Saturday, 6 July 2013

WE'RE BACK ON LINE .........

1st July
So I think I understand this free village internet lark; it's either you have limited usage or a limited number of logins and we had obviously got to our limit last month (June) because, 1st of the month, and we're back on line!!!!!! Hoorah!

We went into Castelo Branco to buy a pool ladder - have you seen the price of pool ladders? We came back with an aluminium step ladder, at half the price, which we will adapt.

We followed P&M into CB, they were buying all the fittings for an irrigation system; no more of this standing around with a hose every night, they'll be able to turn on the tap and their pump will automatically send water to a series of sprinklers - once my vegetable garden is up and running I will be very jealous.

Diane & Chris, the couple with the camper van who have bought close to us, are leaving their van at our quinta while they go back to the UK for a week. We invited them to dine with us tonight and asked P&M and Nick around too; seven is quite a squeeze for our one room living (I hadn't thought of that!) but we managed with a garden table brought in and some chairs we had stored in the other building. As it got dark it was much cooler outside so we sat out until quite late and now I'm covered in mosquito bites!

2nd July
Our main job today was finishing off PVAing the floor next door, not a nice job; but it's reduced the dust in the building considerably and it is something we need to do before tiling the floor, anyway it's done now so it's another task to tick off our list.

This evening we painted the second coat of the pool; we had bought a new roller and paint tray, it's amazing the difference having better tools made to the job and it took less time too.

Halfway through the painting there was a sudden burst of wind, a mini whirlwind (dust devil), it blew leaves and debris into the pool AND it blew all the washing off the line that wasn't pegged down (we need to buy more pegs!), including one of my bras which it blew onto the paint tin lid, so it's now black and dappled blue! And, of course, I've ruined another top (but this one I didn't like).

So now we have to stop ourselves from filling the pool too soon, eight days is an awfully long time to wait, especially in this heat! But we have 'googled' it and it says that the drying time is temperature dependant and that they opt for an average of 60, but as we're much hotter three days should be enough - really, truly William we did read that!

3rd July
We tried talking to the lady in our village Post Office about my parcel but she thinks it will be on it's way back to England by now. But she did offer to ring the number for us and find out - and as there is no telephone in the village post office she was going to do this from her own home once she had finished work, how kind is that?  

On our way back home we saw Joao and Ilda (our nearest neighbours) we stopped for a chat, we've been meaning to visit them ever since we returned; I think they were quite impressed by the improvement to our (Brett's) Portuguese.

Brett says I was looking very attractive today with a mixture of baking powder (I don't have bicarb) and lemon juice on my mosquito bites; I looked like I had chicken pox with calamine lotion on the spots - but it does help with the itching, so I don't care!

Still on the subject of my elusive parcel; I emailed the Portuguese delivery people, using Google translate and ............ apparently it's in their depot in the Algarve waiting for me to collect it (hum, rather a long way away); so, using Google translate again, I asked them to redeliver it. Their next email explained everything .... they don't deliver to post boxes as the parcel has to be signed for - so they never ever tried to deliver it!!!! I have given them my quinta address (ha, no way will anyone find me with that!), I've told them that I can meet the driver in the village to sign for it - fingers, toes and eyes crossed!!!

Brett spent the day up a ladder in the house, packing the roof where it doesn't meet it's middle support; a fiddly job but it means the roof will be safe for him to go on now to put the ridging sheets up.

Oh dear, I so wanted to fill the pool ....................... I don't know if I'll be able to last three days!!

4th July
We've been reading up on swimming pools; it's quite a complex procedure keeping them clear. When you first fill a pool it has to be shocked with Chlorine to bring the chlorine up to an optimum level (we didn't have any of the shocking chemical so had to go into Castelo Branco to buy some); then you have to measure PH  and chlorine levels daily, and add chlorine, antialgae stuff and PH chemicals accordingly. You're also supposed to have a pump with filter to agitate the water and filter out bits but we can't have one until we have installed electricity over at the other building.

And speaking of electricity we've managed to do in another inverter; this one didn't blow up but, when we came back from Castelo Branco, our fan wouldn't work, then we tried a light - no; but the fridge (P&M's) was still working and laptops etc were charging - we called Nick and left a message, we feel really bad but we do need electricity.

Then the phone rang, it was the GLS driver - he was in the village with my parcel!!!!! I am now the very happy owner of a beautiful Ewa I Walla silk dress - it's so pretty I feel like a princess.

We decided to fill our pool - hoorah, it's been drying for two days in temperatures of close to 100F so it must be dry. The water from the well is so cool, I got in the pool while it was filling - it's the first time I've felt good for over a week.

We went to P&M's for a couple of hours to meet their English neighbours Claire and Phil.

Poor old Nick turned up around 9.00, he'll be back in the morning to try to sort us out - THEN WE WENT FOR ANOTHER SWIM!!!!!!! It really does cool your core temperature down, and should make sleeping so much more comfortable.

Today has had lots of ups and downs, but we're feeling so much better and I'm sure it's down to being cooler.

5th July
Nick can't do anything for our inverter so we just have to wait for a new one to arrive; meantime the broken one will work the fridge (we'd be lost without that!) and our small inverter from the camper van will do lamps and fans - so we'll be ok.

After Nick had gone we went to check on the pool; we hadn't meant to go in, we hadn't taken swimming clothes - but it looked so tempting ................. we just went in in our underwear and decided to have the rest of the day off. I can see not much getting done over the next few weeks!!

P&M invited us round for a barbeque, we had a lovely evening - I wore my new frock (I love it)!!! When we got home it was so hot ........ so we went skinny dipping, it worked a treat at cooling us down (I love our pool).

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