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Our first sight of the house

In December 2006, we went to Portugal to see with our own eyes how the site was progressing. It was still raining. We met Steve at his house, and noticed how well his garden had developed since last year.

We looked round our building site, now abandoned by the workmen because of the bad weather. On the ground the house seemed huge. With its unfinished roof and unfinished brickwork, it was rather depressing. The pool was a muddy hole. At least the building didn't seem too obtrusive, viewed from the road.

Various alterations to the building were under way, made necessary by changes to the original design. Since the pool had been moved from the front to the back of the house, the door to outside from the corridor served no purpose and it was being bricked up to make a window. After discussion it was decided to have a new wall to separate the hall from the sittingroom and to change the sittingroom window from patio doors to a single pane. We also changed the position of the kitchen door.

We were taken to a showroom for tiles and bathroom fittings, and were told we couldn't have any lunch until we'd finished. We had to chose tiles for the floor and the veranda, and bathroom tiles and sanitary ware for three bathrooms. We got away without having to choose tiles for the pool because everyone was starving. It was about 4 pm by the time we ate.