When we first contemplated a renovation of the fienile, I had shown our muratore a photo of a fienile renovation that I had found in a magazine somewhere years ago.
I remember placing this photo in front of him and telling him that this was "il mio sogno" (my dream).
With the renovation now well underway, I find myself telling him every day that he is making the fienile even better than "il mio sogno".
Stu and I were both part of the dream this week...
Stu's job was to help lift the beams onto the roof. The muratore had chosen to use maple and he estimated that each beam weighed between 250kg and 350kg! It was an effort to move them horizontally, let alone vertically up onto the roof! Apart from the sheer weight, they dug into our gravel courtyard making it hard to drag them. In the end, the muratore placed a row of scaffolding panels across the gravel, then wrapped a sling around them (one at a time) and used a lifting mechanism to drag them across the ground and lift them up to the roof. Getting them into place once they were on the roof involved the muscle of 3 men.
The main central structure of the roof took hours to measure, chainsaw, lift, position and finally chock together. I watched for hours as our beautiful new hand-crafted roof structure came together like a jigsaw puzzle.
While Stu was struggling with the beams, I was on the roof painting them with an insect repellent stain as they arrived. This paint will ensure longevity against woodworm.
For this task I dressed in an old faded and stained pair of tracksuit pants and one of Stu's old business shirts (that I had previously managed to "decorate" with cement, paint, grass and dirt!). My "look" was finished off with a very unglamorous Australian floppy sunhat. I noticed the Italians glance quickly at me then look away even more quickly. But with protective gloves on, paintbrush in hand and a wide smile on my face, I was oblivious to any embarrassment: Here was little old me...on an Italian roof...in the Italian sun...with 2 happy Italian labourers...yapping in Italian and laughing.
I had to pinch myself...this really was the stuff of my dreams...