Monday, April 27, 2009

Corner of a foreign field

Our lawyer finally confirmed that the land became ours on 23rd April. St George’s Day, which has echoes of serendipity for a ‘corner of a foreign field that is forever England’. (Rupert Brooke 1887-1915).

We shall however not be sticking a red and white flag in one bit for 23rd April and a Stars and Stripes in another bit for 4th July. That would be silly. Would the Gnomad care to remove his nails now?

Once the legal dust has settled, there are still a few odds and ends to finalise. Establishing once and for all the boundaries is extremely important. Do we, for example, own the hedges and the enormous carob tree situated in one corner? We’ll get the local Land Department to peg out the boundaries, then we can set about arranging a perimeter fence or wall. Beloved Wife wishes to plant small trees that will in due course grow and provide vegetation, privacy and windbreaks.

We’re also thinking about house plans. Obviously a qualified architect will eventually have to be appointed to design and supervise (on account of Muggins being abroad and unable to police the contractors at suitably small intervals), but I think it’ll be very useful already to have a pretty good handle on what Beloved Wife and her Goat actually want built. Having a domestic in the architect’s office is definitely to be avoided. To this end, I’ve started messing with Google SketchUp. This is a free, allegedly easy-to-use piece of 3D modelling software that is capable of easy rendering to give quick impressions of what the building might look like. Drawing to scale, it’s also possible to download doors, windows, furniture, stairs, Burj Dubai, or whatever else the army of SketchUp experts have put on the internet for nuppence. I was particularly chuffed to discover that it’s possible to insert the model into Google Earth to give an idea how the house might appear. The final version would have doors and windows, of course.

Moving furniture, fixtures and fittings around is a lot easier with a couple of murine clicks and drags than actually hauling the real stuff at 12-inches to a foot scale. Whizzing a tape measure around the Crumbling Villa helped to establish whether any particular area would need to be bigger or could be smaller in the Dream Home. This also explains what we were doing in Home Centre the other day with no intention to buy anything. We ended up with a new mattress purely on impulse.

The image above is only one of perhaps dozens of potential buildings. The shortlist can be worked up using more sophisticated software, and eventually an appropriately qualified professional can deal with making it all stand up and have functional electricity, water, sewerage and air conditioning. Of course, the timescale for this last bit is heavily influenced by how long it’s going to take the bank account to recover from ravages of land purchase.



Keefieboy said...


nzm said...


Gnomad said...

nails being slowly withdrawn at this very moment.

Congrats :)

Mme Cyn said...

Less of the "small" there with the trees. Like Jane Fonda (in a recent interview), I'm too old to wait for saplings!

the real nick said...

congrats! and obviously if you needed or wanted professional help of an architect, ahem, I would, ahem, offer to look at your plans, pro bono and a bottle of olive oil.

Before you get liberal with the ketchup (as we pros call it) you may want to establish for example where the prevailing winds come from, and check the site for underground waterstreams, or radon gas, or copper veins, or decomposed goats.
Orientating the building on an empty site is key, especially in a hot and windy environment.

Mme Cyn said...

Real Nick -- and the olive oil in Cyprus is SOOOOOOO good!

Gnomad said...

just a thought, does this mean that there is now the opportunity for very cost effective camping holidays in Cyprus *grins*

perhaps you could have just a toilet and shower built in the short term and then build the dream home around that when circumstances allow :)

Simon said...


With that landscape I would be wary of pink demons or other denizens of hopelessly outdated computer games.

Grumpy Goat said...

Eat hot, leaden death, Demon!


Anonymous said...

Recommend comments by Real Nick, Mme Cyn, and Gnomad be entered into the home building journal...good suggestions all. If that photo is a close representation of the plot....AWESOME! Have a safe trip and best to the family. t-m-i-l.


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