Thursday, 2 July 2009

Obrasprazotory Update

Firstly, the shop/bar. A coat of white primer is on now:-

It looks a bit ghostly white but that's because the features (windows, cornices etc.) haven't begun to be picked out in black yet. Although in the following picture taken a few days later, some of the features had begun to be painted black (note the lozenges on the frieze at the top) except that, tragically, it began to rain that day and, if you look closely, you can see the black paint has run a bit. I believe work is suspended until the weather settles again.

Where I come from, Faja Grande would be declared a "Conservation Village" meaning you could get the VAT back on repainting like this and probably even get a local authority grant but I don't think there's anything like that here and Joe and Linda are doing this out of their own pockets so good for them - they didn't have to do it and the shop and bar (which are spic and span inside) function just as well in a building which is not decorated on the outside.

Elsewhere, the first layer of plaster has gone on the house down the road. I assume that's a first layer and that this will be topped off with a finer coat which will be painted. It's not "plaster", of course - it's cement, really: perhaps "mortar" is the better word, he says showing his ignorance of such matters:-

Elsewhere, a new OP has begun with what would appear to be the restoration of a fine old house in the village which has been empty for many years:-

Apparently there's a syndrome in Portugal (which I don't properly understand) whereby local authorities gain much more from giving planning permission for new houses rather than renovating old ones. This has led to there being 5 million houses in Portugal but only 3 million households. A Northern European free market capitalist like me cannot even begin to understand what breakdown in the law of supply and demand has brought that imbalance about - who is paying for all these unwanted houses?

Anyway, here in Faja Grande there are a lot of old empty houses due to emigration in the 60s - about a third to a half of the houses are empty and decaying because there is not enough of a second home market to take them up as there is in, say, the Western Isles of Scotland, which also suffered massive emigration in past decades. And yet, paradoxically, there are new houses being built ...

Which is why I'm always pleased to see an old house being restored. Here's another one. Albeit it's tiny and just a holiday house, it's been beautifully refitted with wooden sash and case windows and door made by a local carpenter:-

Rant over. Haven't been to Sta. Cruz for a bit, so don't know the latest on the church (or who won the colcha em lã)

1 comment:

Kathie said...

Did you ever learn yet what a colcha em lã is? (I'm guessing you didn't win it). Just let me know if you want the translation.