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  • Writer's pictureRoger Hampton

19. Nerves and more…

I don’t know how many times Diego has said to me that I have to remain calm and optimistic.  However, my nerves are showing now. We still await for all the i’s to be dotted and the t’s to be scored regarding payment of the superbonus. When you live in a land where most, if not everything is done online and is automated, it is a shock to the system when you meet the Italian way of doing things. This must be one of the very few things I dislike about the country. Rules change (as do governments) about as regularly as it snows in the arctic! Not everyday, but almost. We have done everything correctly and on time, but still the banks are delaying, putting jobs in jeopardy and risking our own financial security. The latter is lesser as the property can be sold, but I would hate to see anything happen to our workers.  Of course I would hate to loose what is meant to be a refuge for my family for many years to come, but I do hope it will not come to this. As I have said before, we have a contract with the bank and I still expect them to honour it.

The walls have been plastered

Meanwhile, my contractors are still working. I am so fortunate to have built up such a good relationship with them, that they trust me to pay them as soon as possible, something I certainly will do, but of course you can only stretch an elastic band so far. I think we will have to stop soon and wait. So annoying since we are so close.

Some final design decisions.

We are trying to keep true to some of the areas rustic design principles and it was time to consider the interior window cills. The more modern, yet old method is to set stone in. We considered various types of stone including trani, marble and xxx. All have their pluses and minuses.  However, after further discussion and thought, we landed upon an even more traditional look for the area, where the cill is finished with an impregnated plaster. This will give a very homogeneous result, simple but clean. The window openings are deep, due to the wall thickness and will be chamfered on three sides. The cills will be flat and can be used for decoration.

Tiles will have to be ordered very soon. We have been working on the choice of these for quite some time now. The ground floor, stair and hallway to the bedrooms are all to have the same floor tile. If we didn’t have a budget, we would be looking at recycling some limestone flooring, but this is not possible within our constraints.

However, I feel we have found a good alternative in a ceramic tile. One of my criteria has been a bare foot feeling. A simple smooth surface with “the look” is just not good enough for my own high standards of detail. Del Conca are a local producer, just over the border in Emilia-Romagna, near Rimini. They introduced a new series just over a year ago called Dinamika Stone. The surface is just what we wanted, warm colour and a dynamic texture. As close to real stone as we are going to get.

The ground floor tile surface

The same criteria was laid to ground for the bedroom floors. This time a timber design was chosen to give a warmer look again. I want larger tiles as well. Of course I could have used parquet, but with the underfloor heating, humidity variations and the probability that we will rent the house convinced me, that a practical approach was appropriate and therefore tile. We landed upon a tile by Marazzi called "Vero" or true in English. It has an active surface, which ought to be good underfoot. The long “planks” of chestnut will combine well with the real timber, of the said material, in the visible roof construction.

The bathroom tiles have also been chosen, again from Marazzi. I will come back to these when I have done some sort of collage. These include more colour and pattern.

The planned floors for the bedrooms

Finally, the last month has been extremely difficult. To add to the frustration and stress, I have also become ill. It is unfortunately quite serious and everything has to be set aside until it is sorted. The diagnosis was a bit of a shock, but having now received great advice and treatment, I’m coming to terms with it and feeling somewhat better. The path is longer than I would like, but as long as we get there, then it will just have to take the time it takes. Being away from my work is difficult for me, when it is enforced leave, but I hope the new year will bring a new start there too. A finished house would brighten things up also, so I really hope for some positive news soon. It really would be a load off my mind.

I'm in good hands and have the support of my family and friends, without whom, I would be at a bit of a loss right now.

Take care everyone.


Don't just leave it as a dream. Just remember, dreams do come true, but seldom without a little proaction.

Stay safe everybody and best wishes to you all!

I hope you are enjoying the posts. Tell me what you like and/or dislike about them. I know a lot of you are Norwegian (my home), is there anything I can explain better or needs translating? Do any of you dream of a place in Italy? Can I help you begin to realise your dream?

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21. Difficult times

Things have stood still at the building site far far away, but that hopefully will change again soon. The sale of the credits accumulated i connection with the superbonus, has proved to be more diffic



Dear Roger, first of all, sorry to read that you are not in the best of health.....I really hope you will soon be on a path to a full recovery. Secondly, I just want to reassure you that time taken and waited will (eventually) pay off......we have very recently had our post earthquake rebuild project times it felt as though it would never happen!!!! Finally, I just want to congratulate you on finding the wood 'look-a-like' tiles!! We too wanted a wooden floor....but it seems it's not to be, for many reasons, not least, like you to do with heating. I love the look of these...they're by far the most authentic looking 'wood' I have seen.

I wish you…

Roger Hampton
Roger Hampton

Hi Lucy. Thanks for your kind words of support. It means a lot. I hope time will improve things on all fronts. About the tiles: I have seen and felt them live. They are also a fantastic size 22,5x180cm or approx 9x70 inches. Proper planks! Check out the link here…

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