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,

Friday 31 October 2008

Hmmmm I forgot...

I suppose I really should give a brief outline of what we are doing at Bouça just for those that dont know us...
We bought Bouça Da Figueira almost three years ago now, we are bikers, we own a Yamaha Venture and love it!! We both have spent all our lives involved in some way with motorbikes, Rik was a custom bike and trike builder and I was editor of 100%Biker Custom Bike magazine, we decided we'd had enough of the UK weather, politics and the general idea that the loons had taken over the asylum, so we got out while we could.
It wasnt easy, but we wanted peace quiet and loads of trees!! We have our own land, we grow our own food, drink water from the well, make our wine and try to leave as little carbon footprint as possible. Having said that, Im fully prepared to work my socks off collecting wood, chopping logs, growing food, ect etc, but, we wont be too radical I'm afraid, I will not do without certain electrical stuff, like the freezer, and a washing machine, although we use the wash tank in the yard during summer, and do hope that soon (money permitting) Rik will build our windturbine and we'll manage a most stuff off grid. We dont have TV or internet ect at home, our power supply is often erratic, but we are happy with that, I also will not be having animals, apart from a few chickens in the futire and the dogs, again, we feel life should give some time for enjoyment, we work hard but do not want to be at it from dawn till dusk . And although we want to be green as possible.... we still want to enjoy life and ride the bike!
Things have slowed down now the economic crisis in the UK has made the cottage rentals quiet, money is just not there at the moment, so we are battening down for winter and trying to do things around the place that costs us nothing, working on the trees and cutting brush etc.
So there you have it....

October 31st 2008.

Well, here we are then, welcome to Living the Dream Portugal. I dont quite know where to start, this blog has been set up really because we've had so many requests from people to hear what we are doing and how things are going, and people saying we dont update the website often enough. So here it is.
Im going to use this as a basic diary just to say whats been going on, if nothing happens... then there will be nothing to write, simple. I'd love everyones views, (if anyone reads this)and try to answer any sensible questions, but please bear in mind, our money is very tight and sometimes we dont come into town for a week or so, and we do not have internet access at Bouça, hell sometimes we dont even have power...
So to start...
The weather has finally turned.... wet... Its still not too cold.. bearing in mind I feel cold now when the temp drops below 70degrees... but luckily for us we used all our savings on buying a log fired cooking range for the kitchen, this not only is cooking our food for free but is keeping the kitchen - dining room lovely and cosy, plus the pipe goes up through the upstairs room which will be a lounge one day and takes the chill off there too... the wood is free as we've worked like trojans to collect it from the forest and stack it in the barn all summer.. still not sure we'll have enough though.. but it does mean we will be greener,(its scrap wood and would be left to rot if we didnt pick it up) and 20 euros a month better off as we save a bottle of gas for the cooker every month now.
The garden is finished now for winter, I made a decision not to grow anything this winter, the freezer is jam packed full, Ive preserves, pickles, chutney, pumpkins and loads of squashes put by and I feel the land needs to rest for a while, we have plenty of food to last us through so more would just be a waste. The patch did us proud this year, mountains of food, if I can remember all of it... new spuds, the main crop failed though but so did lots of folks round here, lettuce, cherry toms, salad toms, plum toms, peppers, spring onions, normal onions, broad beans, french beans, dwarf green beans, and loads I dried for soup, 3 crops of peas, sweetcorn, tons of cabbage, spouts, parsnips, swedes, beetroot, tons of pumpkins and butternut squash and cauliflowers.
At the moment we are picking olives and hope to get enough oil to last the year, next year we wont get any as we are cutting the trees really hard as they are far too tall to pick properly.
The grape harvest this year was excellent, luckily for us Rik's brother Jon was visiting at the time and helped so much, we now have 400litres sitting in barrels working away nicely, hmmmm look forward to spring for that lot !!!
Well I think thats a good start to this blog.
More again soon.