June 6 Thursday
Nice day, sunny, slight breeze maxed at 26C. Bought lots of sandpaper to make sure the right stuff gets used. Also bought dust masks. No food shopping. The strawberry season seems to have ended here (I think it may just have started in england. Ironically because they are Spanish strawberries)

While dancing someone dropped off a young woman who probably works in one of the cafes, and the driver took the trouble to shout out “Idiota” which I assumed was directed at me rather then her. I note these things, consider the possibility that the person may feel a need to teach me a lesson, but I try to continue without dwelling on the comment.

‘Idiot’ seems like the wrong word to me, ‘madman’ would be a better choice in my opinion.

Workman came and searched for holes made by the wood boring beetles which sadly he found a plenty. Both bathrooms are going to be stripped/treated- doors, windows and cupboards, 3 hallway doors, 3 wardrobe doors and a partridge in a pear tree – oops, not sure how that got on the list. I am sure this will not be the end of it. They come out and take wing in the warmer weather and many of those holes are fresh within the last 2 weeks, so there will be more coming until November. We had words over how long it takes to strip a door. My estimate is less then 2 hours and his is 4 hours (then maybe 3). I think he had been slower partly because he used finer grade sandpaper and because he does a better job than I would do.

I have taped notes on all the wood that needs treating and sketched plans of each room showing which bits to treat (colour coded) with instructions on what is to be done where. (All of which, I suspect, will be ignored.)

This job can’t really be done on a fixed cost due to the probability of their being more holes showing up, so there is a lot of trust going on here.

My process is to strip the wood stain from any parts that show signs of beetles and paint the area with ‘matacarcoma’ (a nasty poison). I have set a limit which is ‘if more than 2 holes-strip and paint’. This is arbitrary and means that any wood that is infected is not treated until there are visible signs of infection. This may be foolish. It is probably more effective to strip and paint all the wood in one go. Doing it all probably reduces the spread of infection, but is a big task and may be wasteful.

Ah, well I have made my choice for good or ill.

I have a suspicion that eventually every piece of wood will have been stripped and painted with poison and then I will still have to call in specialists to treat all of it again. (Having someone do the preparation may still end up saving money because the specialists probably charge heavily for the prep.)
I am resigned to this long, slow process, but I still get annoyed when I see new holes or find the beetles alive or dead on the floor.

The gardener, also arrived. We discussed and reviewed the irrigation controller and I paid her for last month and the next 2 months. She wished me ‘Bien viaje’.

Oh, the gasmask would not work for teargas as it doesn’t cover the eyes, just nose and mouth. I fitted the filters and tried it out. Fairly easy to breathe. I reminded the workman that I bought it for his health and that I seem to worry about his health more than he does. He thanked me and said that he would try it when he uses the ‘matacarcoma’ treatment.

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