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, 4 March 2009

Work work work...

If anyone ever tells you retiring from the rat race is easy.... forget it... we work so much harder now than we ever did.
The weather until today has been beautiful. which means planting the veg continues, the ever needed wood is still in short supply which means loads of work to drag it out of the forest, loading the van, cutting stacking.... its an never ending job really. But don't take this as a complaint, it means we heat the house and cook for free.... It just means work. We plan to save up and buy 100 little eucalyptus saplings in the autumn to plant on our bottom patch of land, its good for nothing much as there is no water, then we hope that will be a source of firewood for when we are too old to work so hard collecting as we do now. Eucalyptus renews itself, it sort of coppice's so cutting down doesn't kill the stump and you always get new growth.
We've also resurfaced the front of the cottage area, concrete with pressed gravel, it looks lovely now so neat and clean. Rik will be starting work on building a summer kitchen area for the cottage in a few days so our guests can eat outside more easily, we have the blocks and materials for building the sun deck next to the pool too, so that will all be done by the start of the summer. Its great each year we manage to improve things a little. Rik also plans a small covered motorbike parking area before the hot weather .... its all go. Luckily we have access to huge amounts of wood for building so most things cost very little, just elbow grease....

No electric bills still.... seems ages, I'm actually eager to get one to see what difference the changes we've made have done.... oh God please let it have worked... I'll be p##sed if there is no difference...
We've painted the floors in the house with watered down paint, to stop the dust, its worked and looks so much cleaner and brighter, cement floors are the pits. But at the moment it cant be helped, until we can afford tiles, that's just how it is.

We've also cleared another terrace, the next one up above the veg plot, it will still be a while and much more work until its plantable, but hopefully by the end of the summer we'll be able to plant another eight or so olive trees up there. We still have so much land to clear and make use of, I have plans for almond trees, an orange grove and some more mixed fruit... and of course olives... I love olive trees... they are immortal... look into it... you'll see!!!