Aargh!! Just wrote the whole blog and pressed the wrong button and deleted the lot! Back home now and have slightly calmed down, enough to try and re-write it all. And then it happened again! Finally, here it is …
[Jamie rather unhelpfully pointed out, after the fact, that saving your work is like voting: you should do it early and often]
In the morning we went to the ‘Commune’ and met our local Registrar of Births and Deaths who also deals with residency requests from Aliens like us. He was really helpful but although we have most documents here for example: deed of sale for the house and bank statements, we will need an apostilled copy of our marriage certificate and birth certificates. So on our return we will have to make the trip to Mikton Keynes and get that done – a procedure familiar to all you registrars out there.
The residency is worth doing as we have discovered that with it you can claim back 40% of your building expenses, if carrying restoration work, over a period of ten years against future tax liabilities. Not a figure to be sneezed at and also entitles us to VAT at 10% rather than the usual 22%.
Went to visit the Terracotta floor tile people to ask what they thought of the builder’s idea of using quick drying cement on the floors to save time. “Not much” was the answer, as they believe in old fashioned sand and cement. So that has saved us about £2000. We will have to set that against that the cost of extra B&B costs, but I am sure someone will know somebody who can let us have somewhere to stay, if necessary.
On the subject of bathrooms, this afternoon we took a trip to Montallese and the other larger showroom of our bathroom supplier to meet Debora, who has the patience of three saints! Our original schemes were coming in over budget and she suggested that to save costs, we downgrade the guest bathroom with different tiles etc. Turned out that we preferred the cheaper ones, anyway! We have seen so many taps, shower trays, tiles and shower heads that we just took the decision to make both bathrooms identical, use the same tiles and flooring in each and save loads. They will still look good we think and as they are so tiny anyway, simpler is probably better….easier for the plumber too. Guests might be a bit confused as to which floor they are on but we can provide maps.
And so back home. Well, so we thought. But as we had been in the showroom so long that it was now dark and someone (Paola) had left the lights on in the car, the battery was flat. The gods were on our side though, as right next door to the showroom was a petrol station and the owner popped along with some jump leads and in 15 minutes we were on our way.
When we were in Todi on Thursday we were ‘mugged’ in a very good cause – the boy/girl scouts were going around trying to sell their calendars. A bunch came up to us and we tried out our ” we are tourists” routine but then felt sorry for them as it was pretty cold by late afternoon, so we bought one and they very kindly gave us a home made christmas card. (See above)
In the bar this evening we noticed an illuminated, temperature controlled box on the wall. This is a wine dispenser for customers to help themselves, a bit like the soft drink dispensers in Ikea or Nandos……but not.
And before we go, another amazing thing seen in a bar was this…..
We asked for a hot chocolate and as we have noted in an earlier blog they are particularly good here in Italy. In this bar we were directed to a display of sachets which featured a whole array of choices of chocolate drink flavours and strengths. They only had a few but you can see that the highest number is a staggering 23!