At the beginning of the month, James hands in a letter to the Mayor’s office, stating among other points: ‘Within the government policy of energy efficiency, it is an advantage for the government to have examples of very low energy-consuming buildings which encourage developers and citizens to adopt the (simple) technologies involved. I propose therefore that our house be adopted as such an example by the government, giving it a status of national importance within the framework of the policy of energy efficiency. I will write to the appropriate Minister asking for a decision on this shortly, which I hope should allow our project to go ahead. I ask for your support in this.’
In the context of the GBC, James meets Dragana Sekulić, Deputy Minister in the Ministry for Economy responsible for Energy Efficiency. Sadly as far as our house is concerned, there can be no public interest as it is a private dwelling. So James’ idea of some form of official approval as an object of national importance is a non-starter. Nothing much is happening on the DUP front as far as we can find out. It is supposedly somewhere between the Ministry for Sustainable Development & Tourism – now responsible for spatial planning as the successor to the Ministry for Spatial Planning and Environment – and the Municipality.
The DVLA certificate arrives, so we can start the full car import procedure. This involves getting a technical inspection certificate from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering that the car meets Euro 3 exhaust standards (the UK certificate of course is of no use!); parking the car in a customs clearance for the best part of a day while the Customs calculate the import tax and issue the documents – including a dash to the bank before it shuts to pay the tax; then a morning for the normal annual technical inspection and forms for the police registration. A week later we get the new plates! It is indeed considerably cheaper than taking the car back to UK.
Some months ago, we had been given a small greenhouse assembly by some good British friends in the Boka. James finally gets round to assembling it on a lower level below the stone house. Anke is delighted as the previous winter many of her more sensitive plants, especially the avocados, had suffered in the cold, and even more when the cold Bura blew. The inside gets quite damp, and we find a CaCl2 box which works wonders.
At the end of the month we catch the plane from Dubrovnik and fly to München to see the family there over Hallowe’en. James is found a hideous scraggly long black wig to go with his vampire cloak, and proceeds to frighten all the smaller children at the party. He then gets soundly bounced upon by the rest of them in a general melee at the end of what is actually a really fun party.