(Waking) Up in the Clouds

View from the cloudsThere have often been times at our favourite dog-sitting house down in the Jalón valley that we’ve stared westwards up the valley and watched the mountain/hill tops being obscured by a threatening set of gloomy low clouds. This morning waking up in Casa Libélule, our perspective was very different; we were, ourselves, now up the valley and half way up one of those mountains whose head had been obscured by those gloomy low clouds. We could hardly see the valley floor at our feet, far less our favourite dog-sitting house nor even, indeed, Jalón itself. The weather forecasters had been predicting a day or so of rain for some time. It was supposed to turn up yesterday but it would appear its progress slowed and it looks as though it took longer to get here. It was certainly here now.

Also unknown to us, today is St. Joseph’s Day, celebrated in the Valencia region, and all the shops are closed. Happily, entirely by luck rather than by planning, we had bought food for today yesterday. Also fortunately, since the weather was crap and the shops were closed, we had some jobs to keep us amused indoors.

SideboardI began by checking my glued and clamped TV unit repair. All appeared well so I finished that off before opening the last two of my original 16 cardboard boxes to assemble our last piece of oak furniture, a small 2-door sideboard unit. I discovered that I had left the most complex assembly job ‘til last, more by luck than judgement; the instruction booklet ran to 17 pages. Unbounded joy! The booklet wittily informed me that it should take an hour. Oh how I laughed. With multiple shapes of assembly hardware components (screws, drawer runners, handles etc) consecutively lettered from A to V, not having been packed in bagged sets and not actually themselves being lettered, it took me almost an hour to sort the components and to verify that I had been supplied all the correct bits. I must now have been a seasoned professional, however, and assembly went smoothly, albeit rather slowly. More haste, less speed is definitely the approach to take with these things. I think it actually took me three hours to build but it looked splendid when finished. It’s a good job that Francine and I still love the style of this stuff because we’ve got a considerable amount of it.

Speaking of Francine, while I was building the sideboard she volunteered to set about oiling some of the pieces that were already assembled. There are some chipboard components in the furniture but the things like the legs and table tops are solid oak – well, solid spliced-together oak, anyway. In JYSK, whilst paying for our order and arranging for delivery, we had been regaled to treat the wood with a special oil. This should be done before the furniture was first used. The oil should be applied, quite lavishly, with a mildly abrasive sponge and allowed to soak in, before removing any excess with kitchen towel prior to buffing up with a clean cotton cloth. Francine started with our downstairs items of furniture, massaging oil into our escritorio, filing cabinet and two of the six chairs (two that would be used as office chairs when not needed as dining chairs). We decided not to oil our bookcase, largely because we didn’t want pages of books getting oily. Oh, the fact that it would be a bugger of a job might also have had a bearing. 🙂

All this took until about 2:00 PM.

The weather has not changed and is still utter crap. If it would stop raining, I could get rid of the second mountain of discarded cardboard that has been steadily building up at one end of our dining area. However, the weather shows no sign of improvement as yet.

16 down, zero to go. Yay!

Why did we buy a house in Spain?

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Posted in Spanish Venture Part 2

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