Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com rockpool in the kitchen: Half-builds - and silence

Monday, October 16, 2006

Half-builds - and silence

Granny apologises for such silence. Between neck problems, bad cold and family ups and downs she has had neither time or inclination to write here. Thinking of her island, she did find time to look at the book by the 1880 travellers in the Canary Islands. Nothing seems to change. Why, the writer asks, do they start buildings here and never finish them? Granny often asks herself the same question.

She remembers the gas-stations, half-made, that linger for two years or more without staff or custom, let alone petrol. She thinks of the grey hulks visible from her own house which have been that way ever since she arrived there, four years ago. She thinks of the unused factory just outside the town - someone built it, then found no role for it. Some of it of course has been stopped because illegal. Seller of the materials doesn't care, he's made his profit. Illegal builder can't afford to knock his illegal building down so just leaves it. This is on top of the crumbling farm houses to be found in every village. One problem there is that a whole family has to inherit when the owner dies, whole family has to agree on what happens to it- repaired, lived-in, rented, sold, whatever. Very often half family has crossed Atlantic and is not to be found. Even where family can be found, can reach a decision, it is cheaper to build a new house than restore the old; even though old house is much better designed for the climate, is far more environmentally-friendly. There should be some power for the local authority to buy up such houses after a certain period. If there is such a power it is not used. Alternatively grants should be given to restore them - they are part of everyone's heritage, after all; but no. They sit there, paint faded to non-existance, windows and doors nailed up, weeds drearily taking them over, year by year. So very sad.

Granny's house was like that once. She's glad it isn't any longer. She is also looking forward to seeing it again - complete with her Beloved. Any day now.

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