Monday, 25 May 2015

NEW TOYS ....

19th May
After being nagged, texted, emailed etc I, at last, updated the blog! I noticed that on 16th May my page views spiked to 202 views .... why/how/who – I don’t have that many friends and family who read my blog! So what was that all about?
Naughty goat (Georgia) can climb trees ...

Brett and Max boraxed the decking and animal sheds this morning, it protects the wood from insects; unfortunately it ‘walks’ into the house and makes our tiles look messy!
The new sheep & goat corral and shelter
As we had no food in the house (I blame Max!) I made lunch from scratch - flatbreads (dough courtesy of my beautiful new machine!) and dip (from some ropey old carrots) ... it was surprisingly good!
This afternoon was very windy; Brett was strimmering the track, I was weeding the vegetable garden (and Max was ‘revising’ in the house). A helicopter went over; we took no particular notice; then it came over again this time with a ‘bucket’ of water ... there was a WILDFIRE at the Dutch people’s quinta – next but one to our quinta!
The helicopter went back and forward dumping big ‘buckets’ of water and two fire trucks turned up; Brett and Max went down to see ‘if they could help’ (or as I call it ‘for a nose’!) – leaving me behind on our quinta with no form of transport should the wind turn and send the fire my way ... it was scary. Fortunately the Bombeiros (firemen) are brilliant and they soon had it under control. Chinese whispers suggest that it was the Dutchman’s fault (probably a cigarette) and that he will be billed for the Bombeiros and GNR.
We are now seriously looking into getting a tractor, sooner rather than later, as our grass needs cutting; it’s long and dry, and a potential fire risk.

20th May
We’re still waiting for news of our freezer; it’s been nearly two weeks since we paid for it.
Andy and Clare want Brett and Chris to make them a concrete floor in their straw bale house, so we (me, Brett & Max) went over to have a look at what the job would entail. Their walls are much more ‘lumpy bumpy’ than Chris & Di’s!
This afternoon Brett and Max dug holes for gate posts and I continued weeding the vegetable garden (it’s a thankless task!); it’s starting to look more kempt.
We watched a really awful film tonight, ‘Friends with Benefits’, I went to bed halfway through.

21st May
Still unloading boxes and running out of space to put things!!! But I don’t want to get rid of anything – I did enough of that when I was packing it away!
Bloody hell another wildfire today; this one was much bigger than the one two days ago and nearer to P&M than us – but two this early in the year doesn’t bode well. We went off in the truck to have a look, but the GNR were stopping cars and there wasn’t much to see (and it was very smoky) – the helicopter dropping water, a couple of fire trucks and firemen milling around. We went back via Chris & Di’s (Chris had climbed to the top of the quarry to watch the fire) and ended up inviting them for pizza; which we’re getting good at now.

22nd May
Another sheep with grass seeds in her eyes; with the black sheep (which I think look like llamas!)
Look at the length of the neck and small head ...

it’s hard to see their eyes; it was only when she got separated from the rest of the flock (because she was bleating a lot) that we noticed. Another reason we need the tractor, to ‘top’ the grass.
By the end of the day we had a third sheep down! We do remove the grass and swill out the eyes with saline (and we’re inspecting their eyes continuously). The first sheep (white ram) is much improved; his eye is open all the time, if a little pink.
Lily also does her best to help by licking the sheep's faces; they actually line up for it!
'me next ...'
We got a text to say we can pick up our freezer!!!!
Max treated us to dinner (thank you Max) at the usual place in Penamacor; I only drank water, as I was the designated driver.

23rd May Happy Birthday Mother (she would have been 88!).
The black sheep are still suffering; one is practically blind, we’re hoping it’s only temporary. They are managing to keep up with the rest of the flock OK and they’re eating fine; it’s just their poor eyes.
We took Max into CB to catch the train to Lisbon (bye Max, it was lovely to see you and you’re welcome to come back next year). And we picked up our freezer!!!
This evening we had a social, at the bar, with Chris, Di, Andrew and Baptiste – we didn’t get home until 1.30 a.m.!!!!!

24th May
We feed (just a handful of pellets to bring them in) and inspect our sheep twice daily;
our flock
it used to be an enjoyable task, but this problem with their eyes has taken all the joy out of it, however this morning we noted an improvement and are feeling optimistic that they will make a full, if slow, recovery.
There was another nearby wildfire today - it's getting a bit worrying!!!
This afternoon we had a lazy few hours at a Flower festa in the next village;
listening to drumming bands, relaxing in the sunshine and eating really weird ice cream – I think it was made with milk (probably ½ fat!) rather than cream, it looked like a ‘Mr Whippy’ but didn’t taste like one!
I came home and made some mango sorbet (made up recipe), because I now have plenty of room in my freezer for the bowl to the ice cream maker; it’s delicious (if I do say so myself) and much ‘creamier’ than the festa ice cream (even though it has no cream in it, just mango puree, egg whites, sugar and lemon juice).

25th May
The sheep continue to improve.
Oh dear we had one of those frustrating days when you wish you hadn’t bothered!!!! We tried to buy our car insurance and rather than go into CB we went to somewhere, we had been recommended, in Penamacor. Of course she spoke really, really fast and we hadn’t brought the correct documents and it was all very frustrating and we have to go back tomorrow ....
I calmed myself down this afternoon using my new machine to make lemon curd and mayonnaise (our eggs, olive oil and neighbour’s lemons);
Brett washed the car (he likes doing that!).




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