to mention that last week, my darling husband reached the ripe old age of 50. We celebrated in the most muted style imaginable with just a good dinner, a bottle of cider and a bit of Zentangle.

A joint effort on a wine box with some of his favourites inside. 

And we had cake....

Romy may be looking more grown up these days, but I'm delighted to see that she is still just a big kid inside.

And as happens every year.....

One week later and it's Mateo's birthday!! This year, he has reached the dizzying heights of 17.
So proud of him....

He really wanted a motorbike, I know, but I made him a summer pudding instead.
I'm working on the motorbike idea....but not just yet.

And the heat is set to continue. With all the work reaching a point where we could stop and have a rest, I think the beach is calling....


  1. Summer pudding, motorbike? I am sure he noticed the difference....

    1. You obviously have never tried my summer pudding! Lol. Axxx

  2. I'll try the summer pudding idea the next time that Leo talks about changing the car.....

    Your garden is going to be superb...and you've given me ideas for the lower garden area at the new house...though probably Leo will give me a summer pudding instead.....

    1. Good luck with the only works if the other person REALLY loves summer pudding and feels deprived of it apart from for special occasions.

      I am very excited about seeing the final result of the flooring. It has to make such a difference and gives us such a good base to continue making a garden here. It will be the first time I have made a garden though and I spend a lot of time looking out for different ideas. Right now, I am imagining the walls white, with possibly some zentangle patterns on them´and lots of lavender, hibiscus and roses, which will survive pretty well in our dry and hot summers and very cold winters. And more trees. And stone pathways up to the top ...and then there´s still the patio to do....I could go on but maybe I´ll have to make myself a summer pudding first!

  3. Coloured concrete sounds exciting. I hope you are going to let us know how it's done

    1. Writing this a few days later, B2B. You should know that all did not turn out well with the final effect....there may be solicitors involved. When I can think about it without feeling ill, I will definitely tell you how it should NOT be done....Axxx

  4. The garden plans sound wonderful. I think some zentangling will be a must. I've just mosaiced ( no...I dont suppose there is such a word....) a tree stump....and I love it. I think Im going to position them all around the garden, so you never quite know when you might stumble across one. Take care in that heat Annie ! Jxxxx

    1. We are rather distraught about the garden project, Janice. More to follow, but we have been left with a problem that possibly only a forest of mosaiced tree stumps could improve. (I love yours.) I will, of course, blog about it just as soon as I trust myself to do so. Axxx


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