Well, Beloved left for England and Granny is on her own; and not feeling guilty at all for rather enjoying it. The kitchen is a thing of beauty without Beloved's cooking in it. As far as cooking is concerned, Beloved doesn't DO simple. Lone Granny happily does; enough said. Beloved now coming back next Tuesday, she will have to enjoy the thing of beauty while she can. She will. Oh she will.
A moral dilemma in waiting; this. During the week of the workshop a neighbour came in to clear up. Neighbour comes from the bottom of the drive and from a family that used to own this house. It fell to ruins after the grandfather died, when it had to be split around the family; a normal event here - hence the ruined houses everywhere. At least this family managed to agree sufficiently - if not soon enough to prevent its ruination - to sell this one to the Brits who did it up - and from whom Granny and Beloved bought it.
Neighbour walked into the house and looked round appraisingly. 'I was born in that room.' she said, pointing at Beloved's office, not the first place you'd imagine as a labour ward. 'And that was the kitchen,' she said pointing at the room then inhabited by the Russian/Chilean pair. She didn't seem to hold Granny's ownership against her, in fact she was quite happy to go round pointing out what parts of the house were new and which were not. She seemed happy too with what had been done to it - happy enough to say finally 'Are you going to sell it? Would you sell it to me?'
Granny and Beloved are not thinking of selling immediately. But the day will come when they are too decrepit to manage a place like this; Beloved thinks this will be sooner than Granny does, which is ironic since most of the additions - goats for instance - that make life so much more strenuous have been introduced by him, somewhat over Granny's not yet decrepit but in this instance pretty dead body. However when they do sell she can think of nothing better than selling it back to its proper owners. Only problem....can proper owners afford it? Prices have gone up here like everywhere else, and though this house with its 10,000 metres of mostly uncultivated land might not be the first choice of many of those well-heeled enough to buy something like it - most of those think sun/swimming-pools/close-by sandy beaches, etc, etc, not somewhere battered by wind and cloud and on the coldest part of the island, never mind the staggering views and the lack of tourists and expats which is the attraction for Granny and her Beloved - and though price does depend somewhat on demand, nevertheless a place of this size is worth rather more than a condo in a tourist unit down in a tourist town. Granny would happily sell it cheap; if some money fell on her like manna from heaven, she'd sell it cheap cheap cheap to her nice neighbours. Of course old houses on this island should belong to locals not incomers. But given the prices in England where they might have to go back to, they couldn't afford to sell it that cheap. Much as she'd like to.
Mr Jonah who knows about these things says people on this island sometimes have more money than you'd think; maybe that's the case here. Granny hopes so. She'd really love nice neighbours to have it - would sell it cheaper to them for sure. But how cheap?
She and Beloved will keep on exchanging tomatoes/bantams/Christmas goodies, etc with neighbours, in the meantime. And in due course, keep your fingers crossed, maybe a house will be added to the list.