Thursday, August 31, 2017

home(t)raveling: month 2

with more and more help from our friends!

Second month! Nine whole weeks already: feels unreal ; been hectic ; looks unbelieveable ; is exhausting ; sounds weird ; tastes wonderful ; mostly just amazing. It could be a dream and it's pretty much like a dream. Look at it this way: large, empty (and ever-changing) rooms ; people who come by and go unexpectedly or providentially (our dear G. for instance, initially visited for a few days and ended spending three intense weeks with us) ; things stored in unlikely places, resulting in goofy/poetic/chaotic settings ; space and time uncoiling a bizarre way ; little or no connexion at all with the outside/real world ; and one doesn't seem to be sleeping ever. Home(t)raveling is a little bit like waking life, only that the string quintet we listen to day after day does not play an intriguing tango theme but some delicately chiseled accompaniments for Silvia Perez Cruz' unique voice. - See for yourselves:

suggested therapeutic protocol: listen at full volume, once daily, for a whole month. either during or between meals.
don't dilute in water. wine is fine. in case of overwhelming emotions, increase the dosage and keep listening.

Well, August was not only dream-like. It was also a bit of a rush. of a rash? Intense, stressful and very busy. Wallis was still working at the local vet clinic, with the owner/boss suddenly deciding to take two weeks off. On a weekend's notice, she was left with the keys, the pets, the trouble and all the rest. "Do not call me over the next ten days, I feel so tired!" was the last thing she heard. "Do not talk about work, I so wish I weren't back in this shithole!" would be the first thing she'd hear afterwards. Meanwhile, Futuna had a good load of translations to deal with, including an on-site 4-day mission for a client somewhere in the outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark. Yes, Copenhagen, Denmark - forgive the absence of funny letters, crossed O's and weird accents, I can't afford to spend the next hour looking for them into blogger's menus (thære yøu gøøkåy? nøw, plæse givæ me å bræk, I'm låte!). Hopefully, there'll be a little illustrated post about this uncommon and freåky adventure sometime søøn*.

the living-room back to bare brick and stone - "shall we never forget those wallpapers..."
For now, we're in the second half of August, right in the eye of the tornado with Futuna away to sit at someone else's desk (ain't that gross?) and Wallis alone to deal with someone else's clinic (ain't this creepy?)**. Alone? Not really: her dear friend M., just landed from a few years in Dominican Republic, came to spend these critical days with her. She took on the meals, scoured some door and window frames and gardened like crazy, while allegedly working on her PhD... Impressive how the procrastination bug can get one to engage in and work on - often way harder than... - any random task that one may come across on the way to not doing what they're actually supposed to. Ha ha ha! It also happened to be our tiny village's summer fest and the nights were apparently quite sleepless, full of cheap music and bouncing drunkards all around. Fortunately, that is precisely when our friends M. & A. (who are not only friends but also architects - yes, you can be two and even more things at the same time. They, for instance, were our neighbours in Barcelona, before becoming our friends. And by that time, they had been architects for years already! ain't that crazy? right? right?), decided to take a long weekend to come visit us and set up a site meeting.

the (great) job done by M., L. and M. & A. in the garden (we also both helped, eh!), especially trimming the ivy from the central hedge (ain't that contradictory?)
They also took our dear L. with them, who came to visit us for the second time already, and was ready to work on the doors and windows that she had left unscoured on her first stay. Friends, friends, friends! Well, now is indeed a good time to extend our warmest thanks to M. & A. for being with us, visiting with us, looking at every little thing with us (and with their architects' eyes), councelling us and advising us, calming us down and cheering us up, supporting us, guiding us through the whole process, thinking phases and ways to do, finding how to's, options and solutions, all this before we actually started anything... All along these 2 months and those 3 others before the project even began, M. & A. treated us with their friendship, knowledge, expertise, ideas, tips, warnings, sketches, calculations, software proficiency and last but not least, with a good load of embotits catalans at each of their visits! Thank you so much, M. & A. : Home(t)raveling wouldn't be the same (it probably wouldn't be at all) without your help, skills and enthousiasm!

our small (but efficient) door and window renovation workshop with part of the results (more soon, once we figure out how to use the router...).
Another important task of these peaceful and nice summer days was un-glassing, scouring, cleaning, scrubing, sanding, treating and oiling the doors, windows and frames of the first and second floors. As for the doors, we had done some already, and the windows would need further processing with the router, so as to make them double glazing-friendly. This, we'll show it later on, as soon as we've figured out how to do it... Oh, the joy of being a permanent, full-time beginner at things and learning new stuff everyday! Anyway, at some point, we were unable to work on them anymore and had to find some new tasks. While A. kept working on some designs and plans, M. took some pictures from original points of view and we finished to remove the plaster and lattice false ceilings in the first floor. Supposedly an easy job with no surprises nor major issues to be expected, it came with a good fright and a close-to-falling-off-the-ladder Futuna. Feel free to come in and have a closer, it appeared to be long-abandoned: a dry, empty and extremely fragile architectural masterpiece! Now, ain't that super cool, super beautiful and super impressive? We don't really know whether this is from wasps or hornets, as there was nobody around to give us the answer nor bite us, but it's a good thing we found it and removed it, just in case it happened to be a seasonal resort or something like that...

any expert out there? a quick search on the net suggests it could be european hornets. A gorgeous, scary, psychedelic tiny house inspiration anyway!
Last but not least on this entry: another friend came to visit over the past few weeks. Not very helpful but you know, the important thing is to get involved. Not very talkative either, but we eventually learnt his name from the neighbours (who happen to be his owners). He's called Oreo (any resemblance with the name of some famous black and white cookies is probably a coincidence...) and he's quite NOT interested in cooking nor doing the dishes, BUT really keen on eating any bit of tuna, ham or chicken we might have for him. Ah, and he loves licking a yogurt lid every now and then, too. But who doesn't? It's been fun to have him around, to see how he go less and less shy and how he got bigger and bigger through the weeks, too. It's probably time somebody took the decision to have him neutered already, but we believe it's too muh of a responsibility for us at the moment and the owners, who don'treally speak to us, don't seem likely to blame us anyway ...Wait and see.

last but not least, our new friend/neighbour Oreo helpin with the elderberry harvest!

Time to conclude - cause I'm gonna be kicked out of the university's library soon - not by anybody in particular but the sound of my gargling stomach! So yes: friends, friends, friends! And thanks, thanks, thanks! None of this would be nor would have been possible without your help, energy, sweat and support! We love you all!


We'll be back soon!
Take care and enjoy September
Futuna & Wallis


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* Better not to promise anything about more blog posts, right? Promises only exist for those who believe them, don't they? Ha ha ha. Sorry.

** "New challenges everyday! Living life to the fullest! Tomorrow a little bit more! On my way to Hawai! The sky is the limit! Wooooooh!" and more global-citizen-CS-friendly-positive-thinking crap.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

home(t)raveling: setmanes 5 i 6

with a little more help from our friends!

la xemeneia i el llibre* que mes triomfa aquí aquest estiu! ;)
Doncs, no n'estic segur però podria ser aixo el nostre primer post en català, ¿oi que si? Ostres! Aleshores, demano sol.lemnament a totes les catalanoxerrantes i tots els catalanoxerrants que em perdonin: mai he arribat a encertar ni tan sols 3 paraules seguides en el Gran Dictat i el meu nivell de català ès inversament proporcional al meu entusiasme a l'hora d'escriure aquest post. I en ambdues combinacions, aixo pinta malament... Home, ès el que hi ha: al menys, no us vendré gat per llebre. Però com volem fer-li avui un petit homenatge a un gran amic, semblava que aquesta era la forma mes adecuada. Aixo va per en G., el nostre estimat fanàtic, nascut al Llobregat i exiliat per amor entre Ponent i Aragò, que ens va acompanyar i ajudar aquestes últimes 2 setmanes per aqui Can La Meunière. I ès que no nomès vam compartir moments i xerrades molt agradables, sino que també ens va treure de sobre una feina titanesca, que mai haguessim imaginat poder abordar (ni parlar de terminar-la) en els propers mesos! Tot plegat, i un cop buidat i netejat l'estable (veure el anterior capitol aqui), va fer-se carrèc de la granja, per buidar i netejar-ho tot, amb un xic de la nostra ajuda però practicament sol. Ni he arribat a explicar encara que ho ha fet tot penjat amb cordes i a una velocitat que a dures penes ens donava temps d'anar gestionant els escombros i les muntanyes de m---- que sortien d'allà dalt!

Per ilustrar i documentar una mica la cosa, que les meves paraules - tristement - ès queden cortes, aqui sota teniu els "abans" i els "després" corresponent a la part de la granja:

planta segona de la part dita "la granja": abans, abans i mentres... i ja a punt de plegar, amb tot buid i net - només quedarà fer-ho tot nou... un dia futur.

planta primera abans, abans i mentres: ¡qué lluny queden les finestres! després: buid, net... i amb vistes a la muntanya!
Doncs, després de tot aixo, fins i que ens trovavem ben cansats, encara li van sobrar unes miques mes de temps i de ganes... i ens va preparar una habitaciò sencera abans de marxar! Treure el fals sostre i tot el paper de paret, deixar-ho tot net i preparat per a la resta de feines: tractar bigues, fer l'aillament del sostre, pasar-li una capa blanca i neta at tot areu i finalment polir i tractar el parquet del terra. El objectiu: arribar a fer-ho tot i que estigui acabat abans del invern, per tenir una habitaciò (i idealment totes dues) en condicions. Just vam aprofitar el seu últim matí amb nosaltres per anar a la déchèterie a portar tota la runa i quedar-nos un altre cop amb totes les bosses que van tornar a caure en una crisi de buid (existencial).També, amb les feines no-de-casa-sino-de-les-que-s'han-de-fer-per-jalar que se'ns acumulaven, al mig de un huracà d'estrès i de deadlines imposibles, vam rebre una breu visita del nostre A. nacional i la seva M., que van parar a saludar i prendre la mida del chantier al baixar de un Vicdessos plujós, abans de continuar la seva ruta de l'estiu cap al Quercy. Ja tornaràn amb mes temps!

i un cop mes encara: abans, mentres i després. no hi ha res mes per dir, però si per fer abans del invern i de l'arribada del fret...

A l'hora de concloure: finalment, encara que hagi passat uns dies abans, quan encara hi era en U., van aprofitar una estona que ni la Wallis ni jo erem a casa (i just a l'hora de la migdiada, amb la calor que feia, ai, aquests nens que mai aprenen!) per posar-se a realitzar a 4 mans un petit projecte ben bonic i indispensable per l'estiu... del que tant nosaltres com totes les properes visites gaudirem sense moderaciò. Voilà! Amb aixo i diuent-li (¡No! Cridant-li) un cop mes moltísimes gràcies per l'ajuda, l'energia i el bon rotllo, us deixem actualitzats amb aquest número de home(t)raveling. ¡Que vagi bé i fins aviat!

a 4 mans (de fusters): un petit projecte bonic i indispensable per l'estiu.


i molts petons per a tothom,
Wallis & Futuna


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* també podria veure-es aquesta entrada com un petit homenatge a l'artista que va produir aquesta auténtica pepita que no nomès us recomanem urgentment, sino que a mes i mes podeu demanar i us passem contacte per demanir-li una copia... o dues!