2011-12-04: The garden is nearly completely planted now, round this side of the house the wooden sleepers have to be embedded in the ground and the remaining soil covered with sand and gravel
2011-12-04: The pool has been filled. At the moment, the water is being filtered and chlorinated, but the water is still quite cloudy - it should clear over time.
2011-12-04: It has rained quite heavily in the last week, and although it has been dry for at least 24 hours, the soil is still VERY wet. Which is a pity, as it is stopping progress in the garden and also the finishing of the entrance to the garage at the front of the house, which needs several dry days before it can be concreted.
2011-12-04: This is the washroom, almost finished now. Just some painting and cupboards below the work-surfaces need adding. The sink and work-surfaces are stone, and the sink should be large enough for anything that needs cleaning, we think!
2011-12-04: This is next door to the washroom, and is the "paella kitchen". Again, the stone sink should be large enough for even a large paella pan!
2011-12-04: The kitchen is the only room apart from the guest bedroom which is finished at the moment, so I am still "camping" in the rest of the house, waiting for the work to finish, so that I can start unpacking without everything immediately being covered in dust from the on-going work.
2011-12-04: This is the server room, and one of the main areas where there is still a lot to be done. I only realised quite late in the day, that the electrician had ignored the architect's plans, and put power points etc. in the wrong places and not installed ethernet anywhere other than in the office. He is now adding power points and ethernet to the rest of the house, and removing unwanted satellite TV points, which he had distributed liberally in the rooms which should have been connected to the network! The large black box on the table is an uninterruptible power supply, which is extremely heavy, and should keep the servers running even if we loose the mains power for up to 20 minutes.
2011-12-04: This is part of the main bathroom. Quite small at only a little more than 5 sq.m. To the left is a walk-in shower and opposite the toilet, a bidet. This bathroom was only finished on Friday, and I have been using the guest bathroom instead, (which is also not completely finished yet).
2011-12-12: View of the garden after sunrise. The surface water still hasn't drained away, so apart from planting some of the smaller plants, nothing much has happened in the garden this week. (It is forecast to rain on Sunday, so it probably isn't going to improve much next week either)
2011-12-14: We have had a continuous stream of lorries arriving today and unloading sand and gravel for the garden. No neat English bowling green here - it wouldn't survive!
2011 12-14: This is the one side of the house - pretty nearly finished.
2011-12-14: The same side as in the previous picture, but in the other direction
2011-12-14: This is from behind our garage, looking over most of the back garden. To the left of this, the sand still hasn't been delivered and spread yet.
2011-12-14: From the side of the house. The grey thing that the hose pipe comes out of is the pump-house for the pool.
2011 12-14: The view across our pool from near the garage.
2011-12-14: And the view across the pool from the other end of the pool. The sand isn't different colors, but the side nearest to the camera is wetter than the sand further away.
2011-12-14: This is part of the garden which has not yet been finished!
2011-12-16: The boundary to the neighbour below us is planted and the irrigation pipes are installed. The bottom path is a layer of gravel to absorb any water that flows over the slope, so that the neighbour doesn't get flooded.
2011-12-16: The back garden is nearly finished - some more tree bark needs adding on the beds farthest from the camera, but that's all .
2011-12-22: This morning just after 8 o'clock the concrete for the drive arrived and was poured. This was the start of the action at about 8:30.
2011-12-22: This is the other end of the drive, where the drive meets the road.
2011-12-22: Altogether the drive needed nearly 8 cubic meters of concrete (weighing over 20 tonnes)
2011-12-22: After the concrete had been poured, it was smoothed over and then sprayed with a special coating, which gives it a permanent color. As soon as the powder has been applied, the red plastic moulds you can see here are pressed into the concrete, resulting in a stone tiled appearance for the surface.
2011-12-22: The finished drive is hardening over night.The drive
2011-12-22: The other end of the drive
2011-12-22: We have a letter box, but we have been told we will need to get a post office box in Xàtiva, as the post apparently doesn't deliver to Bixquert (where the house is).
2012-01-08: The guest bedroom
2012-01-08: Guest room
2012-01-08: The guest bathroom. Both bathrooms are almost identical, the same equipment but a slightly different layout.
2012-01-08: The lounge / dining room. We were going to have black glass panels behind the TV and loudspeakers (to the height of the cupboard on the left, but decided they would be too dominent and didn't mount them.
2012-01-08: Looking from the seating area to the dining table at the other end of the room.
2012-01-08: The view into the kitchen. None of the walls in the house are white, by the way. There are four different off-white to grey-brown colors inside. That caused a lot of pain for Pepe, the builder, as his people kept using the wrong color when they touched up damage to the walls - it was only obvious that the wrong color had been used after the paint had dried.
2012-01-08: The sides and fronts of the kitchen units are white, however. The worksurface and sink are made out of Silestone (a stone composite material). There are no eye-level cupboards because Ruth can't reach the stuff on the higher shelves and at the back of the shelves.
2012-01-08: Looking from the kitchen to the dining area.
2012-01-08: The glass door goes to an outside passage, on the opposite side of the passage is a scullery and a room housing all the equipment needed for processing the water (water softener, solar heating hot water tank and immersion heater, irrigation control system for the garden!)
2012-01-14: Our bedroom with the pool just outside.
2012-01-14: View from the bedroom door. We have a double row of fitted wardrobes separating the main bedroom from the bathroom.
2012-01-14: The office / studio - the office end of the room. This room isn't quite finished yet - we have some neat suspended lamps which will probably be added above the desks next week.
We wanted to sure we'd have enough power sockets in the house - in this room there are 36 in total - the red ones (of which there are 12) are on an uninterruptible power supply, as is the equipment in the server room.
2012-01-14: View from Ruth's sewing table and cutting table.
2012-01-14: The server room is more or less complete now. We can patch up to 12 Ethernet ports and 12 phone sockets which are distributed around the house from the racks here. We've also got terrestrial digital TV and satellite TV distributed from here to the main rooms in the house. The printer is for Ruth's fabric work - it has very color-fast inks and she can print fabric with it. It's attached to a print-server and can be used from anywhere in the house. Behind it on the table is the uninterruptible power supply.
2012-01-14: Ruth's storage area, which is off the studio, near her desks.
2012-01-14: It is difficult to photograph Ruth's storage area because it is quite small and everything is stored in two rows of shelving down the longer sides. But here is part of her stash of material.
2012-02-07: View of the dining area, with the kitchen and the passage to the front door on the far side.
2012-02-07: The lounge from the dining area.
2012-02-07: The view from the lounge towards the kitchen and dining area.
2012-02-07: The office and studio after the last lights have been fixed (hung in this case).
2012-02-07: From the studio end, plenty of room for Ruth to cut out and sew
2012-02-07: The main bedroom.
2012-02-07: Main bedroom, with the passage to the guest room at the back.
2012-02-07: The guest room with the view through the passage to the main bedroom.
2012-03-22: Well, this is March. in fact. But I decided to add the next photos here ,and not change the title of the album, to avoid breaking links on our blog.
This is the view of the front of the house - we are waiting for the leaves to appear on our trees - they still look pretty dead at the moment, but I haven't given up hope yet!
2012-03-22: I am still fighting with the chemistry of the pool. the water is not clear at the moment. If it doesn't improve soon, we will have to call in some experts!
2012-03-22: We have modified the storm drains. The sand was being washed down them in the rain. So Pepe has added a small border and planted ground cover (Rosmarinus postrata - you can of course use it as a cooking herb too) around them. It needs to grow!
2012-03-22: This is the other storm drain. the ground cover here is santolina.
2012-03-22: We bought some garden furniture for the terrace...
2012-03-22: ... and a table and chairs, so we can eat on the terrace.
2012-03-22: View of the side of the house. The plants aren't as far advanced here as in Germany. Strange, since it definitely warmer here than there!