Want to buy my house?

18/07/2012
House exterior with awful, red-brick extension in Kovaci, Istria

Had a strange phone call Monday afternoon, a few weeks ago. “Hello, I’m your neighbour in Kovaci. Would you like to buy my house?” As I said, strange. My caller was Dejan from Raiffeissen Bank Austria and he was calling about the red-brick monstrosity, next door. It had recently been repossessed and Dejan wanted...
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Win some, lose some – a week of compromises

05/07/2012
Garden works at Kovaci, Istria

In lovely Spring weather, attention shifts onto the garden and I see a lot of progress. But it’s an anxious week for me with various niggles and debates – some of which I even win!     Garden compromises Wednesday after May Day, I arrive in Kovaci to mountains of earth: top-soil has been...
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More tile tales … and loads of chipping

22/06/2012
Amir re-pointing barn in Kovaci, Istria

In the last two weeks of April, I’m preoccupied with tiles – the lack of them – and Miro gives me a kitchen panic. The pace of work ebbs and flows; we get shutters, gutters and a new front door. Amir keeps working on the barn’s walls and the month closes with a tiling...
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Tiling troubles

08/06/2012
Sign builders are around - beer bottles in window at Kovaci, Istria

Unnoticed by me, unwell in bed, the rain finally arrives for Easter. Despite cold, miserable weather, work progresses in Kovaci: Miro has lots of questions, the barn gains windows, I continue to worry about paint …and then there’s the tiles. I probably ought to have stayed in bed on Tuesday morning – I certainly...
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Onward, onward, ever onward

07/06/2012
Channels everywhere at Kovaci, Istria

It’s been the driest winter and spring anyone can remember. As April begins, cooler, cloudy weather arrives, but the drought runs on – bad for the garden (everything’s as dry as a bone), but great for building work. This week, Kovaci is inundated with workers, upstairs in the barn takes shape and I lose...
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Barnstorming progress

26/05/2012
Front of Kovaci barn, Istria showing quirky window alignment

March ended with yet another glorious week of warm sunshine: more like summer than early spring. In Kovaci, the barn was the focus of everyone’s attention this week – a lot needed to be done to bring it up to the same standard as the house.   Progress – what progress? The sight greeting...
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Gardening crazy

23/05/2012
Little House bed after the replanting in Istria

For Christmas, my Mother-not-in-Law gave me a small wall plaque reading ‘A garden is a thing of beauty – and a job forever’. How well she knew me … and how right she was! Spring is now more than sprung and, despite being run off my feet with Kovaci, I took full advantage of...
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It all happened on Wednesday

19/05/2012
JCB spreading gravel in our drive, Istria

Wednesday was one of those strange Croatian days. We had the pool fixed, the plumber came to repair the Little House boiler and a ton of gravel arrived in the drive. None of which we were expecting when the week started: all we’d expected were visitors. The holiday season was nearly upon us and...
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Beams, barn and continuing sunshine

05/05/2012
1st floor of barn in Kovaci, Istria

A lot of activity around beams this week: Miro finishes one set in the house and Amir lays floorboards on another in the barn. In glorious sunshine, a window appears in the barn and work starts on its roof. I choose a door, finally get to look out of the hay-loft window and almost...
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New neighbours, scary rumours and mild panic

02/05/2012
Stonemason crafting Kovaci property's beautiful gateway in Istria

The Opcina property is sold to Italians and rumours send me into a worried spin. A financing road-block slows work, but things still proceed, with trenches everywhere and some quality stone and wood work.   Neighbours are a concern for any property and at Kovaci, we had four adjacent properties. Only two were occupied,...
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Timeless Tinjan

26/04/2012
Electoral table in Tinjan, Istria

Just off the Porec-Pazin main road lies the cute, little village of Tinjan which has a strange electoral history. Elders would sit round a stone table with their beards spread in front: a flea was released in the middle and, whoever’s beard the flea jumped into, was elected mayor for the year. Centuries later,...
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Fast forward in Spring sunshine

23/04/2012
Toni in his beloved JCB in Kovaci, Istria

In glorious weather, work shifts outside and moves on apace. The pool emerges from its formers and is back-filled into the garden, and work progresses rapidly on the šupa. The house gains a front door and the windows arrive, but the stairs disappear! And I finally make a decision about tiles.   Dramatic progress...
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To barn or not to barn?

20/04/2012
Barn for restoration in Kovaci, Istria

As well as a three-bedroom terraced house, our property at Kovaci also has a barn. It’s a lovely building, in great condition, but restoring it along with the house would have been a big financial step too far – or so it seemed. Then, when P went to the UK, I started daydreaming…  ...
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More project creep … and Miro’s on an economy drive

14/04/2012
The team at work replacing the supa roof in Kovaci, Istria

Despite miscommunication, mis-translations and mislaid e-mails, work progresses steadily. I add yet more to an over-packed schedule, the pool starts taking shape and warmer weather finally arrives. Miro and I go shopping and, in a strange reversal of typical roles, I seem intent on spending money while Miro tries saving it!   Super šupa...
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Kovaci – an Istrian history lesson

02/04/2012
Mate Kovac's house in Kovaci, Istria

Istrian stone villages often look timeless – a slice of history, frozen in time. Any modern buildings appear intrusive, at odds with an otherwise historic atmosphere. When we bought our property in Kovaci, we soon discovered this is an overly romantic view. As Valter, the property’s previous owner, explained, these villages have rarely been...
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