A sad story?

Up a flight of cobbled steps, on the corner of a tiny square, stands one of the most bedraggled, unloved houses in Tavira.  In a town where every other street has a ‘do-er upper’ – part of it’s charm – this one is nothing uncommon.  Often I look at a ruin and think, ‘that would make a great little home’, and pass right on by.  But this lost soul always stops me in my tracks.

I first saw it a dozen years ago, when I’d been puffing up and down hills, exploring Tavira’s delightful back streets.  It looked the perfect size.  And maybe I could have a tiny roof terrace where I could closet myself away, and peer down at the occasional passer by.  And then, one Christmas time, I saw the little square decked in all its finery.  What wonderful neighbours I could have!

But the years have rolled by, and I haven’t claimed it as mine.  Time hasn’t been kind and now I can see inside to the wooden ceiling.  Weeds sprout from the roof and gutters.  And still I’m tempted!  Why hasn’t it been snapped up?  Did I mention the steep, cobbled steps?  How would I ever get the shopping home as I get older and dothery?

It’s not as though there aren’t plenty of others to feel sorry for.  Spare a kind thought for these.

Why am I sharing these today?  Well, I thought I’d cheer up my old buddy, Sue.  She loves nothing more than a good ruin.  And Paula’s back with Pick a Word in another engaging Thursday’s Special.  I chose Remains and Non-Human to illustrate.


    1. It might well be, Draco. Hang on- I’ll see if I can find a white sheet! Although it’s snowing outside, so perhaps I won’t need one. 🙂 🙂 Thanks a lot!

  1. My sister would end up fighting you for it, although she had trouble driving past similar ruins in Galica, Spain. I kept reminding her that the first thing you need is a road, then water then power, then you can buy it. Did she ever listen, no 🙂

  2. Oh Jo, you should certainly claim that ruined little house as your own! Even with the steps – just think, it will force you keep in shape even when you’re old! I’ve seen my father, at 87, barely able to make it across a room, hobbling as he does, while I’ve seen spry 90+ year olds going and going. I love a ruin too, and I love your dreams about that little house. But even if you don’t claim this one, I’m sure another will appear to you when it’s meant to be. 🙂

    1. The romantic in me agrees with you, Cathy, but the practical other half won’t have anything to do with it. 😦 😦 There are so many ruins around Tavira, but this one is up by the church, and there’s just something about it. I hope it’s loved one day. 🙂

      1. I know exactly what you mean, Jo. Mike wouldn’t be up for such a project either, although I’d sure like to dream about it myself. I really do wish it could be yours, in some miraculous way. 🙂

  3. How interesting that this property, this place, still tugs at your heart Jo. It might be an interesting little adventure to at least find out a little history about the place…you know…pretend that you might be a prospective buyer!

  4. They scream “work, work, work” in a country I don’t speak the language. No, thank you! We spent enough time, money, and effort on boat projects when we had our sailboat, that I can’t be involved in anything needing renovations or lots of hands-on work. You need a lot of energy, steam, determination, time, and skills to battle a project like this. I’ll pass. 🙂

  5. It might be a listed building, there might be a list of restrictions as long as your arm which would make a renovation uneconomical. I have come across this issue several times in Greece so people build a new house and let the old one fall down! It’s a shame but you have to imagine what a happy house that it may once have been!

    1. Becky mentioned that there may be ownership issues and that rings true, Andrew. When we were first looking in the Algarve we had a fancy for an architect designed makeover down in the salt marshes. In retrospect we may well have been bitten to death by mosquitos, but we were down that way recently. 12 years on it has finally become a house. It was a joint owned property. This one is in quite an impractical situation but if someone were to renovate it for me I’d have it! 🙂 🙂

  6. It could be a great renovation project, but for sure could be costly. I love houses on top of hills for the great views they usually offer. I hope this sad house will be loved again soon 🙂

    1. The first time I saw it, I caught my breath and said ‘what do you think?’ I knew what the answer would be, and there are obviously a lot of practical people about who feel the same way. 12 years later, it’s still for sale 😦 😦

  7. A sad story indeed, but I’m glad you resisted the impulse to spend money on it. That sort of renovation can bankrupt you.

  8. Jo, first I had to burst out laughing at your comment about ‘dothery’!! l doubt that adjective will ever be applied to you!😀😃

    Oh, I love ruins and photographing them as well so this was a joy of a post. The house does look so forlorn as if it’s given up all hope…such a pity about the steep cobbled stone road as I think you’re right and this would make an idyllic home. Someone better buy it up soon and start the renovations otherwise it might end up looking like some of the other ruins you feature.

    1. Thanks, Annika! I hope it won’t but I’m on the slippery slope now, you know! 🙂 🙂 (literally, soon, as we have our first snow today! 🙂 ) I do hope someone turns it into a happy home some day, even if it’s not me.

  9. It looks in better shape than the ruin I dream about everytime I pass it, and at least it is in your beloved Tavira. Maybe one of these days you will have the pennies and time xx

    1. Where is it, Becky? 🙂 🙂 The location of mine is the deal breaker. That plus the fact that Mick wouldn’t countenance a renovation- spoil sport 😦 I’m surprised it hasn’t gone though. It’s up near Santa Maria church, round the back.

      1. It’s bizarre . . perhaps there is one member of the family who won’t sell or who can’t be contacted? I know the inheritance laws do complicate property sales.

        Ours is up in the hills – a farm, just outside Foz de Odeleite but within cycling distance of at least three restaurants!

  10. Those photos remind me of what our house looked like in Granada, Nicaragua before we started to rennovate it!! Be worth finding out tge cost and as well the cost of construction…no? Hahaha… I am being a trouble maker.

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