We have done it! We have bought a massive building in a tiny corner of Catalunya. We’ve bought all the responsibilities, dreams, pleasures and terrors that come with it. What we have bought is a very long to-do list, and it feels marvellous.
Our new house is in Oristà, a 200-person strong village in the Catalan heartlands, overlooked by the foothills of the snowy Pyrenees. The ground floor is made up of the old village bar, shop and restaurant. At the back of the house is the very large old theatre that will become our garden. One floor up is ‘the flat’, the bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and a living space and a terrace. Above the flat is the scary attic, with a bare and unfinished floor, no internal walls, bricked up windows and nesting pigeons.
It sounds mad! And maybe it is, but there is a plan. The ground floor will become a large set of three studios for visiting artists, writers and musicians to use, and maybe a small cafe. The theatre will be our garden and the gap under the stage will be a workshop. The flat, with its balcony overlooking the village square, will be the artists’ residence where our visiting studio dwellers can stay for a week, a month or maybe more. When we have plucked up the courage to evict the pigeons and knock the bricks out of the windows, the top floor will be our home.
We move in on February 18 2017 and between now and then we are deep cleaning, painting walls and chucking out the old stained mattresses. Before us, no one had lived in the house for two years, and it shows.
Please check back for progress photos of the transformation. And please, please visit when we get past the point of ‘livable’. We would love to see you here in the sun for some tapas on the terrace.
Odette and Jim x