When I arrived at the house this morning to find it totally devoid of workmen I hatched a plan that today would be the day that I investigate one of the last undiscovered places on the estate.
I’ve been in Spain for almost two weeks and the only thing which has been putting me off breaking into a small ruined house, set into the rock face opposite the main house, was it’s close proximity to the current works. I was harbouring the fear that I’d look a bit of a weakling as I tried to smash down the door, wedged shut for decades by falling masonry, tiles and beams.
I quickly set to work. The crowbar was woefully inadequate but the lump hammer quickly did the job. More quickly than I had expected and as the door fell in I lost my precarious footing and landed in the house on top of the now see-sawing door. Looking up I saw that the room was full of debris and vegetation comprising ivy, brambles and a solitary laurel tree.
When we bought the house we were told that this small edifice contained a bread oven, one of the essentials for any self-respecting mid-nineteenth century country home. A recent conversation with Miro (from the big green house down the road) suggested that the building was bigger than we first thought and contained not only a bread oven but also a bodega, but at that moment I couldn’t see anything other than vines.
Ten minutes with a pair of tree-loppers and I’d cleared a path to the back of the building and as I looked to my right there was no sign of a bread oven, my heart sank.
I moved back to the entrance doorway and decided to tackle the area immediately to my right, momentarily covered in an impenetrable curtain of ivy. Removing vine after vine a wall came into view, then an opening in the wall. Finally, accompanied by a fist-pump and a ‘get in’, to no-one other than myself, there was the mythical bread oven.
After my short celebration I heard a crunch under my feet and looked down. I was stood on wine bottles, sadly long since empty.
A bread oven and a bodega, Miro’s seventy-four year old memory it seems, is pretty good!