Yesterday Beki had suggested taking us to the station today so we could visit Valencia but we all ended up oversleeping and having yet another late start to the day which was perfect.
After lunch she asked whether we’d like to go and visit their neighbour (who’s way way along the lane). He’s an artist and he, his wife and brother are renovating a HUGE house with the intention of turning it into an art hotel, Beki knew we’d love to see what he was doing and she was right.
As we walked up to the house we could see from the outside what an immense project it was going to be. He was in the middle of doing the washing. He’d already done stacks of it which he’d hung out to dry and was waiting for 3 large pans of water to boil on the stove ready for the next stint of hand washing. We felt very bad about stopping him in the middle of a job but he was very sociable and invited us in. Seeing the point he was at with the renovation brought the memories flooding back of renovating our very first house (only he was doing it on a MUCH greater scale, I felt no envy!) which had been built in the 1790’s and was part of the Dorking workhouse but had been altered during the 1950s and ‘60s and had been left to rot since that time. Everything we touched uncovered yet another problem that needed dealing with but when it was finally finished it was both a feeling of relief and achievement.
He showed us one of the problems they’d uncovered, which was a mighty bit one. They were hoping to use one of the rooms for wedding functions, but they’d looked under the huge slabs of marble flooring and found it was just laying on the top of enormous clay pots! Now they’ve had to add an archealogical dig to the list jobs they have to do before they can open as an hotel!
He offered us a drink so we wandered up to their lounge and then up to the large room in the roof where their cats currently live. The hotel will be wonderful when it’s finished. We only stopped long enough for a chat and to finish our drinks because we felt guilty about stopping him in the middle of the washing but we thoroughly enjoyed meeting him, he’s a very interesting and hospitable man and we wish him well with his immense project.
Beki took us for a little walk around the area and we saw a pretty yellow building which looked like it needed a lot of TLC. It is so peaceful where she lives, the only sound we could hear (apart from our own voices) were lots of birds tweeting in the trees.
When we got back to Beki’s house we went back to the guest suite for a while then we all met up again later in the evening for dinner. Beki had had a pot of ratatouille cooking all day downstairs in the guest suite and she served it with pasta, it was yet another of her yummy meals and we ate it sitting all nice and cosy in front of a roaring fire watching films on TV. It was a really enjoyable day.