Thursday, April 21, 2011

evidence & hostages...

Look, there is evidence that the painters have been around... but, where are they??? Yes, the painters are "in" but they are working at a pre-Easter pace. Having put all their efforts into getting local hotels ready for the summer invasion of tourists from Scandinavia, they seem a bit tired and -invisible- to tell you the truth. There was a lot of prep work to do, and that seems to be done now, so the actual painting can begin. We are not sure exactly what time they show up, as no one is willing to go to the house at 8 or 8:30 and wait, but Takis had been past at noon one day, and they were working. I decided I would also go, just to see if my suspicions were true, and they were! They were cleaned up and gone by 2pm the same day. The next day they did not even show up. Sianna and I could paint the house faster using Q-tips at this rate! But, they had primed the railing, and at this point it is actually painted...but Alex forgot the camera to get a shot.
Below is a shot of our bathroom and our "Hostage." The Sink! The sink is the correct style from Duravit, but not the correct model. It came in last November, with only one hole for a faucet, even though the faucet we ordered from the same store (Plagos) is a triple! Every week they tell us the replacement sink will be here in 10 days, and it never shows. The sales girl also says, "Why not just take that sink and we have your faucet as a single." We HATE the faucet as a single, it is so ugly it is not even a thought, and to go with a different single means that it will not match the shower or the bidet. So, we took the sink so that our carpenter could at least use to build the vanity...and are holding it hostage. They don't get it back until we get the correct one, and NO we have not paid for it. If this runs on to a point where we will not be able to get the correct sink, I am keeping the hostage, GRATIS! Perhaps I will try to contact Duravit directly, or their distributor in Athens, but Plagos is the only shop on Crete that carries this product.
No worries though, the girls sink came in chipped, but was replaced in a weeks time. So there will be a fully completed bathroom on the first floor, and god willing, all the baths on the ground floor. Though I really don't want to brush my teethe in the "powder room" and have to clean the marble sink in there twice a day. Marble and toothpaste are not a good sticks.
Lastly, the tiles in the kitchen have been installed. Not a great shot, but you get the idea. The thought was that if Alex gets the stove he wants, he will also have a stainless back splash that goes up behind it to the hood. I think we could have gone with another row, but were were avoiding tiling the entire space between the counter and the cabinets. I am still not sold on it, but that is what it is...I just could not find something I really loved. Back splashes are easy to change though...right???

Monday, April 18, 2011

Theodorakis and building...

Just like music by Theodorakis, so goes much of what is done in Greece. Things start out slowly, moving at a snails pace to the point that one sometimes thinks that nothing is happening at all. Then faster, and faster and faster it goes. Mistakes happen, but they often go unnoticed as one attends to all the frenzy that is being kicked up around one.

I wish I could say that this were the case for the building of the house...but the frenzy has yet to kick in. We are still on "σιγα,σιγα" slowly, slowly, mode. But, as the painters are now in the house, and more of the tile and plumbing is done, we do see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are some bathroom photos, the tiny guest bath is almost there. The glass needs to be fixed for the shower, and the vanity will be placed and then tiled to receive the Baci bowl.

Below is the downstairs "powder" room. The tile and vanity have been installed, but we are having some problems with the faucets...the tile is a bit in the way. So we need to figure out how to get them attached the best way possible. This is what happens when measurements are not we will wing it and hope for the best. Now, if you think that arch looks a but is. And yes, you will have to be very careful when turning around to leave after washing your hands. It is like a built it practical joke, only someone could actually get hurt! Sianna and Olivia are safe though.

Monday, April 11, 2011

inside and out

Some of Alex's handy work includes the cleaning off of the exposed stones in the niches and archways. Apparently the "stone workers" don't actually do that part. Who knew? But, as with much, I am not surprised. Apparently no one actually cleans up after themselves either. I know you need a cleaning crew to go into a new house after construction is complete, because the dust etc... is just so extensive, but really, can't the workers throw out their own frappe cups, wires and extra lengths of wood etc... Alex spent a good part of his Sunday doing just that. Clearing out the crap that has been left behind. Boxes that sinks or toilets or faucets came in, junk left out in the garden. This week should see the return of the tile guy, the plumber and by the grace of god the carpenter...then we can get the painter in.
On the outside of the house you can see that the scaffolding around the chimney has finally been removed. Big improvement. Still no plan for a front gate, but that is not on the list of MUSTS to get us into the house.
And here is the first lily of the season, that blooms under the walnut tree. So, despite neglect and construction, at least that one plant is still hanging on. In all actuality, we only lost the grapevine, and that will be replaced as soon as possible. Lets hope to get a ton of work done this week and us into the house after Easter!!!! Fingers crossed.