Friday, 12 February 2016


5th February
Wow, it was so easy to post my blog last evening; the photos uploaded really quickly - I hadn't quite realised how slow our village connection was.
My wonderful, kind, beautiful sister, Stephanie, sent us a parcel which included teabags AND ....... Tangfastics!!!! (Thank you). Our post box worked brilliantly; there was a card in it, to say we had a parcel at the post office, we went to the post office, presented the card, and the parcel was given to us. So now we shouldn't have a backlog of mail (as long as we check the box frequently).
We had the front wheel brakes changed today, only 70€ (less than €55), and he checked and cleaned the back brakes for us.
Looby is a brazen hussy; she was standing for the small black dog - good luck to him, he's less than a foot tall (and crippled), however we still don't want to risk it, so we're keeping her shut in.
The poor animal (Looby's suitor) is not well; he has been bitten by a Serra de Estrella sheepdog (at least that's what happened to Di's dog) and has been on three legs for over a week (his back leg looks as if it might be broken), though Gary is taking him to the vet this evening ....... we have a horrible feeling that the small black dog is both, C&D's dog 'Pig' AND Gary's dog 'Paddy'! I didn't say anything to Gary as the dog needs to go to the vet and C&D have no transport atm!
Brett continued with the studio, he's ready to concrete the floors next. I had a bitty day, housework, cooking, gardening - whilst eating Tangfastics!

6th February
Happy Birthday Alexandra! XXX
A dull day = poor solar! We are going to order the new batteries on Monday (we actually feel better now we have made the decision, though we seem to be spending an awful lot of money atm).
Brett took the day off from building; he burned a load of olive cuttings that have been hanging around since olive harvest and did other jobs around the farm.
I had a fabulous day designing window decoration for the studio; I know it's only hobby paint but I approached it as if I were designing a stained glass window. It felt like proper work. I stopped at nine designs (8 geometric, one organic) and fortunately Brett and I agreed on the same design! It was more or less the simplest design; our difference of opinion came in the colouring of the glass - Brett wants just green and I would like a combination of green/blue or green/purple.

Too busy


Better than the other 'sun' design


Much too busy and reminds me of a ladder!

This and the one below would work as a pair.

This is the one we both agreed on.
Brett was overjoyed that he was able to watch the rugby LIVE, with our new internet - usually he's only able to get, slowly updated, written commentary.
I tried Skyping Alexandra and ended up recording a couple of video messages (which, thankfully, didn't send!) I watched them back - it was this quavering old lady singing 'Happy Birthday', it didn't look or sound like me at all (I really don't recognise myself anymore!!!!).

7th February
Brett took the day off, we packed a picnic (chicken and salad rolls and hot chocolate) and drove off to explore some of the endless tracks around us. We took the sat nav, so we wouldn't get lost, but it was useless as, of course, none of the tracks are mapped.
Brett ordered the new batteries (so feeling broke!).
Looby is getting a bit better, thank goodness; though the three legged black dog was still an interested visitor.
Flippin' goats still haven't produced; they're HUGE and their udders are MASSIVE (bodes well for cheese making).

8th February
Brett spent the day blocking and filling the workshop floor with rubble.
I weeded the vegetables in the winter garden,
The ragged leaves in foreground are walking stick cabbage.

4 rows of broccoli and a double row of garlic.
admittedly with the rotorvator; but it still took me several hours (I went over it three times), I have burst blisters on my hands, and I'm shattered (it's hard work, but easier and quicker than doing it by hand).
The locquats have fruit on them this year - they haven't fruited for three years; I have no idea why this year should be any different (let's hope they don't fall off before harvest time, June/July).

9th February
Happy Birthday Mark! Xxx
Damp and dull (so candles this evening).
Oh my goodness, all my joints ache! I made a batch of turmeric tablets (turmeric, black pepper and honey); turmeric is supposed to be an anti inflammatory,though I can't find any proper medical/scientific evidence to support this, but, as I can't take ibuprofen too often, I'm desperate enough to give it a go.
Brett spent the day finishing digging out the floor of the studio and spreading rubble ready for cementing. I, foolishly, rotovated the polytunnel - which didn't help my aches and pains; but I'm desperate to plant the potatoes which have been hanging around since I sunk in the mire in there - it was still pretty wet.
Tonight we had pancakes.

10th February
So much we want/need to do, so much we can't do - frustrated!
Brett took an enforced day off, I did some potting on in the polytunnel.
No solar this evening, so reading by candlelight again.

11th February
Hoorah the sun shone today ........
KEY:BCB ...... - Brett continued blockwork!
BCB ......
As M&M were coming to dinner I cleaned and cooked (lamb stew with dumplings and veg from the garden.
Kale, broccoli and leeks
Mieke brought pudding, apple cake).
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, we had some real excitement here tonight .......... we were sitting around the table chatting with M&M when the dogs started making a commotion wanting to go outside, they rushed off into the night, after a while Brett went to check on them, came back and called us outside - there was a wild boar (female we think) trying to get in with our pigs!!!!! We think she must be on heat as our boar was frothing at the mouth, and it was her and him who were making all the racket, she wasn't afraid of us or the dogs, we got really close to her. She went into hiding in the scrubby area behind my studio, we don't know how to get her out of our fenced area (we also don't know how she got in) .......

12th February
Damp and dismal .........
The wild boar was in the area around our house (which is completely fenced to keep the dogs in); we walked our boundary first thing, no sign of entry, so all we can conclude is that it came up the track - yesterday morning the gate across the track (Portuguese style) was on the ground, Brett thought he hadn't shut it properly,but a boar could have got it's nose under and lifted it off the fastening (I experimented with my foot, it was easy to lift and open the gate).
We were worried it might work our pigs up and they would escape overnight; so we left the track gate open last night to encourage it to leave, the dogs haven't smelt it this morning, hopefully it's left.
My elbows are very painful, probably all the rotovating; the turmeric isn't having any beneficial effect yet!

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