I’ve just cleaned the loo in our third bedroom – for the first time in the seven years we’ve owned the finca. Now before you recoil in horror, I should explain: our third bedroom has only ever been used as a store room since we moved here in 2004. And that dear little ensuite room that houses loo, basin and shower, has been stuffed full of detritus from day one. It wasn’t even possible to see the porcelain, let alone give it a regular going over with a cloth and a few squirts of Ecover.
But this summer, I’m determined that this useful annexe bedroom – adjoining the house but with its own separate entrance – will become usable. After all, when we set out to find our home in the sun, three bedrooms had been a must. The Original Plan was to turn this room into a third bedroom/office, containing my desk, computer and all the tomes on a shelf that a writer needs handy. I pictured myself here writing my novel, pausing occasionally to drink in the inspiring view of the valley (or take a quick siesta on the single bed). We even hired an electrician to install a bank of four sockets for all the necessary plugs – for when we eventually had electricity. We could have saved ourselves the money: desk and all necessary kit are still in the house.
When our possesions arrived from the UK – where they’d been housed in a tiny cottage – they were packed in 220 cartons. 220! Admittedly, some of them contained only a few items but, even so, it was clear that we had Far Too Much Stuff. Moral of the story: Have a good sort out before you move abroad.
Many of those possessions haven’t seen daylight since we dumped them into the annexe – renamed The Den – for want of a garage, shed or other useful storage space. From time to time, I’ve made a half-hearted effort to reduce the amount of stuff, but it’s hard when there’s no room to move and you never know what might run across your foot (it has to be the perfect hidey hole for a small furry creature).
However, with my new resolve to commission this bedroom, I hacked my way through to the shower room – discovering on the way that its door has a nasty case of woodworm – and began the process of sorting and moving things out of the way. And when I finally reached the porcelain fittings, I realised that I’d need industrial-strength cleaning products and a Biohazard protective suit. Sadly, yellow Marigolds would have to do . . .
Jan Edwards 2009 ©