Last month, as you might know from the post Holiday curse, Vman and me were helping out a couple of friends who wanted to build a wooden cabin on their land in Portugal. What I didn’t tell you back then, is that somewhere, deep down inside of me, I found a Superwoman in hiding!
Imagine a piece of wild dry land with steep parts. Then add a big yellow monster of a machine, that’s leveling out the area for the master house, to arise next year. Another man is taking down trees that are too close to the building area. A bit to the left there’s a precipitous ramp leading upwards to the foundation of the cabin. Insert five hard working people near this foundation. Got it? Good, hold on to that thought.
The contractor who will build the master house, had already made sure there were waterworks. Meaning, in the middle of nowhere a pole was sticking up from the ground with a tap attached to it. Not very fancy but functional: we had a water hose in case it got too hot.
Apart from the water, of course we needed electricity. Not for tools – we had an aggregate for that – but we needed electricity for music. How can one work without music to ease the mind and take the thoughts off the heavy task at hand? Simply not possible! After three days the contractor walked up the ramp with a tension spring and started inserting it into the pipe that was waiting for a source of energy. Apparently the community service finally had kept their word and connected the power lines to the area. Half an hour and a lot of sweat later the tip of a black cable appeared at the end of the spring. And after some moments we were happily singing along to strange Portuguese songs and listening to the same ads over and over again.
The next day the ladies went back to impregnating the beams, boards, laths and other still unidentified wooden things, while the men built the first layers of wood on the foundation. That was sooooo exciting: the cabin would get its shape. You can see the black cable popping up from a little square on the picture on the down left side, with me painting and humming nearby.
But then the music stopped… I looked up and saw the radio unplugged. Weird. When I wanted to plug the cable back in, it started to move! My eyes got bigger and bigger, and when the cable continued its new course back into the pipe, I started yelling and grabbed the cable firmly in both hands, bracing myself with my foot against the concrete. When nobody reacted, I screamed again ‘Help, the cable is disappearing, HELP damn you!!’ Alright, that got some attention. Meanwhile I was hanging onto the cable with all my strength.
Marcel came running, took one look at me and then raced down the ramp towards the master house site, shouting for the work men to stop whatever they were doing. The cable, almost up to the plug in the pipe by now, stopped its slithering path down into the bowels of the earth. Pfew.
I stood up straight and waited for Marcel to return. To my surprise, he was laughing his butt off. ‘What?’, I asked. No reply, only a new salvo of laughter. ‘WHAT IS IT?’, my voice a tad bit louder. Was I being laughed at here while I was rescuing his precious cable?!
Then he asked me ‘Mar, were you really trying to stop the cable, when on the other side a big strong excavator has set its claws into it? Who do you think you are, Superwoman?’. The navvy had accidentally hit the cable while leveling the ground. Hmmm he did have a point there. To save my dignity, I grumbled ‘If you put it that way, it might be a bit funny indeed – perhaps – but I did save your precious cable from being torn to pieces!’. And with these words I sent the superwoman in me back to rest and laughed even harder than my friends.