Tag: chacra

The pond comes to life!


The pond has filled to its exit point, also its entrance. I don’t like that design. At some point I’ll get to work making a drain at the far end. But not today: after the temperature plunge of a couple days ago, and the flooding, the temperature has popped back up to 32/90° with oppressive humidity.

Our plan when we made the pond was to introduce plants to clear the water, then fish. That is, if it ever filled with water at all. The floating stuff on the right just appeared one day; turns out our neighbor planted it. Today brought another surprise, one which I don’t think has to do with him (but you never know!).

A gift from the alambreros


This is the strip of our land that borders the neighbor who advised me this would be good to fence off (hence the fence on the right) to provide passage to the back fields (the red arrow indicates the back end of our property). Unfortunately, he thus advised me after I had planted fruit trees (white arrows) which have been doing not at all well in any event, given fierce sun and winds. You may recall that I was not able to fence the back of this strip (which is now fenced).

I was out there to cut the grass in this strip, when I fortunately stopped brush-hogging with the lawnmower just short of this, in a tangle of grass in a corner near the simbra.


Though not very conspicuous in the photo, this pile of wire trimmings (here pulled from the tall grass) were inches away from being discovered by the lawnmower blade when I spotted it. My neighbor came out to say hello and complained that the alambreros always do that, but I was impressed it was all in one place, and not strewn everywhere.

What a difference a day makes…

…when that day includes a lot of rain. This first summer we’ll learn whether the tajamar will retain enough water to stock it with fish. Apparently after disturbing the soil to create the pond, the initial seepage of water through the (already almost impermeable) soil seals it further, so that subsequent water loss is almost entirely through evaporation.

The sitzbad

Bath I designed for our country house, Uruguay

Given a bathroom space that didn’t allow for a full-size bath tub, we recalled the sitz bad of my wife’s apartment in Frankfurt. I made a wood model of the seat, and the albeñil Martín went to town. No doubt this will end up as the single most expensive item of construction, but we’ve lived with a place to soak for almost seven years, and will install a solar hot water heater when I get around to buying one.

Of course, there’s always got to be a surprise, and in this case it comes through the semi-Medieval plumbing they do here. The draining water from the bath (this was its first test) goes into that little floor drain, then exits the house. Except that it doesn’t go into that little box; it floods into that little box, under considerable pressure, of course flooding the bathroom if you don’t slow it down. Not a show-stopper, and not unsolvable, and fortunately the floors consist of tile over concrete, so even if it were to flood the adjoining room it would simply be an inconvenience.

What a difference a year makes!

A little over a year ago, we started construction on our remarkable new house. Have a look.

This is what it looks like now:

Looking toward the front. This will be a sleeping area.



Looking from the sleeping toward the back back.

The storeroom on the right replaces the charming defecation facility I photographed in August 2012. All that’s lacking is the kitchen. I plan to build the cabinets, and been waffling and indecisive about how I want to do them. But, as Stuarte Wilde said: There is no hurry on the creative plane, nor is there any lack of opportunity.