So, with the demolition of the small stone house of the way, and our boundaries having been established way back in 2020, and the securing of a local builder, we felt that finally we were on a bit of a roll. The guys who had demolished the house, agreed to also dig out the trenches for the concrete foundations. They were provided with all of the documentation relating to the boundaries – which had explicit measurements for each section of the proposed wall – and most of the original metal stakes were still embedded in the rich, red clay soil, therefore giving even more guidance for the area to be dug out. Knowing the obsession with boundaries in these parts, we advised that we wanted the trench to be dug WITHIN our boundary. Only by a matter of centimetres, but sufficiently enough that it could be seen that we were not edging onto anyone else’s land. Although no-one else here would give away even a millimetre of land, we figured that a small loss in this way, would ultimately prevent any future disputes over miniscule pieces of land. And, we then left the guys to it. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, quite a lot, as it turned out…
In a *helpful* turn of events, one of our neighbours decided to assist the guys digging the trench, and use a can of red spray paint to demarcate the boundary lines. Now, spray paint is used here, by surveyors to pinpoint where stakes will be hammered in, or where there is a corner point point, for example. Not however, to mark out the actual boundary – what with spray paint not being very accurate a measure and all. And of course, another neighbour spotted the rather fat, wobbly red lines and declared that work must stop and a surveyor return to mark out the boundaries.
Now, we realise that anyone reading this from anywhere other than our current particular part of the world, might just be thinking, why didn’t they just tell the neighbour to sod off and continue with the work? The answer – it would have come back to bite us, because – and we cannot stress this enough – boundaries are more important than, seemingly, life itself. We also hadn’t spotted the Playschool red lines ourselves, because with all of the demolition and digger work, and open trenches, it was pretty difficult to actually access the site. And, so, we really felt we had no option other than to get the surveyors back out. Thankfully, we now know these guys quite well, and despite being busy, they got the urgency of the situation – builder on standby – and came out the very next day.
There is actually a very happy ending to this particular saga, for us. Maybe not so much for the red spray painter. Whether by accident or design, his spraying of the line between his and our land, was found to be very, very erroneous. His red line was about half metre inside our land – meaning he would have gained a sizeable chunk of land, if the other neighbour hadn’t insisted on the boundaries being re-confirmed. And, we’d probably never have known that we’d lost a sizeable chunk. But, all’s well that ends well, and he probably didn’t even know he was so far out with his measurements…
So, with a second set of identical boundaries now in place, and the trenches re-dug, the concrete was finally poured in for the foundations.
It’s taken what feels like forever, to get here, but if there’s one thing we have learned, it’s that in Istria we need to have patience and resilience and not be too affected by setbacks. A couple of weeks on from the foundations going in, we now also have what is beginning to look like a wall, which will afford us privacy and enable us to create the secret garden we’ve always wanted. And, of course, it has meant that other ideas have been added to the mix, including the knocking out of our living room window and having vintage style (if we can source them!) French doors installed, with steps down into the garden. Working on this plan right now, so we shall see what emerges over the next couple of weeks.