Wednesday, 12 June 2013


11th June
Yesterday the shops were closed; I found out from Google (the opening page doodle thingy) that it was Portugal Day and therefore a bank holiday, which probably explains why there were all kinds of activities happening in the village over the weekend - nothing we went to, as we didn't know what was going on!

Today we ordered the sheeting to renew our roof (very exciting): it's a box profile (terracotta colour) with a sandwich of insulation bonded to it, it costs 18.80€ per metre squared. We would have gone for the profile that looked like tiles but that cost 30€, which is significantly more, and as Brett pointed out, we can buy a log burning stove with what we've 'saved'. Having the insulation will make a big difference to the temperature inside the building; at the moment the tiles on the roof (heavy concrete, not in the least bit attractive or worth reusing) are really soaking up the heat.

We had our first fruit harvest today - loquats, a sweet and sour flavoured fruit; I've never seen them for sale in the UK.

Louis came back this afternoon, to cut more grass, and gave us a carrier bag brimming full with lettuce (how many does he think we can eat?!!); he is very friendly and likes to have a good natter, Brett seems to understand him quite well and it's very good practice for him/us.

When we walked around our perimeter this afternoon we found a sheep/goat's leg (just a young one) and it definitely wasn't there yesterday; we think it was probably a fox, but I have read that there are WOLVES in Portugal!!! Or it could possibly be something to do with wild boar, it was quite close to some fresh digging - we keep hoping to see boar on the quinta, so far we've only seen the track, where they access our land, and their digging, under acorn trees.

Once Louis had gone we took another walk around the quinta; he's cut much more grass than we expected (perhaps a quarter to a third), the land looks so much better maintained. He has a funny little machine it looks a bit like a tricycle with an allen sythe (finger mower) at the front - so he sits on in and steers with bicycle handles; he can get into quite small spaces too.

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