Friday, October 1, 2010

Life in Spain - Part Three - Carpentry

Our new house is beautiful. We are very lucky to have been able to buy it. The process was costly and traumatic at times but we're here now, with beautiful views of the mountains and the sea (a great distance away!) One of the many things that appealed to us about the house was the space. Lots of wardrobe space in all the bedrooms for us and the kids to store clothes and toys and other miscellaneous stuff that we have gathered as a family. When we arrived, we realised that the wardrobes are large, with loads of hanging space for clothes, but... no shelving at all.
Thankfully, our helpful Estate Agent (I know it seems like an oxymoron, but in the current economic climate they have to try their best and he really is a very nice man!) has put us in touch with the carpenter who lives next door to the man who built our house. They both live down the road from's all very community based here! The carpenter is called Felix and is lovely, he is also Spanish and does not speak any English. My Spanish is ok, if a bit limited.
The first time Felix came around, he came with our friendly Estate Agent who translated (I said he was a nice man didn't I!) I was at a party (with Owain and lots of other 7 year olds). So husband explained to Felix about the bookshelves we want built upstairs to house our massive collection of books. He then delegated the wardrobes to me, explaining to Felix that he would have to talk to me about the wardrobes...fair enough, I had some plans in my mind about what I wanted where in terms of shelf space.
So Felix came around on Tuesday and I muddled my way through, using the dictionary for words like shelf and drawer which were not parts of my Spanish repertoire previously. Felix was very patient and with hand gestures and post it notes with pictures on, we managed to muddle our way through. He taught me a new word for shelf (it wasn't in the dictionary!). He also grinned at my own cardboard shelving, which I'd muddled out of boxes as a temporary measure when we first arrived. He also found it very entertaining that Steve (husband) had insisted that Felix spoke to me about the wardrobes, delegating that evidently wifely domain, to me!
I'm looking forward to seeing what the shelves in the wardrobes are going to look like...translation and communication, it's a great way of finding humility! I have no idea if my ideas and Felix' ideas about what will eventually happen in the wardrobes have any common ground at all. We can only hope...he certainly looks like a craftsman.
As he left, Felix gave me a great big smile (he's a rugged looking man, he looks like a carpenter who works in the sun a lot, a smile made a huge difference to his face!), he said that he was sure that I would be speaking Spanish within a year. particularly as I am a 'profesora' (teacher). I assured him that I am, ironically enough, an English teacher! He still said that he thinks I will be speaking Spanish soon enough. At least I think that's what he said...

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