September to November 2008:
We start a programme of meetings with agencies, some of whom we have already met, and others we see for the first time. Our aim is to promote the concept of what we are aiming to do, and establish where there is common ground for future cooperation.
During September, we plan our move across to Montenegro. While life in Skopje is pleasant, our minds are on our land, and we are increasingly frustrated with the distance and consquent travelling involved. Although Kotor is only about 500km away, whether one goes via Kosovo and down the Moraca river, or south from Skopje to cross into Albania and via Tirana, it still takes over 10 hours. We find a flat in Tivat, about 100m from the sea with lovely views both up to Lovcen (the highest mountain in the National Park behind Kotor) and out to the Lustica peninsula opposite Tivat. The physical move takes place at the end of September, with packers taking care of most of our belongings. We transport the balance ourselves, looking rather snail-like with so much packed into the car.
Spring and Summer 2008:
Some of our time is taken up meeting people and organisations involved in energy efficiency and sustainable building. We also work on the plot, clearing some of the weeds and other growth which has taken over in years of neglect. Part of the site has been used as a dump for all sorts of rubbish. Not surprising, when the common method of getting rid of rubbish here is to take it up the mountain side and tip it over the edge; an alternative is to use a stream or river, possibly in the mistaken belief that water will somehow dissolve it.
In June, we are told that the revised Urban Plan for Risan is likely to be available for public discussion in either June or September. Following that, final adjustments will be made and the Plan should go to the Municipal Council for approval in October.
We receive the initial design proposals from our architect. Initial surprise, as he has placed the building more to the south of the plot. We realise he is right, as his designs make better use of the plot, and allow us to have more of a garden to the west.
© James Collins 2008