Portugal is in a different time zone to everywhere else in the world. Time and date appear to mean nothing here. In August I had a couple of painters and decorators over to give me an indication as to the cost of an exterior revamp of my property. I have to say, I was a little horrified at the cost involved and especially so, given what the average wage is supposed to be in Portugal. At the time of our meeting, I was tempted to say yes, get on with it, even at what I considered, a probable inflated price due to being one of those, supposed, mega rich expats with more money than common sense. I’m not mega rich and do have common sense.
The decorates were recommended to me by local none Portuguese friends. They have a beautiful property and are, without doubt, very quality conscious. I considered the recommendation, one of value. At the time of meeting the decorators, my friend said, don’t say yes now, give it some thought. Perhaps wise words, and that’s how I proceeded.
My house is in good nick internally, but the exterior did look extremely neglected and especially so, to the front elevation. Generally, such jobs as was required, I would undertake myself, should I have been in the crap UK. Being here in Portugal, it’s a slightly different story as first, I’m having to deal with a high property, and second, without the benefit of safety equipment like scaffolding and finally, the property faces a road, which has perhaps thirty or so vehicles pass in any one day. The latter, perhaps was the biggest problem, as should I have attempted to undertake the job myself via a ladder, sure enough, one of those odd vehicles could well have removed my trusted support and left me dangling from something high in the air like a high voltage cable or telephone line eager to snap upon the added weight of a none bird like creature.
I started here by saying that time means little to the average Portuguese. This sure is the case and just maybe, it’s because they neither posses, watches or calendars. I’m joking here, but just a little, as time, really does not come into the equation, not even in the collection of payment – on occasions. As I said, I failed to say yes or no on my initial conversation with these wonderful and professional painters and decorators.
Anyone following this blog, will be aware I have difficulties with communication in the local language of Portuguese. Hence, when further questions come to mind, it’s not a simple matter of grab the phone and clarify the situation. This being the case, I spoke with my none Portuguese friends and requested another meeting with the painters to clarify my questions. This, never came about, but I was assured the job would be undertaken in, late August, then September, then October and finally, November. Remember, I’ve not even said yes and also, I’ve not had the next meeting I’d requested.
Strip the Old Paint
Low and behold, I get a message on a Friday morning that the decorators will arrive on Monday to undertake the works I’ve not even agreed to. Well, we’re in Portugal and it sure is a little different to the more organised UK. Leading up to this point, I’d being going through a really bad period with Dick the Prick. Dick the Prick is an associate nerd-head that I mistakenly engaged to install my log burner. He, is associated to a brick layer that I have no issues with, and between the two, are supposed to be fitting the heating system. Dick the Prick has managed to hold things up big time. I’ll not go further on this, as some of the detail, were provided in my previous post and more will follow in another. What I will say, is that due to this down in spirits period caused by Dick the Prick, I either needed a good shag or decent paint job to the house to provide mental stimulation and well being. A paint job is easier to organise than either a blow job or shag, so I opted for the painters and decorators once I’d clarified, via Google translate, the odd question I had.
Perhaps Green Shutters Later
The exterior of the property was in a pitiful state upon purchase, and has somewhat haunted me from this time. However, upon engaging the pros and then completion of the works, I’m left feeling delighted and revitalised, even if, far lighter in the pocket. It has also energised my mental state of mind and enables me to better deal with the above mentioned Dick the Prick without resorting to murder.
Keeping it Traditional
Exterior colour choice was either white or white, or if not white, off white or something else. Always, my past UK properties have been either white or brick in finish. One of the things I really like about Portuguese properties is the beautiful selection of colours. That is when paint has been applied. Before I opted for the usual boring white, I studied many Portuguese properties and their colouring, and was so tempted to go for a bold and vibrant colour scheme totally alien to my heritage. In the end, I simply chickened out and stayed safe in my mind and chose white. White may have been my cluck, cluck chicken way, but I was determined to have the property look traditional and therefore, incorporated the often seen secondary border colours and here, I requested yellow. I’m not finished yet, as perhaps, I shall add green shutters at some later time. What I’d like to do if possible is to incorporate all the colours of the Portuguese flag. I have a start. White, green and yellow. Now I need a little blue and red.