We arrived for February half term week 2007 with giant bags; you could still fly with 25kg bags then without penalties. We had sourced loads of discounted goods for the house and set to work. Although we had cleared most of the rubbish on our previous trip, the serious sorting and cleaning started here. With our web site up and running and our first bookings taken we needed to get it finished.
We scrubbed and cleaned every surface and cupboard. We threw things out - a broken tv hidden in a wardrobe, torn and old bedding, giant paper fans that had been hung on the walls, (the only extra décor in the house), a broken hi-fi cabinet, oddments of cutlery, chipped plates and glasses, old mugs, old towels and endless sundry items. The marble surround on one of the wash basins was broken so a new one ordered at a very reasonable price. We found some good value DIY shops, second hand places and discount shops. The washing machine was broken and even still had wet and rotting towels stuck inside it! The new one was purchased and to my amazement the shop was happy to take away the old one for a very small fee (complete with towels!).
We fitted curtain rails, hung voiles, hung pictures, bought sofa throws, lamps, mugs, crockery, glasses, cutlery and bedding. We rearranged what little outside furniture there was and bought more – it was plastic but all we could afford. (It would be replaced over time.) We scrubbed the balustrade, terrace, balcony and solarium. We painted grills. We stayed up late into the night and rose early to carry on. We had to get it finished.
Finally, on the final evening it was ready to photograph properly. We had packed already as we were leaving early the following morning and had taken the outside shots earlier. Dave moved from room to room taking photos. I moved the cases out of the way for a photo of the downstairs bedroom to the doorway of the shower room. Dave took the photo, took a couple of steps back, and turned without looking, lost his balance and fell over the small case into the shower room! He put his free arm out to save himself but hit the side of the wash basin on the way down. He was badly winded and in pain all night. It was only once we were back in the UK and he went to the doctors that he discovered he had broken two ribs on the wash basin!