Thursday, 4 June 2015


26th May N/I
Rebecca emailed yesterday to ask if she and Paul could visit for her birthday ..... ‘YES, YES, YES’!!!!! So we have visitors in July. Then Helen messaged to say she would definitely book her ticket this week, for her birthday in September.
This morning one of the guinea fowl is hopping around on one leg; they’re flighty birds, impossible to catch, so I can’t inspect it to see what it’s done.
Round two of the insurance saga: Typical that there was no internet this morning when we wanted to go on Google Translate! It wasn’t too bad; we did come away with a cover note (she’s going to text us a quote for fully comp as the third party quote was 140€ less than we paid for 3rd party last year), (we went with the third party; fully comp quote was still expensive).
Then we went to Financas (Penamacor) and paid for our road tax (52€ for the year!); it was much quicker than doing it in CB as there was no queue.
I strung up a fabulous plait of our homegrown garlic (I made the method up); and then when I picked it up it fell in half!!!!
We weeded in the vegetable garden this afternoon; it was horrible – too hot, the ground was hard and dusty, too hot, ants, too hot ....

27th May
I was up and weeding by 7.20 this morning; it was much nicer doing it before it got too hot!
The guinea fowl are now in the freezer along with the last two meat birds; not a nice morning’s work but necessary if we want free range meat.
Our insurance documents arrived in Penamacor (very efficient) so we are now legal apart from MOT which we will do tomorrow.
33° in the shade today ... it’s hot.

28th May
Hoorah, the car passed it’s MOT and we don’t have to worry again for another year.
Brett was outside this morning when I heard him shouting “get the camera and put the dogs in”, he had found a BIG snake, well over a metre long. He took photos; not very good as it was very agile and very fast, at one point it went up a tree.
We identified it (after taking the photos) as a Horseshoe Whip Snake .... ‘a very aggressive snake, which bites repeatedly if trapped’!
This afternoon I went into the living room and there was a snake coiled next to the stove, I startled it and it went into the tiny gap between the stone hearth and the wall; it took us ages to coax it into the box – it was a Water Viperine and harmless.
Then, this evening when we were doing the sheep, I tripped over another BIG snake (a good metre long)! Brett (he says ‘bravely’, but he’d already identified it) picked it up, by its tail, and put it on the track to take photos.
Looby went berserk!!! She was jumping up and down in front of it, drumming her feet on the ground, barking and growling – the snake was rearing up and hissing at her. Lily kept her distance!!! However it was another harmless snake, a Ladder Snake, we see a lot of them around here.
It was 35° degrees in the shade today. Andrew says his well is drying up fast and he’s worried he’ll have run out of water by July. Mr Louis told us that our wells have never run dry while he owned them – but it was a very dry winter.
I made lemon sorbet .......

29th May
Another scorcher!!!!
Today we scoured the dealers in Fundao for a tractor; then went to visit Vince & Lola to see if he could advice us on what we actually want as we are confused ..... 20hp v 35hp, 2x4 v 4x4, make of vehicle, accessories etc etc.

30th May
I hate to say this but ... ‘Hoorah’ our last language class until September!!!!!! I am struggling, really I shouldn’t be in the intermediate class, but Brett is too good for the beginner’s.
Jo & Gordon’s goat herding neighbour gave them a large goat cheese this morning and they kindly gave us some – it’s absolutely delicious.
We were invited, along with Marc & Mieke, to dinner with Alex & Karina – wild boar (which they bought at 5€/kilo from the local hunting lodge), it was delicious, followed by goat milk (there’s a theme here!) ice cream (milk from Georgia’s mum), fabulous ... now I want to milk goats! We sat outside, under a full moon (and a spluttering candle) for light and talked the night away; when Brett asked what I thought the time was I guessed at 11ish – it was 1.00 a.m.

31st May
Karina reckons mulching is the answer to weed control and water retention; so this morning Brett and I used bales of straw to mulch around our squash and tomato plants (we only managed about a third of the plants, we’ll do more tomorrow).
Marc & Mieke brought us a tray of cherries and a big bag of lemons yesterday (lovely people);

I’ve made a couple of Kilner jars of cherry liqueur (cherries, sugar and aguadente).

1st June
We had a lovely relaxing lunch at O Quartel, with Jo & Gordon – the menu de dia was only 7€ a head (five courses plus drinks) and we sat outside on the balcony with fabulous panoramic views.
We made an appointment for Brett to go to the dentist; he has been suffering for the last few weeks.
I picked our first cucumbers today; we've been picking courgettes for a while.

2nd June
Happy Birthday Jean!
Another day spent trawling around the tractor dealers; so boring now! But we do have one coming out tomorrow to demonstrate a tractor (and Vince is kindly coming to look it over for us).
I haven’t bought Brett a birthday present (I have no idea what to get him, in the UK most of my presents were returned to the shops I had bought them from – don’t fancy doing that here!) so, as far as I’m concerned the tractor will be his present! I have made him a cheesecake though (it is his favourite).

3rd June
He might not have had a present but he did have birthday bunting!!!
Vince (and Lola) came to see the tractor demo and to give us some much needed advice - we bought it ......
Poor old Brett had to go to the dentist; he had three fillings and three hours later the biggest one was gone, so he has to go back again!
This afternoon we went, with C&D to check that the preparation was complete at Clare & Andy’s for the concrete to be laid. On the way home we had to pop into Bar do Clube for a ‘quick one’ which turned into four!!!
Mark (and Glenn) has arrived at long last (it’s 18 months since we last saw him); he stopped off on his way home and stayed for dinner/overnight.

4th June
Brett and Chris have two days work at Clare & Andy’s; laying a concrete floor in 36+° heat! So he was up and out early.
I had so many chores I was going to do but I felt like crap; my ears are muffled (it feels like I have my head in a bucket), my tinnitus is extremely loud and I’m feeling so dizzy – it started last week, I thought it was getting better but it’s worse today (soddin’ Bell’s Palsy and inflamed Eustachian tubes). But I did manage to sweep and wash the floor and do a load of washing!

Well that’s a first – I’ve driven a tractor! It’s very bouncy and I kept imagining it would roll over (but Brett says it won’t!), I’m sure I’ll get used to it, I’ve got to as I need to be able to cut the grass.


  1. Well done on taking the tractor out on your first ride. I can imagine how you must have felt with it bouncing you around everywhere, I also thought it would tip over the first time I tried it. The tractor will make cutting the grass a pure breeze, well done on taking the leap and taking it for a spin.

    Heidi Sutton @ Ag Source Magazine

  2. Haha thank you, I'm far more confident now though I still 'lean' if I'm driving along the slightest incline (as if that would make any difference!).