34. Building a table – part 2

As a fairly independent woman I like to think I can do most things for myself. Some of my friends may call this stubbornness but I like to think that it’s me trying out new ideas and ‘having a go’! In the past I have built steps, BBQ’s and fireplaces but, as an independent woman of a certain age, I now know that I have my limits.

I found my new limitations when I decided to build a table within the rear garden area! I wanted somewhere for friends, family and guests to sit and enjoy a BBQ and a good old natter. I began by taking my time planning the design – I will admit that my computer was a little frazzled with the amount of work it was doing as I experimented with ‘artistic’ drawings and random shapes – but it was fun.

My next task was to look at the size, shape and height of each of the six seats that were to go around the table. This was not an easy task as not only is moving breeze blocks from one place to another quite hard, the floor area ran in two different directions. Eventually, by experimenting with the different sized blocks, the seat areas were all marked out and all the calculations were safely recorded for the height of each seat compensating for the difference in floor levels.

Then came the building of the said seats. You may say that building solid shapes would be a fairly easy task. After all, it is just a number of breeze blocks, cemented together, to form seats! How hard can that be? Well, it was hard. Moving and lifting breeze blocks and mixing buckets and buckets of cement does require strength and agility. Apparently I have very little of both. But… I did it, eventually. We now had 6 ‘earthquake proof’ seats.

During one of my ‘I can do that’ periods I decided to buy several packs of mosaic tiles that are soooo tiny you need the patience of a saint to handle them or very fine tweezers. Using these tiles I set out to make mosaics for the six seats, and as the table will inevitably be used for eating, I chose different fruits for the designs. Most of the mosaics are self explanatory but you may need to use your imagination on a couple but who cares, that’s half the fun.

It was time to install the metal framework for the table top. This is when I seriously struggled, physically and mentally. What would we do if we did not have good friends to come to our rescue? I was so lucky to have a great friend who took over the construction of the table and saved my sanity. Without his help I would not have had the table that you see today.

Once the frame was in position and the bardos had been cut and placed inside the frame I could then begin designing the top of the table. Once I had placed a few tiles in different positions and decided on my final design it was a huge relief. I could see the end in sight. Tiles stuck down, grouting complete and the capa fina (plaster) area painted and I’m loving it.

I did forget to mention the mosaics that I added to the capa fina. It was a risk on my part as it I did want an uncomplicated look for the table top but I went for it anyway. I wanted to include a few Spanish words around the table by using my minute tiles. What fun that was! I found the mosaic words easy enough to do, (not perfect by any means but that’s me), but I will confess to reaching a point of desperation to find words without to many letter S’s or G’s in them! I finally went for Espana (Spain), Risa (laughter), Sangria (we all know that one), Amigos (friends), Paz (peace) and Sol (sun). All I can say is that it’s different.

To test the table we were going to have an afternoon bbq but, as it’s summer, the temperatures here in Spain were far too high to eat outdoors without proper shade so a breakfast was a great compromise. On the menu was a full cooked breakfast (selection of cheeses for John), croissants and bucks fizz. Hopefully, all our guinea pigs, (sorry, good friends), enjoyed it as much as we did. Thank you all.

The table is ready to be enjoyed by all our guests, friends and family for many years to come. However, if for some inexplicable reason it doesn’t last the test of time, then I will be buying a table and chairs from Amazon.es. I’ve built one table which is an experience I do not wish to repeat.

On to the next projects – games area and a two person swing!

Stay safe and be happy.

6. Off To Meet The Architect.

Friends have asked me, ‘How is the cave coming along?’ My honest answer is, ‘I really don’t know’.   We are making progress albeit very slowly with tiny steps.


My latest trip to Spain was for a dual purpose. I needed to meet with the architect and builder to discuss alterations and extensions to the original plans we had been given when we purchased the cave but most importantly, to discuss the boundary of our land.  If you recall from my previous posts the deeds for the cave still have the original map detailing the plot as it was back in the Flintstone days.  Plots of land had been verbally exchanged, (farming land for extra scrub land), but nothing was put down in writing and no alterations had been made to the drawings.  This apparently happens a lot in Spain and according to our solicitor – nothing to worry about.   I sit here with crossed fingers!  The new updated drawings would then be attached to the deeds of the cave to make everything clear and legal.

As the builder spoke no English, (but had most lovely eyes), and the architect very little, Matilda agreed to meet up and help out. Matilda will be overseeing the reform of the cave when we are in a position to begin.

The temperatures were in the late 30’s as we walked around outside the cave, but as we went inside the cave, the temperature dropped to a lovely 20 degrees. That is what cave life is all about.  Cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

As we walked around it was getting more and more obvious that some of my plans for the reform would need to change. The builder was not happy with the idea of digging into the cave any further than had already been done which was rather disappointing. However, the lounge area that I had imagined to be on the left hand side of the cave was achievable pending planning permission. This is where we are hoping Matias, the architect, will be worth his money.  Matias was born in the area and worked within the planning department until recently when he moved towards the coast. If anyone can get plans passed we are hoping he can.


The lounge area will be designed to appear as part of the cave apparently – I cannot wait to see the plans.

The urgency of the drawings to mark out the land has been put back slightly as the planning offices close during most of the month of August so it is unlikely that we can get anything finalised until September. Hey ho, so be it.

So yes, we have moved forward but….as I say, it does appear to be with tiny steps. But, as I always say, those tiny steps all add up and in this case add up to us living in a cave. The problem is that the older I get the less patient a person I am, especially when I have set my mind at something.

The second purpose for my trip to Spain was to give my granddaughter Megan a holiday. Megan has been revising none stop for her exams so I wanted to give her a break away (and for her to see the cave in person). Ryan (Megan’s twin) has also had exams but he had flown off to celebrate with friends on another Spanish island.


So, it was decided to have a girlie week with me, Megan and Sharon (Megan’s mom). We had a lovely 4 days near to the cave. I did all I could with the people I needed to see and we toured around the area visiting villages and shopping centres!  We found a wonderful centre close to Granada which had every shop you could dream of in a surrounding that was second to none.  It truly was amazing and one that I will certainly go back to.  You could certainly make a day of it even if you don’t shop.  The last 3 days of our trip we decided to move nearer to Malaga Airport as we had an extremely early flight home.

We chose a converted nunnery about 10km inland, which was a lovely spot in the mountains, but I must admit to feeling a little pleased that we had chosen the Granada area to live.  When you are not so near to the coast you get great daytime temperatures, cooler nights and ….no humidity! Wonderful.

Now we wait for the drawings to be completed and continue to advertise the 5 bed house and 2 bed apartment in Cyprus.  Spain awaits.

Here is another little video we made during our last visit.  I cannot wait to show you a video when the work begins.  It will be amazing –  I hope.😉