Here are the heroes of my building site! I definitely had a few problems finding the right people (I decided AGAINST the totally unprofessional electrician...who turned out to work for a (rehabilitated, admittedly) murderer... One of the plumbers knew him from elsewhere when he came to give me a quote... he said he would have left the site if I had employed him, but I knew almost immediately that he was a no-go, without anyone telling me anything at all. Electrics are so important, and all these things have to be safe. And I have to be able to work with the people and communicate well with them. My German vocabulary has improved massively since I started this project. I can now tell you all sorts of building terms and I know all sorts of stuff that I never even knew existed about the bones of a building.
But let's return to my heroes!
First of all, below, we have D & G. G has a VERY strong Brandenburg accent, and I try as hard as I can never to ring him. We understand each other much better face to face. G is a bricklayer by profession, but he can turn his hand to anything and has taught me a LOT already. He is always cheerful (as long as there's coffee always on the go!) and has an absolute 'can do' attitude, which I treasure. D is a jolly and kind man. A tad shy if I bring friends round; an absolute sweetie. In Germany, workers like to wear their 'uniforms' (a photo project in the planning), and these two are no exception. Here they are stripping the walls. They take on everything I throw at them with good humour and they are both as strong as oxes. "What....we don't need the lift to carry all those boxes of tiles up the stairs". They've hoisted massive, solid wood flooring over the balcony. Nothing is ever too much trouble for them. Love 'em.
|D & G (really!!) - they can do almost anything. Really lovely. A tad slow!|
Here's Herr H. The plumber. Also good-humoured and totally reliable. He's been here so often....various 'issues' arose with the installation of the heating, but he too, took everything in his stride, though he did admit that he'd never experienced such difficulties before and normally installation and new radiators would normally be a two day job. Let's just say that the chimney wasn't okay, and I had to have loads of extra things done in order to get the heating system installed and 'agreed' by the local 'chimney sweep' - a very powerful man (really a heating engineer extraordinaire, I think!) in Germany (and until 2013 a monopoly....only one man was allowed to tell the plumbers what was allowed, and what had to be changed, and when he was sick, we weren't even allowed by the Guild to contact anyone else until he'd been sick for three weeks). Then came Christmas. Then came new year. Snow. Ice. Difficulties going on the roof....oh you name it. I had the problem with it. But now it's all done and the heating system is safely installed in the kitchen.
|Herr H - the lovely plumber|
This is the plumber's mate... another cheerful chappie. I don't know his name, but he's another diamond geezer!
|The plumber's mate|
And this here is the "Schornsteinbauer" who had to fix aforementioned chimney problem. New metal 'thing' had to be installed because the 'sucking power' of the chimney wasn't sufficient for the new heating system, as it needed more Kw of power....or something like that...it was much more complicated at the time, but all sorted now, so apart from the extra unexpected costs, it's becoming a distant memory.
|"Schornsteinbauer" (chimney builder!) - this isn't it, by the way!|