With high potential of a Laurel & Hardy moment we position two huge tanacos above the treehouse to accept and distribute water. We dam the stream and pump water for two hours over 1/2 km and the pool fills and we are set ! A bit of detritus fishing and fiddling with the sand filter and pump and we are done for the day. She is looking gooood. We have our first dive bomb and swim and sleep soundly dreaming of running water.
Gravity and a touch of stupidity changes our day. We awake early and greet the day and our empty pool. My last minute fiddling last night left the filter set to drain. The entire contents of our pool has returned ½ km to the stream. Our guys show up after wading up the new stream to our land. I am not the man of the hour.
We leave to buy stuff in some embarrassment and return some hours later with a sink. I busy myself making up for earlier blonde ( ginger ) moment and set about making a new home for sink and plumbing stuff. We are so ready !
The crew have in our absence pumped up new stream to the pool and refilled it. Pumped water up to a newly placed 2500 litre tenaco next to house (which is some elevation) . We are at the limit of our water pumps. Next they pump from the house tenaco up to the tenacos above us. Pumps are straining but they fill. Check PH, Chlorine and a few tweaks with seals. Ready..
The tap flows but the inlet sprays water everywhere. 4 years of Mexico has eaten the seals. We wait until morning before we can find good seals and give it another go. The bugger works beautifully. Until the tenacos run out we have running water, shower and flushing loo. Oh joy !
One thing I wasn’t told, or found in a book or thought much about is mould. It appears more obvious now that when it’s tropically damp all the time and the humidity is off the scale, mould will grow on all your deliciously damp things ..How can humidity be 98% ? Surely we should drown ??….. .Mould loves leather we have discovered. It appears everywhere but especially on all things leather. Day one I applied a vinegar soaking to the window screens that were a rather lovely pattern of green growth. Within a few hours we could see the world and feel the breeze through the previously clogged screens. Daylight and air !! Luxury. Emergency trips to the laundry before out clothes rot and vigilance and vaseline help a lot. My wash bag is soft leather and subject to constant mould abuse. I found my cowboy boots hidden under something and they looked like a science experiment. I have taken to lovingly massaging all leather in the house with vaseline. My boots, wash bag, machete sheaths, all shoes, belts and some of the arty bits have all had a good go.
Thankfully the humidity is falling & the rivers are drying up. It’s been a few days since we had rain. Locals tell us it’s brewing for a blow out storm that will take the humidity with it.
Now there is a reason I still live out of a quite mould free but slippery wash bag. Our cupboards next to out open plan toilet have been squatted. There is a longterm tenant that seems to consider we are intruding on its otherwise perfect life. It’s a mouse. A cunning and tenacious one. I respect this mouse. I will catch him and relocate him to other adventures. It’s not easy. The cupboard has been de-moused every day for over a week. Every morning I remove all leaves , toilet paper and bits of our food packaging, our food, and lots of mouse friendly junk. Every morning. This mouse works hard. Remaking a mouse house daily must get old right ? . But she’s at it every night like a champ. So I have created a nut filled counter balanced water bottle/coat hanger trap. It didn’t go for it last night but somehow an almond from the trap ended up in her new bed this morning. I have moved the bait farther down the bottle and will see what happens. In the meantime all mousy treats including dog food are under locked away.
Dog food is necessary because we have been adopted by a three & ½ legged dog. We have since found out he is one of our neighbours dogs but we must feed him better. He lives outside our door on a raised platform that is cool in the day and protected at night. We bought food for him. His leg injury is due to being kicked by a cow. He does very well on three functional legs. Chased off some beast up our hill last night. Because of this we have celebrated his injury and named him Tri-pe or Tripe for short.
I had my first tick attack today. It was a normal affair and Limes Disease is not a thing here in Mexcio so it’s more of a bother than a threat. There are famous ticks out here called Guenas (pronounced Weenis) . They have a stubborn head that is hard to remove and they can last for months and make silky smooth skin look a touch war torn. They are a feature of cows so we have spent time designing and haggling and are getting priced up metal gates on every entrance around the whole of the boundary. Keep the cows out. They eat anything and everything and give you weenises. My tick is enthusiastically surgically removed under anaesthetic provided by cheap cold Chardonnay. I am amazed how many items purpose design to cut stuff out of me have arrived with us !?
The pick up truck is a godsend. It provides us with air-con first and foremost but also hauls great amounts. We have been gifted so much stuff by new friends. Many many plants ,soil ,and buckets of horse /bat shit. Amongst our many gifts was a rather special one from a newly discovered friend. I now have my first Mexican wife. For my other wives I was forced to build a secret room and entomb then in my cellar back in UK with Elvis. I’m sure they won’t mind. She is very beautiful. Her eyes sparkle like mirrors.
The house is complaining. Came as a bit of a shock. Examined the cantilevers holding up the balcony and found them to be wanting. Well eaten away is the correct term. Not good. I have been aware of four potential points of failure for some weeks and have had my eye on them. The core of the wood is good but there are large areas of rot. Have removed the dead wood and treated the rest but the points of contact with one of the cantilever supports is now badly compromised. Broken actually. Another one looks dodgy. We depart for a fix . I have a plan.
We pass through stream four on the way to fix things and meet a huge white stork fishing next to us. We hit Mariposa Point and a dozen different butterflies fly around the truck as we disturb them. Why they choose that exact spot is a mystery. By the time we get to town we are relaxed and in fixing mood.
By good efforts and lots of good fortune within less than 24 hours we are propped up and safe as much safer houses. After a good amount of survey and advice we found huge metal construction props and secured the balcony. It’s built out of the main structural braces of the house so holding them up strengthens the whole structure. Our crew has acquired three huge wooden mast poles of new wood which go into pits of concrete and are attached to the three cross braces that hold us up. The house is built well so it was very unlikely to have been badly damaged but this is a good insurance and gives us another 10 years of staying put. Looks good too ! Was worried about that (aesthetics v practicalities dillema).
We have taken to sleeping by routine collapse. A part of this routine we have taken to indulging ourselves via laptop to the daftness that is the DVD box set of The Good Life. One of BBC best of the 70s sitcoms. I say no more .. except …if you have never heard of it then give it a go. If you remember it you will add nostalgia. This was family viewing at my house when I was 9 years old. That dates me …! Felicity Kendal was my ideal fantasy woman when I was 9.
Think she still might be….
So eventful as our days are they are getting us somewhere. Still not clear where but that’s the point of it just now. Endless possibilities.