After the dust was gone we could see what we bought. It’s strange to realize that just a decade ago, somebody lived in this building. No water, no toilet, no electricity. It must have been a simple and poor life for the old lady that spend her last years in this, what used to be the main house of a farm.
As a woodworker, tears get in to your eyes, seeing that the former owner didn’t clean out the property before putting it down. The big stone wall went half thru the floor, leaving a very unstable situation.
A single steel bed in one corner, some 100 year old drawers smashed by big pieces of rock, every piece of wood completely eaten from the inside out by longhorn beetles. It became a journey in to the history of this former grand building. 3 garbage bags full of medicines, x-ray pictures and medical reports, it must have been a worrying life. It makes you realize how complicated we made our lives as you find 2 plates, 2 knifes, 2 forks, 2 spoons some pots and pans and a candle holder. Here and there little details remained, wooden doors that open without hinges, some catholic relics, some old tools and doorknobs.
The village we’re living in goes back to the times of the Templar knights, who had their headquarters at the Convento do Cristo in Tomar. Beeing surrounded by 70 cm thick walls, just stacked out of rocks and slate make your mind wandering of to medieval times.
The first thing to do was get that floor empty by starting to take out all the wood. No, not much could be saved. Most of it ended in the wood-burner and it kept us warm for 2 winters. Luckily the 2 big beams that supported al the others are walnut and survived the 200 years well. We decided to keep them in, although it meant that the ceiling on the ground-floor would be low.
After a few weeks of clearing out the top part, by throwing every thing over a 6 meter high wall in to the back garden, we got to realize that it would take ages to get all this heavy work done. While the wood could shortened by a chainsaw, the story on handling the pieces of rock is a different one. Trying to move 60 or 70 kilograms without any help seemed to be impossible. There were day’s we managed only 2 or 3. Just at the point of getting desperate, a call from The Netherlands was going to make a difference…..
next time; Helping hands
-- Não só Serradura, Tomar, Portugal http://www.notjustsawdust.com