A cut above the rest – my hair-cutting solution

January 26, 2013
Scissor nightmare - long hair being hacked short

Expat life in Istria throws up many challenges. For me, one of the biggest has been finding a reliable hairdresser. Yes, I know it sounds crazy and trivial but, with my very limited Croatian, it’s something I’ve put off time and again. After seven years, this small matter had grown into something of an...
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Dvigrad

January 5, 2013

Tinjan

January 5, 2013

Official requirements for rental properties

January 1, 2013

The list of requirements for a holiday property comes in an official government document. It’s a long and all in Croatian, but don’t panic – I’ve just translated it for you into English and added some thoughts. Because of its size (17 pages) it’s attached as a downloadable PDF, simply click on the link...
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Rental certification plaque

January 1, 2013

All Croatian rental properties should have an official rental plaque, which confirms their property has been officially inspected and given a tourist classification. So how do you get one? First you need to get your property inspected. Then, when you have been assigned your tourist classification, you will receive official confirmation with a ‘Rjesenje’....
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Battling with air, water … and furniture

November 22, 2012
Just a few of the rubbish boxes from Kovaci, Istria

As July finishes and August begins, the weather stays unusually hot and dry. The missing bedroom furniture arrives – with a twist (again!) – and I battle on with furniture assembly and dodgy air-co. But the heat’s taking its toll and then, when the water’s turned off …   Furniture: well, sort of …...
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Pool perfect … bedroom disaster!

September 28, 2012
P prepares to go for a first dip in the pool at Kovaci, Istria

With P’s parents safely dispatched back to the UK, I plan to make fast progress at Kovaci, but it is not to be. Instead, I’m in for delays, frustrations and upsets as I battle on in soaring temperatures. Bedroom furniture starts to arrive, along with a host of problems … but at least the...
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So near … and yet so far

September 21, 2012
Pool filling at Kovaci, Istria

Time is getting extremely tight and there’s an awful lot still to do at Kovaci. To have any hope of having guests this year, I have a real race on my hands. This is a crucial week: the kitchens go in and the pool is finished. But with soaring temperatures and visiting parents, do...
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Miro’s finished!!! Sort of …

August 29, 2012
Gardeners start work in Kovaci Istria

At last, Miro’s finished – in a way – so I should be celebrating, but somehow it doesn’t happen. Soaring temperatures, kitchen delays and garden issues preoccupy me so much, this momentous event slips past unnoticed. My focus is on finishing in time for possible guests: but we’re now so far behind schedule, I...
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Frustrating week

August 22, 2012
Garden near pool terrace at Kovaci, Istria with low soil level

It’s a short one this time ‘cos, frustratingly, not a lot’s happening. A short rain burst seems to stop play at the start of the week. Then, just when it’s set to resume … I fly away! Will everyone be able to cope without me?   The cold week June seems to be shaping...
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We clash with the tourist season

August 15, 2012
The pergolas that caused the problem in Kovaci, Istria

Work drags on and we’re now moving into the early tourist season. Noisy workmen and sleepy tourists don’t mix well, as I soon find out. Outside, everything’s so nearly finished: flowerbeds, paving and pergolas are almost done, and I finally see the barn’s stained flooring. And, as for the kitchens and furniture – do...
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Let there be lights! And paving! But no kitchen …

August 6, 2012
Miro & Amir pave with t-shirts on their heads in Kovaci, Istria

We’re oh so nearly there. The house is finished and this week, the barn receives its finishing touches and the remaining furniture is due. With Miro racing through the paving outside, I feel confident we’ll have everything ready for the season – until the phone goes …   Honorary builder for a day Today’s...
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Pray for rain!

August 4, 2012
Dried out field in Istria

Many countries in Europe – and especially the UK – might be having the wettest summer on record, but here in Istria it’s the opposite story. With soaring temperatures and hardly a drop of rain all year, water rationing’s started and it’s hitting everyone hard. And with everywhere tinder-dry, forest fires are making things...
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Finishing floors and bye-bye stone

July 20, 2012
Miro starts laying flagstones at Kovaci, Istria

Basically, it’s been two weeks of flooring! With the flagstones laid, at last the house is finished – sort of. And while flagstones go into the barn downstairs, Toni lays wood floors upstairs. Then attention shifts into the parking area, where we finally say “Bye-bye” to the mountain of stone … and “hello” to...
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Bathroom irritations and light solutions

July 18, 2012
Toni in unfinished pool in Kovaci, Istria

At last, I feel we’re entering the end-game at Kovaci. Bathroom fittings arrive (and bring some niggles…). I get a second go at deciding paint colours – will I get my way this time? Then, with everything else racing forward, I turn my attention to lighting and pray choosing light fittings proves easier than...
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