On my (belated) return – via Caracas in the end (avoid Caracas unless you particularly like risking your health and possessions and sitting for hours in a dimly-lit, inadequately-serviced air terminal. I think they took the word “terminal” too much to heart, bless them) – I found that Naice had done a sterling job as director of works, and we now have a new electric gate, a new “chapeu de palha”, a new driveway, new furniture and a new toilet seat. Bloody marvellous. There’s still some considerable work to be done mind you, but we’ve definitely completed phase one, and are ready for our first guests – so just let us know when you’re coming, eh? Hopefully the pics here will give you a reasonable idea of what the place looks like now.
I have finally completed wiring the chapeu de palha up to the mains, and am incredibly proud of myself. It took some time, mind you. First of all I wired up all the lights in series (a bit like the old christmas tree lights), but I knew there was something wrong and I lost a lot of sleep over it for a couple of nights until it suddenly dawned on me that if one light blew none of the other ones would work (duh). So I re-did it all…and realised that actually we’d need a plug socket too. So I re-did it all again…and then Naice pointed out that it would be nice (ha ha) not to have one switch for all 5000 bulbs (OK, I exgaggerate), but to be able to switch different sets on independently. So I re-did it all again…and then thought that really what we MUST have is some accent spotlighting on the forest beyond. So I re-did it all and found that my original two-wire (live and neutral, right?) solution had spawned spaghetti of prodigious proportions. Anyway, I finally finished it all in the heat of the midday sun (mad dogs etc) today…and it all works! So, next time you want your house re-wired, just give me a call – I’m cheap (or so people keep telling me).