About Me

We moved out to Portugal to live a frugal but better , simpler and peaceful life, our house is a very basic, semi ruin, up in the hills outside Figueiro Dos Vinhos, where we work our land, enjoy life with each other and our dogs, and hope to make the smallest carbon footprint we can,

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Energy Update

Life with low energy bulbs is getting better, Rik moved the light sockets around and things seem a little better, well downstairs at least, upstairs is still gloomy but he'll get to that soon. Life with no fridge is not a problem though, I haven't missed it at all, so really shows how little we needed it. I do have a large chest freezer which is jam packed, so cant get by without that, t stores all our winter food, I also buy an extra bag of pasta, or rice or dried beans etc all throughout the summer, so we have plenty of stores in, the bread making every day is still going well, saving us loads of money, and we have lovely fresh bread everyday, as the weather is quite cold we tend to eat a lot of home made soup, especially lunchtimes, its cheap and filling and very healthy, I'll put a good recipe on next post.
So at the moment our total energy use is .... daytime, two 11 watt bulbs and one normal strip light over the work area. . (our downstairs kitchen is a old converted adega and very dark) plus the freezer which is on full time. On Sundays we have half price electric so I do our washing then, generally two loads. And then in the evenings we have three 11 watt bulbs upstairs and downstairs obviously goes off. We have no telly or other electrical items and just watch a DVD occasionally. So I'm expecting a drastic reduction in the bills, Rik is now using the generator for any power tools so that will help. I'll report back when we get our next bill.

The kitchen/ dining room is still an ever changing place, now the wood fired range is definitely staying where it is, Rik is building me a work station around it, rough rendered bricks with slate slab worktops which I'll stone varnish and paint, cheap, clean and efficient, plus in keeping with the rest of the house, which is very ..... rustic.... I can also keep more or less a weeks supply of logs stacked under it all nice and dry and I don't have to keep trekking up to the wood barn.
He's been so busy , he's also built a kitchenette area in the cottage, sink, cupboards and also a nice two ring burner, so yes, although I said I'd NEVER do it.... the cottage is now semi self catering, in this economic climate it would be stupid to lose income through not being able to appeal to as wide a market as possible. Folk just don't have the money they did , and more need self catering... so we've done it, it does look lovely now with the log stove as well. So warm and cosy in there.

Im getting organised for Christmas, although Rik as a Pagan doesnt celebrate Christmas, he's happy for me to do it, we also are having a Winter Solstice Celebration for him this year too, a few friends, a lovely huge bonfire, hot soup, homemade bread and some golden rice pudding, all either made from our produce and/or coloured golden to celebrate the return of the sun...and the start of the longer days... (and a few glasses of red wine too of course) My Dad arrives again on Solstice day so can join in the fun.
I'm busy tomorrow making my christmas puddings, bloody late this year, but that's just how it is, Teresa made some beautifull home made mincemeat for pies, and gave me a jar , I've tasted hers and its wonderful! Ive stored some brussels, and parsnips and swede so we'll have a very traditional dinner for dad this year. Sadly, Ive even bought presents for the dogs....chewy bones and squeaky toys..

Time to plant the garlic, I'm doing it in buckets this year, as the last twice its rotted in the ground... the cabbage is in, so is beetroot, and soon some early spuds, I so look foreward to the growing season, I really miss the time I spend on our patch...

Well thats about it, I'll only be updating twice a week if Im lucky now as still no income and what little dosh we have must be saved for other stuff, so fuel for the van is low priority at the mo.