The Good — well, we did it — it took us awhile and happened in a very ramshackle manner. We moved ourselves with the help of a cast of extras. One ancient tractor, a front-loading “bin,” two borrowed trailers, the land rover, some Bulgarians, our neighbour Manuel and our friends Joachim and Zee.
Yes, an odd pic for moving house but it sums up everything good about the move. I says we no longer live on a through road so there is no dust which means I can “sun dry” my washing at last. It means we have electricity and water and Joachim has plumbed in the new washing machine and it is all working. It also shows we have space to put the washing machine and a free hand to do what we wish here from our new landlord who is very sympathetic and helpful. It also means I did not lose my camera or any of the cables in the move — that has happened before.
More good is the new sofa, the new chairs to go with the dining table and a bathroom that has a bath.
The bad were unreliable Bulgarians and trying to coordinate the transfer of the supply of TV, Telephone and Internet services.
The Bulgarians dropped out after day two as the fruit-picking season started — talk about being left in the lurch; incredibly frustrating and downright annoying to say the least.
The telephone, satellite and landline saga is almost worth a post in its own right. The “Infrastructure” — the poles and lines and cables are owned by the prehistoric SAPO — very much like BT in the UK owns the infrastructure there. The services supplied over that structure are, however, open to competition from other providers. These are much younger companies, staffed by a younger more dynamic generation of highly competent technically able staff who understand the dynamics of modern communication and the need for seamless transition of services to be clean and quick.
Our contract is with Meo, who understood our need to close one access point down and open up the other on the same day. Not a problem for them all that they needed in the new house was already installed.
The problem, of course, was with the bumbling behemoth that is SAPO. Their engineer had to come and assess the lines before he would allow connection. He decreed that both the lines/wires and the poles were unfit for use and would have to be replaced. This, of course, was handled by a different team in a different department. He could not tell us when this would happen, but did say we would be contacted in due course.
There then followed a fortnight of Ping-Pong phone calls between us, SAPO and Meo; with Meo ringing us regularly calling us to tell us they were going to come and cut our old line and connect our new one and us having to tell them that there were no lines for them to connect to yet!
Eventually we had lines and connection — only to find that the new router did not and still will not connect to my Toshiba laptop or my iMac — we are still waiting for a Meo engineer to sort that out.
The ugly is that the whole place looks like a building site! This has a lot to do with my new surprise present — my very own swimming pool that is nearing completion. It also has a lot to do with all the unpacked boxes, the empty packing boxes for the new furniture and my partially rebuilt Alentejo shed.
The cats have been moving back and forth between the two houses — they have now all settled here except for Shadow — who we think has found a new hunting ground.
Most of what has to be done now is cosmetic and life will start to get back to a new normal.