A weekend of repairs of the house in Goa

A weekend of repairs of the house in Goa
Because of the monsoons which can be both destructive and useful in Goa the houses in Goa tend to need more maintenance than houses in other parts of the country. So every year we drive down to Goa, to our little village of Pilerne to clean up the house and check the leaks which spring up in all the different roofs of the house.

This time we were worried as the water pipes seemed blocked and that was definitely a major problem cause no one can live in a house without running water. So the first thing we did was call the plumber who looked at the pipes and sagely shook his head. The mud that comes during the monsoon months in the water can clog the pipes like cement he said if the pipes are not used regularly. Cold shivers ran up and down our spines. Oh no, would we have to replace all the pipes we wondered?

The plumber was summoned and thankfully he was honest enough to do a high pressure wash which temporarily cleared the mud in the pipes and we were able to get water in both the toilets and the kitchen for the duration of our stay. Goa without water is no holiday!

Then came the roof. The three months of rain had battered the roof and the tiles and in certain areas large plants had sprung up on the roof in the old mud walls below the tiles. That was a big job which entailed taking off all the tiles from the side of the roof along the dining room, cleaning them of dried teak leaves and pulling out the plants that were happily growing out of the very walls. It took a whole day to shift the tiles and sweep them clean and replace the broken tiles with new ones.

While picking off the tiles a snake slithered off said one of the labourers and towards the other end a scorpion stood up its fangs raised in defence. In minutes the mason who unearthed it threw it down and it was smashed to smithereens by the labourer on the ground. If it stung you, you would not have lived to reach the hospital said the labourer and we all stood there in total shock for a minute.

Once the tiles were replaced and the roof closed for the night w e slept comfortably till the next morning when the mason and his helper were back to cement the gaps from the inside. Cement and sand was mixed and lathered expertly with flicks of wrists by the mason and helper and by the afternoon siesta they were done.

We had to tackle the next roof after lunch and that was because rain water was pouring between the tiles and into the room below. That brings in the white ants who feast on the rafters. As the mason walked on the tiles crack went one of the rafters and it crashed to the floor. Lucky the mason jumped out of the way and we were able to give him another rafter to hammer in from above.

Again, broken tiles were removed and fresh tiles were fixed. Then he used an electric saw to cut tiles in half that he fixed into the wall with cement and rectified the leak. Phew! its hard work in the sun and so tea was on the cards when he came down.

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