The Balcony saga continues. The architects have submitted the revised plans for the abusivo illegal balcony. Along with new vaulted arches below and new railings above it will look great. It has become 30 cm wider, so we may be able to squeeze a tiny table and chairs onto it now. But it also has to be 30 cm less deep, to comply with planning regulations we do not understand (or because they measured it wrong in the first place)! Anyway, this should allow more light into the kitchen, so swings and roundabouts. But there is always a cost: more permissions, architect drawings and seismic evaluations etc etc. And more choices: who knew that wrought iron came in different colours?
We have now decided to keep the garage as useful storage/workshop space. Originally we asked for permission to change it to habitable space which would involve knocking down walls, digging up the floors and installing an aerated sub-floor. But having thought long and hard about making this area into a small entrance lobby and utility room, we wondered how often, or if ever we would use a tiny sitting area just inside the front door. Instead we would definitely use it to store shoes, bikes, suitcases, tools, firewood etc. just as most of our neighbours do. We will still get a nice utility room and now also a storeroom which will be nice and cool in summer. The savings from not having to dig out the floor and dispose of the rubble can go towards rebuilding the balcony.
Yesterday afternoon we went to the bathroom showroom to finalise the estimate they had sent. We also wanted to remind ourselves of the choices we made back in December. We were obviously suffering from ‘decision fatigue’ back then, as both bathrooms ended up the same. We thought that was a good idea at the time but now think it shows a lack of imagination, so we have chosen different tiles for one of the bathrooms to be creative and so we know what floor we are on. By the time we left Lucia, the assistant (the long-suffering and extremely patient Debora is off-sick so Lucia got the short straw) it was past 8 o’clock and had turned into a miserable, wet evening. Quite a few restaurants are closed on a Wednesday evening, so we thought we’d try Da Laura, which is our ‘fish restaurant’. Some of the others may have a fish dish or two on the menu but usually only on a Friday as this town is seriously meat orientated.
We shared a plate of smoked fish on a bed of rucola as a starter. Slices of smoked tuna, swordfish and salmon as well as an octopus terrine. I then had the mixed grill and mixed salad whilst Jamie stuck to wild boar stew with polenta, which is one of his favourites, although the polenta is nowhere near as good as that made by Zia Linda, in Veneto! Crema Catalana and lemon sorbet ended the meal and we headed home along the wet streets of Citta.
This afternoon we went to see the carpenter to discuss the doors and windows again. One of the most difficult things about this building work is the number of choices that have to be made. On a door for example, quite apart from the design (which is hard enough) there is the colour and finish, the door handles, the hinges, the frame, whether it is solid or has glass, is the glass clear or opaque? And that’s just the doors; what’s going to happen when it comes to decorating the rooms? [Jamies says, why not just paint them all white and have done with it.]
The carpenter is in a town called Tavernelle. It is unremarkable apart from having one of the best carpentry workshops and a stone mason with a great collection of antique fountains, sinks and columns, but also a very classy pasticceria where we stopped for a cup of coffee and selection of their finest products, just to make sure they didn’t look too good to be true. We can confirm that they were every bit as yummy as they looked.