Saturday, 8 June 2013

6th June
It was a bit windy and cloudy today; which was actually a bit of a relief after the heat of the last few days, I haven't acclimatised yet.

Pastor Allen (our language teacher) has closed his classes for the summer (they had finished before we returned) so we are going advertise, in the village, for a teacher; we're doing our Michel Thomas CDs quite regularly, but we have questions with no one to answer them. If we do find someone Pam and Mark will join us, as they are keen to learn too, and hopefully a few of the other expats in the area.

This is our track through the quinta

We walked Brett's track this afternoon and took some photos, which don't do it justice as the sun wasn't out. 

One of the things I want to do next year is catalogue all the wild flowers and grasses growing on the quinta; I'll take photos, press and even sketch them - I will start this year but quite a few are already gone to seed. Today I noted:
Hypericum/St John's Wort
Dog Rose
Cistus/Rock Rose
Lavender, more Lavender and even more Lavender (we literally have acres of Lavender)
Sweet Pea


and a whole host of ones I couldn't name.

And then of course there are all the butterflies, I'm rubbish at identifying them (but I have seen Swallowtails).

Oh dear, there was this man wandering about our quinta about 9.00 this evening; it turned out to be the man who let us drive through his land to get our camper van on site last year (Louis?). Anyway he kept going on and on about how we need to cut our grass, as it's a fire risk (and, surprise, surprise, he has a tractor) we kept asking "how much" but didn't get an answer (the Portuguese tend to think that expats are rich/ripe for the picking, they charge about 35€ an hour and it would be a good few days work - we can't afford that). When he left he said "Até amanha" which we're hoping is a way of saying "bye" rather than it's literal translation - until tomorrow. We kept saying, in our best Portuguese, "we'll think about it", so now we're hoping he doesn't think we've agreed to anything!!! We're keeping our gates locked for the next few days, so he can't cut it when we go out!

7th June
We were woken up again, by what we thought was the inverter alarm; this time Brett thought it might have been coming from the walkie talkies, but they were switched off, so we're none the wiser. Brett has tightened all the connections on the bus bars, in case they had worked loose (I stood around with my eye on a pile of wooden coat hangers in case he needed rescuing!).

This morning we lashed giant bamboo poles at P&M's; they bought them (not cheaply either) to erect their teepees on and they're splitting, which is annoying as it means they'll need replacing next year. It had turned quite windy, so we postponed putting up the second teepee.

Tomorrow we are going to meet a couple who are in the process of buying a quinta in the area; they contacted us via the expat forum - they used to have a smallholding in Lampeter, Wales (small world) and they want to do the animal rearing here, like us.

It rained quite a bit this afternoon and has been rather cold all day; if I had had the opportunity I would have lit a fire this evening - instead I put on extra clothing and socks, and cooked a curry!

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