Well, we’ve just spent our first night in our new house and although this blog is really just an excuse to post a few photos, I’ll try to give you a brief run-down of how it all went.
Firstly, I think we both had an unspoken, not to mention slightly absurd, fear that we would turn the final corner only to find the house was no longer there. We signed the contracts, paid the money and got the keys on Wednesday, near Milan, a good two hours from the house, so it felt like we were effectively just paying for an impossibly large bunch of keys, all labelled in German (and I thought it was only my Italian ‘house words’ that I needed to learn).
However, I’m pleased to report that not only was the house still there, and looking just as we’d remembered, but the Swiss lady we bought it from had also left us quite a few bottles of wine from her impressive collection!
My first job was to fire up the heating. This was no mean feat, given the combination of two separate, programmable thermostats, 50 pages of instructions only in Italian and, you guessed it, German, and my general ineptitude for this kind of thing.
Once again though, good news! After an hour or so of flicking switches, turning knobs and wondering what on earth a “Drei-wege Stellventil’ could be, the boiler finally, and completely by chance, burst into life. Half an hour or so later we had semi-warm radiators and tepid water. I’m calling that a success.
We celebrated with a bowl of pasta and a bottle of Dolcetto in front of the fire (I made the heating work and started a fire all in the same day. What a man!) and spent the rest of the night discussing how we should change around the plans we’d spent the past month making with our architects. They’re going to hate us.
Now the initial euphoria of creating heat in two separate ways has worn off, I’m feeling slightly bewildered, to be honest. Having never owned such a big house, never lived in the country and never restored a property, it’s all a little overwhelming. But we’re in it now, for better or worse, and there’s no turning back.
Time to phone Alpine Eco and explain the new plans… wish me luck!