Sunday, 14 August 2016


26th July
Hottest day so far this year 42.4C in the shade.
Hooray Brett found one of my 'lost' panels - Resurrection.
Poor old Lily is dribbling again, she was exactly the same last year, we took her to two vets (which she hated) they were useless then it cleared up on its own; we think it's the hot weather (she's drinking more) combined with spay incontinence (which is very common). Obviously we'll take her to the vet if she shows signs of illness but atm she's happy, lively, her appetite is good, she's just a bit leaky (poor thing).

27th July
Brett moved into the workshop so now I can organize my space better (I think I need more shelves!!!). Now I have to come up with a method to display my glasswork (without obliterating all the light).

28th July
I was up early, cooking and cleaning as Kevin & Wendy came to lunch and to pick up the kittens (sad to see them go, but at least they went together and we managed to keep them alive).
Apart from an octopus salad, all the food was from the quinta: courgette fritatta, sunblushed tomato salad, mixed salad, griddled aubergine, two types of goats cheese, pickles and relishes, goat milk ice cream, water kefir ......
43C on the deck this afternoon, it's HOT .......

29th July
Hooray, we had a lovely day off; we went to the river beach at Meimoa, with P&M. The river has been dammed, so the water is about 5' deep; it's really cool and refreshing. We had a four course lunch, at the really cheap restaurant; 7€ each, at that price it's not worth cooking! Feeling happy!

30th July
A bit cooler today; it only got to 35C!
Pam came round this morning, I managed to get rid of some kefir grains!
I made Baba Ganoush (Aubergine dip) with a few of the aubergines and put some more tomatoes out to dry in the sun (I can't believe I wasted all that money on a dehydrator, which I can't use because solar doesn't work well in sunny weather!).
This evening we are meeting M&M for dinner, then going to the festa (arts, crafts and local produce) in Penamacor, hopefully this year we will get to hear some music (the bands start really, really late).

31st July
Another late night (bed 2.30) but it was a brilliant evening.
We had dinner at O Jardim, which was ok, it was absolutely heaving and service was poor (understandably). We didn't get out until 10.00 and missed Chicken in the woods playing! However we walked to the very top of Penamacor where the big stage was and, at midnight, saw a brilliant Portuguese band 'Quinta do Bill', kind if Celtic folk meets rock, very talented musicians who all played several different instuments.
We had a lazyish day today, both of us organising our respective spaces. Then, this afternoon, we were invited to join C&D and Bap, at Bar do Clube, for a couple of hours ....... 4 hours later we arrived home, ready for an early night!

1st August
Brett made me two tall tables, for glass cutting/assembly, for the studio.  I sanded them down and painted them, I might apply stencils if I get round to it! He made himself a work bench too.
The turkeys are really suffering with the heat, so bad that one had to be processed today (18lbs)!
I sent out invites for my Grand Opening of the studio (Friday at 3.00),
so for the next few days I'll be making nibbles ......
Today I made chicken liver pate (for my 'party).

2nd August
My goodness it's hot, apparently we've just had the second hottest July since records began.
Brett made me a table for the sandblaster, I painted it purple.
The other two turkeys had to go today, shame because we really liked having them (18lbs and 16lbs).
I picked another 11 cucumbers - I've been picking 4 or 5 daily, these are ones that were hiding in the sweet potatoes! Brett decided he would like cucumber juice, so I made him a jugful - fortunately the pigs like them.
I went in the pool four times today and never felt cool, I went in for the fifth time at 9.40 p.m. (after Brett had topped it up from the well) and then stood in front of the air conditioning - felt cool for the first time today.

3rd August
Went into CB (mainly to book the cat in at the vet's for sterilisation, 16th August).  We went to check on Mark's place while we were in the area - you need a new gate Mark!!!! The shepherd has had his sheep in, so the grass is down a bit. The mulberries were ripening, but quite sour, and there's no plums ..... the olives look good though.
Made more food for 'party' - tapenade (last year's olives) for the vegetarians who can't eat liver pate .... It's the same color!

4th August
I made more Baba Ganoush (this is the Turkish version which has yoghurt in place of tahini - so probably isn't called Baba Ganoush!) as we have loads of aubergines, I'm drying a tray or two of tomatoes daily
and I'm trying out loads of cucumber recipes - today's recipes were a sweet and sour cucumber salad and cucumber and onions in sour cream (I have to wait until tomorrow to try that as the cream takes a few hours to sour using my homemade buttermilk).
Brett spent the day in the storage shed trying to organise all the unpacked boxes (I'm hoping he'll come across some of my lost glass pieces).

5th August
Obviously I spent the day cleaning and preparing for the Grand Opening ......
2.45 p.m. everything is ready (but it can't go outside or it will get hot and melt!). I'm dressed up in my party frock, wearing lipstick and wishing I could go in the pool.
We had 11 visitors: Pam, Lola, Lola's friend, Karina & Alex, Thomas & Diane, Kevin & Wendy, Marc & Mieke, plus us .........

we drank 11 bottles of wine and ate most of the food I had prepared! It was a good afternoon.

6th August
A lazy relaxing day today.
And this evening we went to our annual village festa .....  it's on for four days (F/S/S&M) and is absolutely pathetic! It's literally a bar selling tepid drinks, a kiosk selling raffle tickets for crap prizes (which people are clinging to their chests, as they gleefully leave the stall, after 'winning' one) and an awful (euro-pop) band on the back of a lorry. The place was heaving with bodies though and I have no idea why we stayed until nearly 2.00; we did spend most of the time at Bar do Club (until we got chucked out!) with C&D, Bap, P&M and their guests (Trace & Carol).

7th August
Brett is working (on Bap's roof) for the next couple of weeks, starting at 6.00 a.m. (to avoid the heat); so we took today off and went to the barragem at Meimao.
We ate lunch here

It was so hot I had to cover up!
It was lovely, the water was so cool.
This evening we went to the festa for a couple of hours, as Baptiste was playing (guitar) with the village group that plays traditional music.

8th August
Happy 8th anniversary Will & Gill xxxxxxxx
Big disappointment today - the generator isn't big enough for my kiln (which is 4kw) so we have to fork out 1000€ for a bigger generator.
Lots of fires over the weekend and lots all around Central Portugal today - our valley is full of smoke, very scary.
And it's hot, 42.5C (in the shade) .........

9th August
Poor old Brett was up at 5.30 for his early start at work - it was still dark.
Weird sky this morning, probably all the smoke from the fires that are still raging.
I was up at 7.30; my plan was to get all the chores done and, perhaps, the washing, then spend the rest of my day in the studio playing with glass paint ....... but that didn't go exactly to plan; I had just about finished all the necessary chores by 1.00 - letting out and feeding muscovys and geese, feeding dogs, watering sheep (1 bucket), feeding sheep, checking Georgia wasn't dead (she stayed sleeping when I fed the rest of the flock/herd), walking over to sheds to feed cat, washing solar panels, starting generator, watering pigs (which involved spraying them with water, letting them drink from the hose, filling their trough, filling their wallow),
Pig in wallow!
watering sheep again (3 buckets), cleaning out and filling water barrels, watering plants on decking, washing up, making water kefir, making yoghurt, preparing last night's bucket of tomatoes for drying, sweeping floor, washing floor, more washing up ........ shattered! And the washing was not done.
Brett came home tired and dirty, so I kindly offered to water the vegetable garden (on my own) in the morning; it takes over an hour - moving the hose from channel to channel, picking a wheelbarrowful of weeds for the pigs and picking all the ripe vegetables.
Portugal is on fire (and for once I'm not exaggerating) there's a site on the internet ( which I am addicted to, it has a map of Portugal with pins showing all the current fires; there are so many fires in the north and to the west that you can't read the names of some of the towns, atm there are relatively few pins in our area, thank goodness.

10th August
I was watering the vegetables by 8.00, back home by 9.20. The fire situation is still dire and today there's a strong wind which could spread the blazes.
The wind has made it a lot cooler though, which makes life much more comfortable.
I rushed through all my chores and was in the studio by 11.00. I cut a whole load of glass, I was a bit rusty at first but got better. And I did some painting. It felt good to be working again.
Brett got home at 2.45, I hadn't even had my lunch!
There was a big fire near Idanha today, started around 10.00, by noon it had been upgraded to a 'significant occurrence' (93 humans, 31 ground vehicles, 2 planes), it was 'concluded' by the time we went to bed.

11th August
Another day in my studio, I'm getting into my stride now and have produced a couple of pieces I'm happy with - though they still have to be fired!
Yay, I'm getting visitors tomorrow; Jo & Gordon are making a flying visit to Portugal (Brett will be at work).

12th August
Wow this was on Facebook this morning, it is really scary ....... (translated from Portuguese by Google Translate, so it reads a bit strange):

August 11, 2016 - 17:06
Images captured by a NASA satellite show the size of the many fires that burn in the North and in Madeira. The many fires that burn in northern Portugal caused a massive column of smoke hundreds of kilometers stretching over the Atlantic Ocean.
The image captured by a satellite of the US space agency NASA has released this Thursday.
A huge cloud of smoke and ash comes from the dozens of active fires in northern Portugal .
The fires consumed thousands of hectares of bush and forest, caused enormous damage and threatened several places , leaving people in shock .
The NASA satellite also captured images of Madeira. Despite the cloudy sky in the archipelago area , you can see a big cloud caused by the fires that began in the afternoon on Monday and that caused three dead , thousands homeless and destroyed about 200 homes.
At 17:00 on Thursday , more than 2,700 men fought 258 fires in Portugal, of which 12 are more significant.
The most complicated situations registavam up in the municipalities of Anadia , Águeda and Arouca, in Aveiro district. Nearly 700 operational focus on these three outbreaks, but only in Arouca have the help of two heavy aircraft.
The Aveiro district there is still a significant fire in the Castelo de Paiva county.
In Viana do Castelo district , there are nearly 600 firefighters mobilized in three fires in the municipalities of Caminha, Cerveira Valdevez and arches .
In the District of Braga , note for fires in Vieira do Minho councils and Famalicão . In the district of Porto, plowing a fire with two fronts in Paredes municipality that mobilizes 80 operational .
In the northern regions , there are fires in the municipalities of Resende and Montalegre .

I made gazpacho for lunch (I sneaked in two cucumbers and some kombucha), the rest of lunch was already in the fridge (octopus salad, tapanade, sundried tomatoes in olive oil, goat cheese etc) plus a green salad (with more cucumber!). It was great to see Jo & Gordon and they had good news - they won't be selling up here, once they've sold in Spain they will be moving here full time.
Brett is working tomorrow too (the excuse being they didn't work Monday, but I can see this job developing into 6 days a week).

August 13th
And still Portugal burns .........
I went to water the vegetable garden at 07.30 and the mountains were in view, when I came back, an hour later, I could barely see two fields away, the valley was full of smoke - depending on who you listen to it had drifted down from fires up north/west from Spanish wildfires/east from the fires on the coast etc.
I managed to get the washing done at last (at the expense of working in the studio!).
Bloody ants found the tomatoes I was sun drying, so I'll have to put them somewhere else tomorrow.
This evening we're off to P&M's, they're hosting (1) a drumming workshop (not going to that) (2) cooking for 50 people (not going to that) (3) Chicken in the Woods playing on their decking - going to that!

14th August
Not too late last night, home just after midnight.
Poor old Lobby is 'on heat' for some reason she keeps trying to sit on my lap! Lily gets very jealous ......
It was Brett's one day off so we packed a picnic and went to the river beach at Benqueranca.

1 comment:

  1. Thoroughly enjoying reading this ! Wish I had known about it sooner !! I'm binge reading to catch up !! J. XX