Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Squall visit

We got tied up today in day-to-day errand running, and really did not get to do anything anyone would find interesting. Toward the end of the day we did manage to make a quick trip out to the construction site. While we were there, squalls were blowing through. It's pretty cool to be on the hillside watching them coming, though. And you can see them coming a long ways off:

I was watching how the light was changing as the squall blew through. When the clouds were thicker and obscuring the blue sky behind them, the ocean color reflected the clouds and looked pretty ominous. But when some of the rain dumped out of the clouds, enough sunlight and blue shone through to change the water color back...it changes the whole tone of the photo, I think:

We were watching what looked like an entire ocean changing from gray to turquoise in sweeping bands every few minutes. The sea mirrors the sky and the clouds, of course, but it was pretty fascinating to watch. I think we are going to get some great photos from this little hill top. I am looking forward to one of the real slam dunk electrical storms we have here. One of those lightning storms that makes the dog embrace religion.

When the squall blew over us we had to duck into the house. This was the first time we have been inside during a driving rain storm. I don't know if you have ever been under a tin roof when it rains...but it has a sound all its own. It's one of the reasons we decided on the galvalume roofing, and today in this squall it sounded great. I think I could sleep just fine with that noise. It's also apparent that this house will have some sounds around it most of the time, but not the sounds of the "city". Where we have been living there is man made noise almost 24 hours a day. It wears on you. This house is immersed in natural sounds. The wind has a tone to it, which changes in pitch and amplitude, but so softly that it's not overwhelming. It's just there in the background. You hear it if you are quiet.

We can always hear the waves against the rocky shoreline. And that changes with the wind speed and direction. And the rain on the tin roof took me back to memories of my redneck childhood when I would stay with my grandparents in a dog-run cabin in the woods of East Texas. Of course there you have the occasional sound of gunfire and every now and then a whiskey still blows up with a bang....(just kidding).

This afternoon we had all three at once, the waves set a rhythm, the wind played a melody, and the rain was a soft percussion solo. I liked it. A whole lot.

We were looking around the house to see what progress had been made since yesterday. Some of the changes are subtle, and too boring to go into here. One thing we are not sure about are the baseboards. We had decided to go with tile baseboards to match the sandstone colored floors...but now I am not so sure I would not rather have just plane wooden, white baseboards. They presently look like this:

Those swipe marks on the floor tiles are just where the mason has been wiping grout in between them. It left dust when it dried. That will all be washed off. The color of the floor tiles is the identical to the baseboard tiles. What do you guys think? Can I get an opinion? What is this going to look like when the walls are painted white?

Oh, we are still struggling with a name for the house. We have heard several we like. A lot of houses here, like in the UK, have names. I think it might be even more important here, where there are no street addresses. Sometimes when we are trying to give a delivery guy directions, it's frustrating. If the house has a name, people learn it, and can read it on a sign, and it becomes a little bit of a landmark. So, anyhow, we want a name for the house. We thought for a while of TailWind...but have moved on from that. H. suggested "The Other Side" because its on the other side of the island from all the activity. We thought of "The Far Side", for the same reasons, but that's the syndicated name of a Gary Larson cartoon. Lately, we have been playing with the idea of "The Flip Side", or just shortened to "Flipside". It has a number of meanings. If anyone has any ideas on that, we would appreciate hearing them.

By the time we left, the squalls had moved on for the moment, although we are expecting more through the night. It's sure been frustrating to go two whole weeks without taking the boat out, or going fishing. This has got to stop.

So, here's the obligatory house photo with the arch..which I always seem to take.

Even a little light coming through from the sunset being assembled far to the right. I think of sitting here, watching the sea and listening to the natural sounds of the island without the noise of people.
It's the kind of place that makes one think about finally writing that novel.


Anonymous said...

Its hard to tell in the pic but if the floor and baseboard are the same color i think its a nice touch. Also like flipside as a house name.

Blog is still as good as ever. Keep it up

Anonymous said...

Yes, the baseboard(s) and the floor tile are identical color and texture. The camera flash made the grout dust on the floor look like that. Its actually more of a sandstone colored rock looking stuff. I don't do colors very well, so leave that up to others.

Maybe this will grow on me. Right now, we are really restraining ourselves from making any changes that would delay us getting moved in. We are willing to put up with a lot of little things that can be fixed later. The thing for us, right now, is to get into the house.

Anonymous said...

Been following your blog and posts on THT at first, then on sportsfishermen.com from practically the beginning and have really enjoyed your pictures and commentary. Keep up the good work!
As for the tile baseboards, I think that looks good and has the added benefit of low maintenance.
For the name, how about
House Of Dreams.

Anonymous said...

Now that you are getting ready to move in, I think it is time for your next technology "bump". Why not install a web cam near that arch so we can all enjoy the view! Never get tired of your photos, not even the arch. After the web cam please consider a "Gringo Cam" so we can follow you around the island...

Did you ever get a chance to listen to "Nothing but a Breeze" by either Jimmy Buffett or Jesse Winchester? Still think it should be your theme song.

Thanks for keeping this up.

La Gringa said...

I like the idea of the arch cam... you'll be able to see the sun coming up over the water every morning...

but a Gringo cam?!?!?

Anonymous said...

But LaGringa,(think Crocodile Hunter here) If you were to do a Gringo cam we could watch while "The wild and unpredictable Gringo was stalked, shot with a tranqualizer gun at dangouresly short range then collared with a state of the art tracking device and webcam. I don't think he'll be to happy about that tag though! Crickey."

Anonymous said...

wait a minute, just wait a minute here....!!!

what kind of tranquilizers?

Anonymous said...

I think the name of your house is somewhere here in your writing.

"""This afternoon we had all three at once, the waves set a rhythm, the wind played a melody, and the rain was a soft percussion solo. I liked it. A whole lot."""

I think its in there somewhere, but I'm not artistic enough to pull it out.

Just a thought.

Lee Dammann

Anonymous said...

I think the tile baseboard approach would be much better for you than wood. It should be easier to maintain, last longer, etc. I think you'll like it.

La Gringa said...

I think you're right. They looked better today in more light.

Anonymous said...

I like the arch cam idea. I think it would be pretty cool to be able to watch that view on the blog.

Elise said...

The photographs are so beautiful!

I really want to go on holiday now... I'm sick of the dark clouds, cold wind and the rain


Malicious Intent said...

Beautiful pictures. I have not heard anyone use the word "Squalls" for along time. My cousin lived on a boat in Coral Bay on St. John's for about 15 years. The name of the boat was La Papillion, it was a 26ton Pinky Schooner. She moved back state side about 4 or 5 years ago after she had a child and wanted to be closer to family. Yes, you do live in paradise!

Anonymous said...

htose pictures are really pretty! where I come from we don't have sights like that. If I look out of my window I can see recycling bins, which is modern but not ideal.

La Gringa said...

@Joe: Hi, glad you stopped by! We looked at a lot of city / modern stuff before we got here! Helps us appreciate what we have I think!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob's Cay..
Yes! As soon as I heard the first line I recognized the song "Nothing but a Breeze". I have the Jesse Winchester version, and listened to Jimmy B's version.
His has a nice laid back beat...

I like them both. Two of my favorite artists.

La Gringa said...

@Malicious: And I bet she has great stories to tell. Am surprised though that she didn't want to raise her child there??

Malicious Intent said...

Eh, she did in a way...but she got a rare form of cancer and that really made her wanna come home. She was gone for 20+ years. They made port and lived in Ireland, Australia, South Africa, to many Islands to remember (and I am betting she was at your lovely slice of heaven at one point.) They more or less lived 3rd world style and sailed by sextant and compass and had a wood stove below for winter months. I think sometime in the 80's they did get sonar finally. They made several trans-atlantic crossings and remember my aunt about biting her nails off waiting for weeks of word to their safe arrival to where ever they were going. I had one friend sail with them, and I was VERY fortunate enough to fly down to St. John before she came back stateside.

La Gringa said...

@Malicious: Sometimes we look at each other and wish we'd done this 20 years ago; met 20 years ago, etc.

I say better late than never!! No point in what ifs - go with what you've got!

How is she doing now?

Malicious Intent said...

She is doing well and her son is too! They live out in the country on a farm with horses which is something they did not have any access to on such a small island (the wild donkeys don't like being saddled up :)) ...so she only traded one love for another!

Malicious Intent said...

Oh I forgot...I remember while in the islands that they name their houses, no street name with number like here. Even though my cousin lived on a boat, but worked in many of the homes as she was a skilled wood crafter and carpenter and so befriended many of the "natives." The most beatiful home we saw was named Orchid Hill. I love how they name the homes. I think I should give mine a name, despite what the postal service wants. :)

Matt Cook said...

Baseboards look fine. Like you said, if they don't turn out that'll give you something to "work" on out in the "workshop" -I call it that because it has a perfect view that NONE of us would get anything done getting to look out of it everyday.

Gringo- I'm a geographer (GIS) and enjoyed your early photos from the balloon. Wondered if that was in storage and hoping you hadn't forgotten about it. I bet you haven't but there's other pressing issues. It'd be nice to get a view of the progress going on in the area from up above...
Also, to La Gringa (because I know she's the technical advisor per se) wanted to thankyou for putting an Archives table so that we are able to catch back up easily. -scrolling through the months etc. The topics listing is a nice touch also.

Much luck and hope the back feels better. Take care. *with you from the start*

La Gringa said...

@malicious: it's the same thing here. we are trying to come up with a new for the house... right now we're liking "The Flip Side" or some similiar. Maybe we should have a contest or something!

La Gringa said...

@matt: Hi and thank you! I'm glad you like the setup. I'll let Gringo talk about when we're going to get that helium balloon up again.


Anonymous said...

Hello Matt;
Yeah, we liked the balloon shots, too. We have two balloons, all the remote control stuff still here. We ran into problems with wind. Both of our balloons are round, and they limit us pretty much to 10 mph winds before they start bouncing around with a couple grand worth of toys hanging under them. Over salt water.

We were also limited by the 17 ft. boat we were borrowing at the time. We have a much better boat for that now.

We plan to move all that stuff into the new house with us, and start taking photos from the boat again.
We also need to buy a blimp-shaped balloon with fins instead of the spherical ones. The drag co-efficient and vortex shedding characteristics of the spheres just limits them to very calm days.
And we don't get a lot of calm days here.

But getting more aerials is very high on our list.

Chris J. said...

Solicited thoughts on baseboard mldgs. Gives the illusion of a little to much going on. Had the grout lines been running perpendicular to the walls it might have been a bit less busy. A big part would be the focusing on it in an empty house and second guessing your choice. Once the furniture and interior decor is in place, I'm sure nobody would even notice you had baseboard mldgs. Re-evaluate in 6 months and I'm willing to bet this will be way, way down on your list of concerns. Compliments to you both on a lovely home. We have just completed the purchase of land in Spanish Wells, Bahamas and will be embarking on a similar voyage. Have already picked up a couple of product names from your site, that I will be familiarizing myself with, Island Flextec & Galvalume.Great site and look forward to talking with you in the future.
Chris J.

Chris J. said...

Forgot to include in my last message. Like to propose the name "Journey's End" for your home.
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