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,

Thursday 29 January 2009

Spare bedroom.

Rik has been very busy since Dad left a week ago, he's finally got the time to make a start on converting the old smoke room that ajoins the kitchen and make it into a spare bedroom, there's a lot to be done but he's been beavering away and has the beams in, to block and beam the floor, its a tough job on your own and he wont let me help, those concrete beams weigh a lot and he has to drag each one manually across the garden and lift them into position above his head..... it took a whole day but its done.
It will be a stunning room, with a lovely balcony overlooking the back garden and getting the early morning sun.
Progress report on this later....

Portugal Weather.

Hmmmm, well its still a tad on the wet side.... but having had a few discussions lately with would be guests for our cottage on the winters out here I thought I'd best clarify the situation on the weather out here.
This year has been exceptionally cold and wet, apparently its not unusual to have wet weather for weeks during the winter, which isnt as bad as it sounds as the temps are very mild, its generally been in the 50s when its raining. But this year we've had a few short but very cold spells, not cold as in UK type cold but enough to produce a few sleet and snow showers and to hurt my lemon tree.... but this is a exceptional year... its not like this every year, last year we had a very mild and dry winter till May, when we had a wet couple of weeks...
Generally its sunny, summer hot... whatever you want to call it from end of April thro' to end of Sept, then it gets sort of hit 'n' miss for a couple of weeks often with rain till it settles down to mild and sunny days with cold nights from late Oct till late Jan, then again its wetter till spring.
Snow in this area is so rare the locals rushed out with mobile phones to take pictures....
But we came to this area because it has seasons, we have variations of weather from howling gales to 10 mins later sunshine steaming the land dry.... its wonderful, it keeps the countryside green and beautiful and means growing veg here is easy....

So there ya have it.... yes Portugal does have a winter...

So Dad got off safe and sound, and by now should be back in Ireland, life at the Bou├ža is getting back to normal, I can soon start to think about working out a planting plan, Im so looking forward to the growing season, our friends Ruth and Dave kindly brought us some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers this week so I'm hoping for a let up in the rain to get them in the ground soon.

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Well , it must be a month or so since I actually had time to sit down and update this blog, welcome to our new 'followers' and thanks for being with us.
So, Dad is much better, he actually flys back to the UK in the morning, in my opinion he is still a little premature and should stay and rest longer but as the weather here hasnt been great, it may well do him good to get back to 'civilisation' and things like central heating and television. Mind you, he did admit to me yesterday that he hasnt missed the 'gogglebox' like he though he would.... See.... you really dont need it !!
The weather here has been hmmmm a tad on the wet side.... add to that such freezing temps last week that I fear for our lovely old lemon tree, its looking dreadful, snow showers again this morning, plus hail.... its lucky we have a good wood supply, but even we are running short, Rik went and chopped a huge stack this morning but its soaking wet and we have it piled around 'Big Bertha' upstairs trying madly to dry it before we need to burn it.
With Dad leaving in the morning it will take some strain off Rik, he's been running around like a looney trying to haul enough logs to feed three fires.... As of tomorrow its back to one at a time at least...
Today I had EDP come to put us back on a lower potencia and to remove the 'cheap rate' electric meter, as our bills have been higher using that... It may well be cheaper for people who have loads of gadgets and stuff on during the night when you get a cheaper rate, but we only have the freezer now and the higher standing charge far outweighed the cheaper times....
So I'll at least be able to try to monitor what uses what.... we only have six low energy bulbs plus a freezer now... two loads of washing in the machine a week.... I'll be able to spot a problem or missbilling straight away...
Time out

Monday 5 January 2009

Christmas Crisis..

This must be a very quick update, things have been tricky since Christmas, dad was taken ill on 26th Dec, with a serious chest infection, which would have been bad enough even if he didnt have chronic asthma as well, as it was we got to try out the Portuguese 'Urgencia' system.
I can honestly say it was excellent! The care and treatment he's getting is wonderful, Ive never seen such a clean hospital either, much different sadly from the last time I was in a UK hospital, which was filthy....
The good news is dad is on the mend now but will be in a while longer and then have to extend his stay with us until he's absolutely fighting fit again which could be weeks.
Almost everything has been on hold and will be for a few weeks, so may not get in to update much.