Progress – what progress?

My expat life in Istria

A week where nothing seems to go smoothly, but in fact I get a lot done. Web design proves time consuming, but I get there in the end, and there’s progress in the garden despite some very hot weather. But house hunting slows to a crawl.

Monday, 1 August

Bitter-sweet day. On the up-side, Tony and Ruth signed their pre-contract for the Losari house and we all celebrated with pseudo-champagne. On down-side, found we can’t get a tourist classification for the Zbandaj house. Expected, but it still hit me hard :(.

Had a good few hours in the garden, weeding and nuking some ant hills (the recent rain had driven them to the surface). Then I sprayed the vine and veg, which put me in a spraying mood. So I sprayed the remaining herbicide on the drive, where the weeds were turning into unofficial flower (well weed) beds.

After successfully pummelling pests and weeds, things began to unravel. Instead of continuing with the website design, I started pulling together a garden log, which I knew I’ll need later. I also forgot it was laundry day, and then realised I hadn’t ironed the guest house sheets for tomorrow – or anything in my huge pile, come to that. Only remembered at 4 pm! Mad panic to get things done – interrupted by champagne. Not exactly a hardship, but I didn’t get anything done after that.

Tuesday, 2 August

Lay awake thinking about other ‘house’ options now the Zbandaj house was out. With the world economic situation the way it is at the moment, is this such a wise time to be stretching ourselves buying the Babudri property? If we don’t go for Babudri then maybe Maria’s house opposite would be the best bet? What to decide?! Finally got to sleep just after 2 am, only to wake at 6:45 am(grrrr)!

Changeover day. T&R left first thing. New guests arrived about 4:30 pm (exactly when they said they would – good guests). Wonder if I can sell them a house as well … OK, probably not.

Weather beautiful and I spent it all indoors! Finished ironing before Glorija (my cleaner) arrived, then got back to the web design challenge. P & I have rather swapped roles at the moment – he was climbing around, trimming jasmine and wisteria, while I was at the ‘type-face’. I do find it rather addictive … but oh so time-consuming.

Wednesday, 3 AugustNicky-by-pool2

Not much to report today – is that good? Weather is heating up, so gardening is hot, muggy work. As I suspected, the snails have loved the recent rain – the oxalis are looking decimated. I took that as a personal insult, so  sprinkled a goodly dose of slug pellets. Take that!

It was great to get a mid-day swim.

Seems there was a snail theme all over. My trial website is moving forward at a snail’s pace (not so fond of WordPress today :(), and though we need to discuss what to do with the house project, neither of us had time to focus on it.

Thursday, 4 August

It was all about step ladders in the garden this morning, spraying all the roses, then trimming the wisteria round the front pergola. Then the familiar routine, into the office and on with the site. Progress painfully slow in last few days, as I explore how to do things.

Azra called … and we may be able to get a tourist classification for the Zbandaj house!! 🙂 Talk about up and down. It’s a public holiday here tomorrow, so we’ll hear more next week… allegedly. Good news, of course … but I’ll still believe it when it happens.

Friday, 5 August

Still hot, still muggy and still weeding in the front garden. Also still struggling with WordPress – again. With so much jargon and new things to learn, progress is in fits and starts. Getting frustrated.

Karlo called at the end of the day. We’ve been trying to get building permits for our pool and a small extension since we arrived in Istria (a story for another day), and our current architect has let us down repeatedly over the last seven years. Enough was enough, so we asked Karlo if he could help and he said he would contact a guy he knew who specialises in sorting out tricky planning issues. After a month’s wait, Karlo calls to say his expert is finally ready to see us next week – and we’re going to be away. Aaghhh!!! :(. That really is the story of everything to do with this planning application. Agreed I’d call Karlo when we got back.

Saturday, 6 August

I suspect snails have been eating my strawberries, so I officially escalated the battle to all-out war. There are now slug pellets down all over the place. Propped up some of the cyprus tree’s sagging branches to see if it will learn by example. Then I finished the weeding marathon in the front garden, and had a smug-attack. Just don’t look at the back garden.

After gardening … back to site-building. I realise the routine is paying off and perhaps I’m getting on further than I thought. SnS came for dinner, we played mahjongg afterwards and learned some new Croatian swear words.

Sunday, 7 August

And seemingly out of no-where … is finished (well more or less). Another big smug attack. Went out for lunch to celebrate and then flopped in the pool with a glass of wine.


The tale continues with a trip to the UK

Read my blog in the right order – from the start in July


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One Response to Progress – what progress?

  1. Tony on 12/09/2011 at 15:56

    Very nice site. It must have taken a lot of work. Keep up the good work. – Ruth & Tony

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