Tuesday, 7 April 2015

LIVESTOCK ...

30th March
Well I don’t like this extra hour at night; we’re getting up at the same time and working until at least 8.00 and then not having dinner until 8.30 – 9.00 ... I’m shattered.
Brett was working for Annika today, so I carried on spring cleaning as I had run out of paint for the gates (fortunately Pam went into CB and bought me some more). Today was the dresser and glazed cupboard (and all the stuff on them) – it took most of the morning to do those two. This afternoon I made chicken liver pate (our chickens) and then Brett came home from work, via Pam’s with the paint. It’s nothing like the last lot, it’s so thin and drippy; I painted another gate, it covered more like a stain than paint.
The lavender is blooming.
The colour of the gate goes so well with the lavender.
Karina messaged us to say the lambs are ready to pick up, so we’re going to collect them on Thursday, and Nicky says we can have our goats in three weeks – we’re going to visit them on Monday, after taking Pauline and Mike to Fundao market.

31st March
Brett’s last day at work this week (Hip, Hip, Hooray!)..
I painted the last gate; it was to the field I usually put the dogs in so I put them in the field opposite – they didn’t like that one bit, they thought they were being punished!
A few days ago we need to make room in the freezer (for chickens) so I took out a large bag of sundried tomatoes ..... note to self: store sundried tomatoes in small bags and only remove when they’re going to be used otherwise they go mouldy, what a waste (I managed to save a good percentage which I processed into paste).
We have a goose sitting on sixteen eggs, the two Muscovy females have nests side by side and the Guinea fowl are growing.


1st April
I spent the morning cooking and preparing food, as we had guests for lunch – Alex & Karina and a young couple they have staying with them, Emily & Nick. As always with A&K the time just flew past, they’re so easy to talk to. We had lunch sitting out on the decking in the sunshine; just like the stereotypical Mediterranean image, it was a lovely afternoon.
Brett made a crate to put in the back of the truck as tomorrow we get some lambs!
The bee-eaters and swallows were arriving back today.

2nd April
What a shitty day! First of all there were people cutting down the eucalyptus behind the pig run and of course they managed to fell a tree on top of the pig fence, squashing, snapping and stretching the wire and pulling out the staples. Then when we complained they just pulled the wire up off the ground and tried to balance it on the post!!! Of course they were also pretending they couldn’t understand us!
Then Pauline & Mike phoned, they were supposed to be arriving today, to say they wouldn’t be coming until tomorrow as their plane was overbooked.
Then .... we went to pick up our lambs, we thought we were getting two females and one male – we got three males! But they are beautiful looking sheep, really strong and stocky.

3rd April
Today was better! Josh arranged for us to go and look at some female sheep; we bought three and these ones are black, so we have a very attractive flock; actually atm we have two distinct flocks a black one and a white one – with the black flock running behind the white flock bleating ‘wait for us boys’ and the white flock replying ‘go away dogs’ (I don’t think they’ve ever seen black sheep before).
And then this evening Pauline and Mike arrived.

4th April
We took the dogs down to the river for a splash and frolic, which they greatly enjoyed; that is to say Looby frolicked in the river, Lilli frolicked beside it (Lilli uses the stepping stones when the water is high!).


There was a festa in the village over the weekend; we went there this afternoon, met up with Chris & Di, P&M, Baptiste and Andrew – so we spent a while at Bar do Clube and Pauline & Mike met some of our friends, it was a lovely relaxing day.
The sheep are getting on better!


5th April
Today was the obligatory trip to Monsanto (we climb right up to the castle at the top) and Idanha a Velha (we had a picnic lunch) – a good way to impress visitors. I collected seeds from trees (Judas tree), which had magnificent blossom, along the roadside in Idanha a Velha, hopefully they will germinate.

6th April
Nicky and Rich invited us to lunch so that we could visit our kids; but then it turned out that, as they were so eager to get rid of the kids that we were having and the adult goats that Karina and Alex were having, they were willing to drive them over in their car!!!!
So today we got two of our kids (the other one is still with her mother at Alex and Karina’s). 

They are very, very sweet and Lilli loves them.
Lilli is fascinated by the sheep and goats.
Tonight we had ‘smoked pizzas’ – we haven’t quite got the hang of the bread oven! 

7th April

Today we were supposed to go to the Serra d’Estrelas (highest mountain range in Portugal) with Pauline & Mike; however we cried off as we needed to buy food for the sheep and goats, make field shelters and troughs etc. So Pauline and Mike went off to explore on their own.
This afternoon Looby ran off for a couple of hours, Brett even got to within a few metres of her but she completely ignored him – so she’s in our bad books. The worrying thing is that she’s not used to sheep and could easily chase them and, as there are lots in the abandoned quintas around us, we are scared that she could be shot for sheep worrying - bloody dog.
Lilli and our flock/herd
they're getting braver.

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