A German friend introduced me to the term “project fatigue,” and it describes perfectly the MEGO (my eyes glaze over) feeling I get with renovations and other work proceeding at glacial (lack of) speed. Also, when I hire someone to do a job, it is not my job to tell them how to do it. Get on with it! And so it was that I wasn’t paying particular attention when Martín put the sheetrock ceilings in our little country house a few years ago. He…Continue Reading “Jack of all, master of …”

Not long ago, we noticed our water bill beginning to skyrocket. We had plumbers here to install whole-house water filters outside. Checking their work, they pointed out a little spinning disk that I had never noticed in the middle of the water meter. It was going spin-spin stop-stop. We had a leak. After a bit of checking, it was clearly not their doing. After digging a dozen holes along the length of the pipe going to the casita (little house behind), and finding no moisture, I…Continue Reading “Well, duh.”

Resolving a little plumbing issue in the country yesterday set off a cascading series of Uruguayan plumbing memories. Some involve sheer incompetence, some … well, let’s start with the incompetence. If you’ve been with me a while, you might remember this gem from jack-of-all-trades Nestor (because anyone in Uruguay who sort of knows one trade thinks he knows every trade). The lower patch fills the first hole he made for the horizontal vent pipe above. A few years ago, a newcomer trenchantly reflected on Uruguayan…Continue Reading “Plumbing in Uruguay”