It’s remarkable the pace of progress since we arrived at the Pelawatta house on Monday afternoon. Gate Late the builder was surprised that we were moving in as is – you have to remind yourself that this project was supposed to have been completed by end July and we are now early October.
There have been faults on both sides with last minute changes but interpretation has also been a difficulty. Let loose on their own there appears to have been a cavalier attitude to what has already been installed. I mean mainly the expensive floor tiles. They are scored in some instances and in others varieties of not original colouring seem to have been dropped haphazardly upon them.
It took me about an hour to work out how to clean the tiles in my oh! so beautiful bedroom, which I absolutely love. To get back to the tiles, I had mopped and tried neat floor cleaner on a cloth neither of which made any significant difference. In the end a green scrubbit working in the neat floor cleaner eventually did the job.
I wore the scrubbit out in the first dozen 18” x 18” tiles, and my hand, so am taking things now at a very slow pace. It becomes addictive. You see a spot and a splash of colour that should not be there and think I will just do one more. But I have failed miserably in the last few days after the initial enthusiasm. Too many workmen in and out of the rooms, too much going on.
There was chaos and dust everywhere when we arrived but we have made great strides in these past few days. And we have hot water, really hot water thanks to a solar water heater installed on Wednesday. Bliss being able to shower and wash your hair in hot water.
The Sri Lankan telecom people were supposed to arrive either Monday or Tuesday but now we learn the Tuesday is pushed to next week. Apparently our house is in a dip and they need to install another pole or mast or something to bounce the signal. I am borrowing the internet connection from the daughter-in-law’s sister to write up these notes.
Everything is Manyana and the word tomorrow is bandied more frequently than it is in Spain. The chap who was fitting the glass panels for the showers was non-contactable by telephone for days but explained on Wednesday he had been in hospital with fever.
You begin to wonder, but when he arrived on Wednesday with some men to reposition the shower glass which the builder would not take the risk of moving, you could see he had been ill. He is coming back tomorrow or Friday! (And it is now Friday and he did and all the shower glass panels are fitted although there are still two window frames to be installed.)
One of the downstairs rooms is finished so begins the task of storing boxes in that and in the garage where there is already a stack of stuff piled up ready to transport to Haputele.
The lorry came on Thursday to remove much of the builder’s debris and gradually everything is falling into place and to some semblance of order. We still don’t have an indoor kitchen but there is an outdoor sink (under a canopy) and a cooker and the indoors cooker and hood, fridges, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer are due to be connected up tomorrow. Always tomorrow.
The son’s father-in-law FIL returned to Ja Ela on Tuesday where the final pieces are being gathered to bring here as soon as we have an operational cooker. In the meantime the son and I have eaten out a couple of times a day. We’ve been back to the Bavarian Beer Gardens for dinner and a lunch and eaten in local cafes for breakfast.
This is a very pleasant area with a great variety of shops. The Parliament is close by as are huge open spaces and always the river or is it rivers with the most enormous lily pads.
We still have no fridge connected and the final touches are being put to the paving at the outside kitchen. It’s like camping out but in some luxury as we are really very comfortable.
The television connection is reliant on the wifi which of course is going to be connected by Sri Lankan telecom on some future Tuesday. Father-in-law in the meantime has connected a makeshift television aerial on to a security lamp atop a pole. He has a long lead attached to a shaft of metal on top of the security lamp pole! The television screen is covered in mottled white dots but he persevered watching it until late on Monday night. He has yet to discover that the connection in the Pelawatta house will take place on some unpredictable Tuesday and meanwhile he has organised the disconnection of the service at the Ja Ela house, perhaps prematurely.
The most exciting thing for me this week has been the hot water – the simple things in life are really the best – aren’t they?