Men At Work

Well this is a first.

Three Spanish guys all doing the same job with heads down. No taking the piss out of each other, or telling silly jokes, or petty bickering.

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I can only assume they´ve already achieved one, two, or any of the above, and now they aren´t speaking to each other at all.

So here´s a little scenario I´ve just made up, which sort of covers all angles:

“It´s my turn to be boss today,

Which means you must follow what I say.

This is my side, that side´s yours,

Don´t spill any paint or it´s early doors.

Hey, did you hear the one about the drunken judge?”

Twelve cans of Stella and he wouldn´t budge.

Banged to rights he was sent behind “bars,”

Happy and smug with a life serving up jars.

But after the customers staggered home,

He knocked back the booze all alone.

Served his time, a zombie within,

Dropped dead on the floor while pouring a gin.

“No, you´re wrong, it was whisky that finished him off, but that doesn´t rhyme.”

“Definitely gin.”

“No it wasn´t.”

“Yes it was.”

“Right well that´s it, I´m not speaking to you anymore.”


“Shut up.”


“You watching the footy tonight?”

“Of course.”

“Bet you don´t win.”

“Bet you don´t.”

And so on and so forth.


Credit where it´s due, before we moved here we were led to believe that Spanish builders / decorators had a bad reputation. Lazy, supposed to throw buildings up and make a bad job of it.

Not true, forget the stigma of the past, many lessons have been learned. We are witness to the fact that they are true perfectionists.

Most houses here are built on slopes, rock has to be dug through with pile drivers, and of course foundations have to be perfectly straight. Any new buildings (since the 1990´s) also have to be quake proof. These problems have to be tackled before a single brick can be laid. It takes almost as long to prepare uneven rocky ground than it does to build any structure above.

It took more than 18 months in total to overcome both the problems of terrain and then build 11 houses near us. Four of which have lifts inside and all of them have a swimming pool. During the summer last year they were working shifts, so each working day could last till sundown.

Beautiful when finished, even with all the noisy banter they make during the process!

Something else to consider is now the housing market has picked up, people are spending money on home improvements. Extending properties and having garden areas rebuilt seem to be most popular.

We know of six properties in the area which had work done on them last year. Five of those jobs were done by Spanish builders with no problems at all.

The sixth was done by a British builder, at a cost of around 12,000 euros to the owner, the whole of their front terrace and beyond was built up and tiled like ours is. (It´s an addition to outdoor space). Within two weeks of construction a huge crack appeared across it. The whole thing had to be knocked down. Fortunately they hadn´t got round to doing the driveway. Unfortunately,, after digging it all up again the Brit builder did a runner.

We´ve recently decided to have our kitchen ripped out sometime this year, redesigned and a new one fitted. The way we want it done means it has to be bespoke. Guess which nationality we´ll be using for what will have to be a very precise job.

Reputation is everything, we even have a choice of which company to use, none of which have the likes of a Tom Dick or Harry working for them. There´s no objection here to their noisy, humorous, banter whatsoever. Faith in a good outcome is what counts!

Think we might be moving out for a few days though, there´s no avoiding the mess it will make. Hmm, there´s a thought, if I can persuade Dave to book us in at that 5 star hotel we can see from our roof terrace…

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