Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ruin update

I have been holding off on news of the ruin, hoping we´d be actually, you know, starting.

However, as it is we are still waiting for the Water authority people to give their blessing to the project so we can get the building permit. Let´s recap.

Plan submitted to the City last July.

Some small changes, and subsequent Execution plan submitted October.

In November the city architect announces we´ll need approval from the Water authority. (That would have been good to know last summer when the city opened the branch close to the house. You´d think it would have occurred to someone to let us know.)

Paperwork off to the water authority, fees paid (a rather nasty letter insisted they be paid within 4 days of receiving the notice)in December. Lightening speed as these things go, or so we´ve been told.

Project officially published for public commentary in February for 20 days.
Announcement expires and lack of commentary is sent back to Waters authority by the City.

And nothing further. We can´t do anything but wait for them to stamp the paperwork done and let us get on with it, and by law they have 3 years to do that. It´s now 18 months since we bought the place. The architect, technical architect, and builder are all standing by. We´d thought to start in March and finish water tight shell by August, but now who knows.

So meanwhile, Galicia is experiencing the worst drought in over 50 years. Perfect construction weather. Unfortunately, they´ve also had forest fires, the latest in the Fragas do Eume, the finest preserved piece of Atlantic Forest in Europe. 750 hectares burned before they got it under control.

So until the earth movers show up, I´ve been looking at shots taken last fall.

Going counterclockwise around the garden:

A really, really tall evergreen - unusual for these parts. No idea what kind.

Some baby bay trees in front of one big one - wreaths?

A little fig?

Some old apples - going to need some remedial pruning - but they´re really tall.

The apples themselves are scarce, small and pleasantly tart. Cider maybe?

A vine scrambling up a dead tree - looks maybe like a grape?

An unidentified tree - trunk

Unidentified top

Elders? Wine with the berries and ¨champagne¨ with the flowers?

And some baby volunteer oaks which will need to be transplanted before they get too big.

The big fig - another big pruning project I´d rather not think about.

Let´s hope they don´t all burn down before we can get the house started. Or after, for that matter.


  1. Oh dear, it must feel as though your life has been put on hold. Are the planing departments so inefficient that they need up to three years to make up their minds.Here a decision has to be made within three months, if it's not you can go ahead, it's planning granted by default, and it makes for an efficient system.

  2. It´s driving me crazy. And the longer we wait, the worse the economy gets and the more nervous I am. They tell us that the Augas de Galicia department are the worst in the entire region. But we daren´t annoy them for fear they´ll just drag their feet even more. Most irritating.