Archive for July, 2010

Rabbit food

22 July 2010

 Meantime back in the old house the veggie plot is still fresh and edible!


22 July 2010

Nazmi & Kadrije, Armend and Anita, check out the ‘salon’ – the lounge/day-room/sitting room….  The arched window is designed to catch the view of Luboten Mountain.  Mary ingeniously saw that the ‘greda’ that provide the initial strength for the ceiling would make excellent pillars between the windows of the arch.

Test Burning!

22 July 2010

Before we back-filled into the space behind the basement we did a test-burn-melt of the insulation – now it is all secretly buried and we hope never a drip through into the house!

Blocks Landing

22 July 2010

Supplies for the house are ordered on a daily basis and they arrive in the evening with extraordinary efficiency…  Nazmi decided to test the strength of the first-floor ploqte whilst saving the builders from the trouble of throwing the blocks up from the ground to the floor.


22 July 2010

Spreading the plloqa…  we don’t have a good word for this in English…. ‘reinforced concrete slab’ doesn’t quite have the necessary thud.  Plloqa, plloqa, plloqa..  this is how it goes…. plant wooden boards in the air and prop them with trees, lay triangular braces across the space, fill in the gaps with terracota blocks, spread steel reinforcing…. then, mix loads and loads and loads of concrete and swill it around until it is smooth…. Mefael in action!

Growing a House

22 July 2010


There are two favourite ways of growing a house.  One is to water the reinforced concrete!  Nazmi says ‘cement loves water’ and spends happy moments with a hose-pipe wetting and re-wetting.  One day with Nazmi away I was loitering around the building site looking for something to do and Mafael said ‘the cement hasn’t been watered at all today!’ So I dug out the hose-pipe and cooled down the cement that was sucking in the hot sun.

The other way of growing the house are the trees, a friend named one of her photos, ‘the house that grew from trees’, and so it does – who needs the expense of Acro prop when you can cut your own to shape?


1 July 2010


Mefael – our builder – with great patience – wants to be absolutely sure of our plans.  On Sunday evening we measured and penciled on the concrete floor the exact positioning of the stairs.  We started with the straight bit and worked along to the curve, the more complicated bit.  Despite my computer calculations the physical space of concrete, blocks, iron armatures, did not match: idea meets reality.  We started again.  All the time I am thinking, ‘how will he do this in 3 dimensions’?  We sat and drank Turkish tea in glasses – or ‘Russian Tea’ as it is curiously known.  Mefael confessed that although he done many curves in stairs he had never done a full spiral.  I made some vague reference to the Chateau de Blois or other French spiral staircases.  However, for him a simple turn with a 28cm centre tread is no great issue.  In the next days the iron and wood is in place and the stairs curve three dimensionally up to the first floor.  Extraordinary: you try!