Friday, August 29, 2014

Tearing down the house

DSC07986 (945x1300)Entrepreneurship has many dreams.  I want to improve patient outcomes, lower hospital costs, return a big profit to my investors, work with good people, build a lasting legacy.  And, perhaps, achieve one of those Big Exits that pave the Golden Road.

The FT offered several Emerald Cities,  five waterfront homes in reach of a modest win.  I’ve been to Henley-on-Thames, and the boats moored by the house had appeal, but the villa on Lake Como was the one that caught my eye. como villa Not too big, a lovely veranda overlooking the lakes and mountains; lots of wood interior and a lovely breakfast gazebo for plants and painting.  It evoked a lot of good feelings.

At the moment, though, I have to deal with a different sort of water.

Heavy rains fell on Maastricht earlier in the summer: gutters in our roof overflowed and water drained down the inside DSC08036 (1300x928)front of the building.  I wasn’t home at the time; the students downstairs had moved out.  When the basement of the restaurant at street level started to fill, they called the landlord. The drainage was quickly fixed, but the interior damage remained.

I arrived back in Eindhoven, passed the souvenir stands (below) DSC08148 (1300x975)and took the train south to start the fixes.  Its still disheartening: paint discolored, plaster peeling.  The walls have to be opened so that the structure can dry.  The workmen arrived this morning, armed with axes, and set to work.

The plaster flew, the wall opened.

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I’m the sort who tends to see these things symbolically: the destruction of my home echoing problems in life.  But the workmen made a good effort to clean up, leaving only a few tools and a patina of dust over everything. 

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In the end, the bare brick was actually sort of warm, giving a bistro-ambience to the front room beneath the incandescent bulbs.

But the moisture was pretty severe.  DSC08163 (1300x975)The bricks were soaked, and I could push a finger into the big structural timbers across the front wall. 

My guess is that this will turn into a much bigger job than anticipated, likely not finished before winter.  Everyone says that things will be made right, and I’m trying to get assurances that my belongings will be safe while the como 2parade of carpenters and plasterers comes through.

in any case, it’s not forever.  A year to market; a year closer to Lake Como…

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