Monday, June 28, 2010

By popular demand (or at least the insesant demand of my mother!!!)

Well the house is going through another growth spurt. My impression so far, is that the fastest thing about building a house is the actual building of the house itself. The foundations have taken a long time and I am told that all of the finishing of the house (electric, water, plastering, tiling, fittings, windows, door etc..) will take a very long time.

So I think the last pictures I posted were of the foundations looking like a 3' high wall, outlining where our rooms are going to be. Well things have advanced a litte from then. We now have a good number of walls and the land around the foundation has been filled to almost floor height. It is very difficult to show the progress clearly in pictures because its difficult to get enough of the house into the camera shot to make sense. So here it goes.

First is the view into the kitchen from the terrace. The kitchen will be aproximately 15' x 15'. Along the left of the picture leading towards the back are the bathroom, living room and study:
Then my husband in the kitchen poiting to where the stairs to the second floor will start (taken from the terrace). His being in the shot gives everything a little more perspective:
My husband's work room - or as I like to call it his 'man cave' (6' x 9'):
Me standing in the living room at the door of my study before the foundation was filled (the living room will be around 12' x 18' and my study will be 9' x 9'). I say 'my' study but I will let my husband put a small desk in there:)
My husband standing in the study doorway after the land was filled. The front door will be to his left.
Me in the kitchen this will be where the sink will be and the washing machine will be to my left, with a nice bench inbetween.
View from the kitchen to the covered terrace. You can see that our garden, behind the terrace, will be small (9'x24'):
The bathroom:
My husband and mother-in-law looking into my study window from the driveway, this is where my desk will be so that I can monitor all of the comings and goings!
So there you have it. I am hoping that Tropical Storm Alex will take its wet weather away today so that work on the walls can continue. It is possible that we will be able to get the roof on the first floor by the end of this week or next. Then I have to wait until all of boring stuff is completed before we can start the exciting things like choosing the decor for the bathroom!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New York

I have just returned to Cozumel after two weeks in New York. I think I have written about this before, but it is the wierdest experience being back in New York, especially because I spent two weeks working in my old company. More than just visiting a place, its like visiting a different time in my life and an all together different me.
Work was actually great - I felt like I fitted right back in. I love the people who I used to work with and two weeks of quick chats and lunches made it possible to catch up with almost everybody.
I had been worried that my 1 1/2 years in Cozumel might have irradicated all knowledge of shipping from my brain (thanks to my VERY bad memory). I was pleased to find that this was not the case. Everything came flooding back and by day 2 it was like I had never been away. It was nice to sit and work at a desk for a change and give my back a rest from lugging tanks around.
So what are the differences between working as a scuba instructor and working in an office (probably more sensible to ask what are the similarities but bear with me). It was a friend who put her finger on the main difference. She'd taken a year off from her stressful, marketing position and had recently returned to work. She told me that returning to her desk job had had a dramatic effect on her health, this she put down to feeling very disconnected to the universe. That is exactly what I think I felt. Here in Cozumel I feel very at one with nature and the forces at work in the universe. I feel the sun, wind and sometimes rain on my skin. I'm in the Ocean alomost every day; sometimes its soft and billowing waves wrap around me like a blanket, sometimes they knock me on my ass. The current rocks me to and fro or flings me 1/2 mile in 5 mins. In the city we tend to live and work in environmentally sealed buildings, see the world virtually through computers, communicate by e-mail and telephone. Our appartments are luxurious but airconditioning and tinted windows keep us at arms length from what little nature exhists in the city. Two weeks was a nice break but I was very ready to get back to my Island.
I did have a great time catching up with friends. A couple of dinners with Carey, catching up on her eventful life is always fun. I managed to spend some quality time with Allie and little Griffin, and also a nice dinner with her husband Hans. Cat was in town from Germany for a flying visit and I got to hang out with her and Beth. Allie came over for dinner and although we had to cut things a little short due to Cat's jetlag, my general uselessness at staying up late, Beth's early presnetation and Allie's mommyhood, it felt good to have a girly night with close friends. A wonderful weekend in Lake George with Christine. It did rain which stopped us from getting out on the boat - but did allow us to hit the outlet mall, where I was able to load up on flis flops for me and my husband.
I also managed to spend some time with a good friend who has also decided to take a year off from corporate America - boy did he look more relaxed.
I stayed with friends in NJ and Long Island during my trip. For the seocnd week I had the use of a friend's wonderful apartment in Jersey City.
A great 10 min train journey to lower Manhattan (perfect for early morning shopping trips to my favorite discount designer store - Century 21). The most wonderful thing about this apartment were the views. Check out the views of Manhattan from New Jersey. I'd have to say that I love crazy New York...

Looking at these pictures I am reminded of what Hans said about loving the energy of the city and being inspired by it everytime he needs to be in midtown for work. He is right about that. Maybe its something about so many people being packed into such a small space, all busy like worker ants. There is a creative energy about the city- it almost buzzes with the energy of its people. Maybe not the peaceful connection to the universe that I feel in Cozumel but there is definitely a powerful and compelling energy to the place.
On the morning of my return I woak up early to get to the airport for a 8am flight and caught the sun rising over the city...
Later when I returned to the Island, I watched the sun set over the ocean with my wonderful husband...
...and I thought to myself that both were beautiful in their own ways. I am lucky to be part of two such wonderful places.