Tuesday, 13 September 2016

WEDDING (not mine!!!!!) ..........

15th August
Happy Birthday Kathryn X
Brett was back at work today and I played 'catch up' after having a day off yesterday.

16th August
First thing this morning (well 8.00) I had to lock the cat in the shed, with no food or drink, as she was off to the vet this afternoon to be spayed - she wasn't happy!
So 1.45 Brett came home from work, I'd already fed and watered sheep, watered pigs again, walked dogs etc. He put generator away (as it had a broken wheel and is too heavy for me to lift), checked the animals, and then off we went (the cat's appointment was for 3.00); halfway to the village he screeched to a halt ...... "we've forgotten the cat"!!!!! Oh dear we could so easily have got to the vet's without her!
We were given an hour to do our shopping (I forgot masses), then it was back to the vet to pick up the cat. She was rather subdued (understandably) but started meowing as we neared home ..... "Are you sure that's our cat? It doesn't sound like her" Brett says "well it's our (actually Pam's) cat carrier" was my reply - we hadn't actually checked the cat, so we stopped the car and looked ...... off course it was our cat!
Poor Jasmine can't walk, she's locked in the dog's shed with food, water and a litter tray, but she keep falling over - it's horrible to watch, hopefully she'll be better tomorrow.

17th August
Happy Birthday Henry, have a fabulous day! XXXXX
The cat is so much better, she was up on the wall of the shed, purring, meowing and complaining about being locked in. She can go out in a couple of days, she's got to take medicine twice a day for the next eight days.
I don't like this Brett working lark (1) obviously I miss him (2) it's boring here on my own (3) it's exhausting doing all his chores as well as mine! And then he comes home tired and falls asleep after dinner.

18th August
Zoe, Tim and their children came to lunch today. And poor old Brett went to work ...
Oh dear Gary came up this afternoon very distressed (it was his birthday) and he'd come home to find one of his dogs dead - he's convinced it was (1) killed by a big white dog that's been hanging around lately (probably one of Looby's beaus!). (2) shot or poisoned by any one of the humans that he (G) has upset recently. (3) stung by a scorpion/snake. I was upset for him but couldn't confirm any of his theories.

19th August
What a shitty start to the day.
Brett was up and out early (to start work at 6.30).
I was forced out of bed at 6.45 by the dogs; they were being driven mad by a dog outside crying and whining pitifully. It was between us and Andrew - I spent ages trying to locate it but it shut up as soon as I went down to our boundary so it was impossible to pinpoint (I could have let the dogs show me but they would have run off and Looby is on heat - it could even be a tethered dog reacting to her smell!). But it was worrying after Gary's dog yesterday.
While I watered the garden this morning I shut the dogs in the goose field (as Lobby can now crawl under the Portuguese gate across the track); I had to go and rescue Looby .......
She had her head under the gate, trying to crawl under it, so her bottom was stuck up in the air and there were four geese pecking at her!!!! I should have had a camera, so funny (obviously) not for Looby! Lily was running backwards and forwards behind the geese, not knowing how to help.
So when Brett came home I told him about the distressed dog, he reckons it's 'Kate Moss' a stray (left behind one weekend by hunters) that C&D have taken in - what a relief.

20th August
Andrew has gone back to the uk, he said we could have any tomatoes left on his vines as they would be dead by the time he came home ...... I had great fun picking his veg whilst Brett spoke to his neighbour (she's lonely!). I'll make the tomatoes into ketchup (Andrew gave me his recipe) or paste.
I played in the studio, I want to make another green man panel .......
We have ducklings!!! The ducks are sitting tight atm, so we can't see how many but it looks like a good few (there were 12 eggs in each nest). I put Mr Muscovey away in the turkey shed so there shouldn't be any overnight accidents.

21st August
Bloody dogs got me up at 6.30; I think they're used to the early start with Brett working.
Gary gave me an update on his dogs; another one has died - the vet think's it could be poisoning, but needed 100€ for samples to be sent off and analysed (so that's not going to happen).
We took the day off and went to Meimao barragem. Where we usually go (away from the Madding Crowd) doesn't have any shade so we decided to drive further around to the opposite bank ...... about 40 minutes later, driving along dusty, potholed, narrow tracks (with a steep drop to the water) we were less than halfway round (it's huge), we arrived at a tarmac road and a village. At this point we gave up and drove back along the tarmac road to our usual spot!
This evening Looby went off, she's been threatening all week.

22nd August
Up at 6.15 after practically no sleep; Looby is still missing, we're getting really worried now, she's never been gone for this long before (2 - 3 hours max). Of course I'm imagining the most scary scenarios (down a well, in a trap, poisoned, run over, shot, attacked by the big white dog ......).
9.00 a.m. she finally showed up (missing for 13 hours) apart from being absolutely shattered she appears to be fine, so relieved.
The ducklings came out today, so cute!
Thomas & Diane came to pick up my (newish, green) food mixer (it has a meat grinder and sausage stuffer on it), as they've had their pigs slaughtered. Thomas walked towards the decking, opened the pizza oven door and immediately got stung, just below his eye, by a wasp (they're nesting in the oven).
40+ on the decking (the heat is back).
I'm feeling so happy this afternoon and all I can put it down to is Looby being back (I was so worried), she's now on a long lead!

23rd August
I slept really well until Brett left for work and the dogs started whining!
7.30: Looby is now on a long rope tied to the decking; pacing backwards and forwards, whilst squeaking. The big white dog, who isn't intimidated by me (or buckets of water) is pacing the other side of the decking. The cat keeps coming in the kitchen, I chase her out (but not off the decking, because of big white dog). And Lily is eating Looby's breakfast (she's already eaten her own!). Chaos!!!
9.00 Animals all let out/fed/watered/checked etc. but I am slightly worried as the BWD (big white dog) was in the field with the sheep! He doesn't appear threatening to them, the field is too big for me to chase him out (anyway he ignores me!) and he can just jump the fences (he is BIG).
The I found him sleeping in the shade around the back of the house, he just ambled off when I shouted at him ..... Pam came round for coffee, she says BWD is her neighbour's dog and Brinka's son - they are sheep dogs (they guard the flocks) which explains why he's good with sheep.
So today was as hot as it's been all summer and I make a batch of tomato ketchup
and then brinjal pickle!!! Sweaty Betty ........
Ooooh, I didn't need to see that!!!! I had Looby attached to the decking on a long lead, she was under it the last time I checked, then I looked out of the window, she had a huge grin on her face whilst being humped by BWD! Brett is now worried that she wasn't properly spayed and could be pregnant!

24th August
Last night we went to the festa in Aldeia de Bispo; Chicken in the Woods were playing, so Brett had today off (he's working Saturday instead) - have to say I'm getting fed up with him being at work, it was only supposed to be 2 or 3 weeks it's going to be at least double that!
Experimenting in the studio, I want to do some sandblasting, got a few ideas.

25th August
03.00 I was outside with Looby (on a lead); no she didn't need the toilet, she just wanted to go outside (bitch!). Then as soon as Brett left she started again (I can feel myself getting stressed).
BWD was hanging around all morning; I carry a stick and stones everytime I go out (he is not intimidated by me, I've shouted myself hoarse), I also have to keep both dogs on leads, as Lily is convinced she can 'have him' - I know for a fact that he's wounded two dogs badly (Pig/Paddy and Betty, and probably Kate Moss), so I don’t want her getting too close to him and I'm slightly concerned for my own safety. He can jump over all our fences and gates, there's no way I can keep him out.
We had real rain this afternoon, it was lovely .....

26th August
More rain and storms overnight. Brett went to work, arrived back at 7.00; Bap was still asleep - he'd obviously been awake all night trying to keep water out of his house.
It was lovely and cool this morning, but 36 by this afternoon.
Took the day off and went into CB to look at generators (I think Brett wanted to get away from the village in case he was asked to go back and work a short day!).
Great, now Looby's suitors are, standing outside the decking, howling! She has two BWD and Paddy/Pig (from now to be known as SBD - short black dog).

27th August
And now Alfie has become an admirer!
I answered a post on FB, somebody wanting a Kombucha scooby. I managed to get rid of a large piece of scooby and, of course, some kefir grains. A nice young couple in the process of buying land in Mata de Rainha or Santa Margarida (my memory is rubbish!).
Thank goodness, we've more or less got our Looby back; she's more interested in us than going off ....

28th August
We harvested our pumpkins this morning, we have over 50!
Butternut and Crown Prince
The yellow ridged and warty green are from locally sourced seeds.
Etampes (large, flat, orange), the left most are supposed to be Turks Turban 
but I think they've crossed with something else!
Looby has now started to bleed! She might be off to the vet tomorrow. ....
This afternoon we went to a BBQ at Paul's house (Brett's cycling buddy). And tomorrow Brett is back at work.

29th August
I don’t want to tempt fate but, ever since Brett turned off the drinks fridge (it came from our holiday cottage in Wales) our solar has been better.
Looby seemed fine today, no bleeding, no male visitors; so does she need to see a vet? This is so difficult, Looby hates the car (both our dogs do!), she will throw up a couple of times on the way to CB (I have to sit next to her with a plastic bag to catch it!) and then we have to explain to a vet, in Portuguese, what is wrong with our dog. She's absolutely fine in herself, eating well, full of energy. We don't want her to have an exploratory operation, to see if there's a piece of ovary tissue inside her, if it's not necessary, especially as operations/anesthetic = risk.

30th August
Bored with Brett working now, especially as the dogs get me up at 6.30 every morning! Though I am kept busy with all the chores! And I washed (by hand) all my silk dresses ready to pack for my trip back to the UK next week (for Rebecca's wedding) ....... but I don’t have any shoes, no idea what I'll wear on my feet; here I wear the most disgusting, tatty sandals (everyone does, so I'm not out of place), I have boots (but only hand luggage, so probably no room for them and it's too hot to wear them), something else for me to stress about!
Today I saw our cat hunt, catch and eat a lizard/gecko.
So Brett took the dogs for their evening walk whilst I went to bed; I'm awoken by Brett saying that Looby has hurt her foot and can I come and help him look at it.
Looby was in distress; she was hopping around the kitchen on three legs, yelping, whining, howling with pain (she's such a brave dog, not!). We couldn't see any injury and concluded she'd been stung (no idea by what, scorpion, centipede, wasp, bee .....). Brett went to bed (he has to be up at 5.30). I looked up (google) 'dog's been stung' ...... Answer: "if worried take to Vet", what to worry about (1) swollen tongue - check, no swollen tongue, (2) elevated breathing - check, she sounded like a steam train and her breathing was very rapid ..... Answer "take to a vet", Shit no vet is open at midnight, I don’t have an emergency vet's number and most importantly I can't speak Portuguese! However in the back of my mind ..... dogs can be given antihistamine and I do have done somewhere, 'googled' to confirm this is safe, and dosage, meanwhile Looby still whimpering and hopping (trying to climb on my lap). Antihistamine given in some cheese, 1/2 hour later breathing back to normal, Looby sleeping peacefully and I can go back to bed!

31st August
Happy Birthday Mieke!
Oh pooh, Stephanie won't be going to the wedding, poor old Malcolm is ill; I was really looking forward to seeing her (and, of course, Rebecca will be disappointed too).
Looby seemed absolutely fine this morning, it was as if last night didn't happen.
This evening we're going round to M&M's to celebrate Mieke's birthday (plus Lola & Vince). I'm taking a homemade peach (actually nectarine) puree and sparkling wine so I can make Peach Bellini cocktails.

1st September
We had a lovely evening; sitting under the stars eating a typical Belgian buffet and drinking very effervescent Bellinis! Unfortunately we had to leave early so that Brett would get a few hours sleep.
4 weeks of Brett working and me being alone all day, now I'm talking to myself!
I've started getting all my clothes together (for my uk trip) I'm not sure it's all going to fit in my hand luggage (I refused to pay an extra £51 for one case!).
The duckling have accepted both mothers, they wander around in a big family group.

2nd September
Brett's last day at work for a couple of weeks - hooray!
The pool, which was green and soupy a few weeks ago is now sparkle clear - which is good as it's very hot again.

3rd September
P&M came to dinner this evening, we sat outside on the decking and I was eaten alive, so itchy .....

4th September
Happy Birthday Sarah xxx
I had a horrid night, my bites were so itchy I just couldn't sleep.
Hot, hot, hot (41C in the shade) and getting hotter this week!
We packed a picnic and went to the river beach at Benqueranca; it was lovely and shady there, not many people and blissfully cold water with masses of little fish swimming in it.
We met our new neighbour to be, Margo; she's having problems with the completion date, she thinks it's tomorrow (Monday), Gary thinks it's Tuesday - they're all staying down at Gary's (including Margo's sister, her daughter & boyfriend and a couple of friends). Plus they have no internet or working mobiles - so we're expecting a call from their solicitor tomorrow to sort it out!
Had a brainwave today and dyed a air of stripy leggings (black and grey) green - very happy with results.
Bites swollen to 2+" across, incredibly itchy, 'googled' for a remedy ...... now I'm taking antihistamine! Am also covered in Deet.

5th September
The antihistamine worked and I was able to sleep.
OMG it's hot, I'm dripping (and it's only 11.00) .........
42C, in the shade, at 3.00 p.m. ...... and tomorrow is forecast to be hotter! I can't cope! Brett however was out in the sun digging holes for the foundation for his posts for his 'pole barn'.

6th September
44.4 C (IN THE SHADE!!!!!!!!), a thoroughly uncomfortable day - I fly to the UK tomorrow, it's hard to pack as I can't get my head round the fact that it might be cold! Plus, as I refused to pay £51 extra for a luggage allowance, I only have 'hand luggage' so I don't have much room.

7th September
Up at 6.00!!!! And off at 7.15 (Mark picked me up). Pam's train ticket cost her 14.70€, however mine only cost 7.50€ ...... because I'm old!!!!
We had time to spare when we got to Lisbon, so we shoved ours bags into storage and went shopping. I bought a pair of shoes that had been reduced to 9.99, when I paid there was another 40% off - I only paid 5.95€, a real bargain. So after a leisurely morning and brunch we made our way to the airport. Went through customs troublfree (neither of us was searched, though I always feel that I look shifty!) and into 'duty free' where Pam picked up a bottle of perfume, the top came off (it really wasn't her fault), the bottle smashed to the floor showering Pam's feet with scent ....... (you had to be there!). Then onto the plane where we hadn't managed to get seats together.
Helen was waiting for me as I came out of arrivals, holding a sign with "Sandra" written on it in case I didn't recognise her!

8th September
Woke up to RAIN ........
Tried to phone Brett this morning ...... not enough credit, I checked the phone on Tuesday £16+, now 62p - I've made two short calls and a couple of texts!!!! Sent Brett a text, down to 42p???? Why? when texts are supposed to be 1p each and calls 4p/min ........
And Helen's internet is down, so I'm out of communication - don’t like it!
Ok, sorted out phone ....... In Portugal I can use the phone (my English phone) to contact Brett (on Portuguese phone) at 4p/min for a call and 1p for a text, in England it costs me £1/min to call (A WHOLE POUND PER MINUTE, THAT'S 25 X THE PORTUGUESE RATE!!!!!!) and 20p per text (20 X PORTUGUESE RATE!). So I now have a £7 'bundle' that I can use to call Brett which will last for 40 mins.
I've bought glass supplies ....... We went to Creative Glass in Bristol and I bought a load of glass (mainly blues and greens), lead, solder, paint, fiber paper , them my mind went blank (I should have made a list!), I spent £417.17 (including £48 postage) which I thought was very restrained.
Then we went bra shopping, I was even measured! I bought 5 bras from M&S, boring but necessary.
Got home (Helen's), my milk kefir grains had arrived, took Bailey (dog) for a walk along the bay, too knackered to eat out so bought some interesting nibbles and had a relaxing evening in.

9th September
Rebecca & Paul's WEDDING DAY!
It was a fabulous wedding; three different events/venues:
3.00 Wedding Ceremony: Rebecca's dress was stunning; it was silk and exactly the same colour as mine. Paul looked very dashing in a brown suit. The registrar was a lovely lady who made the proceedings appear very personal.
4.00ish: back to R&P's house for champagne and nibbles (I was starving as I'd not had lunch). Everyone milling around and chatting.
6.30 taxis to the restaurant; where we ate drunk and got merry! I spoke to masses of people who I will never remember, but it was all jolly fun.
Then taxis to hotel at just after midnight; paid for my really expensive (single occupancy) room, only to be told it didn't include breakfast ....... Brett didn't appreciate my late night call moaning about it!!!!!!

10th September
Leisurely (expensive) breakfast, followed by what should have been a nice walk along the shore with Sarah and Joyce, but somehow we ended up in a Pottery!
Then off to the cricket club to decorate the marquee for the evening party. I wired up jars, which we filled with flowers and hung overhead, on twine, along the length of the marquee (I did have a niggling worry that the twine might break and guests get hit by falling jars, but it was fine). Lily was in charge (set dressing is a big part of her day job) and the space looked beautiful once we'd finished: jars and jars of fresh flowers, fairy lights, floating candles, giant paper flowers, candlelit pathway to a fire pit, bunting, blankets, etc.
William (& Gillian) and Henry (& Kathryn) came, plus Melanie (and her friend Sarah), unfortunately no Stephanie, and Lesley and Jacob ..... it was a magical evening.

11th September
Happy Birthday Gill xxx
I went back with Will & Gill in their camper van to their home in Devon. We made a bolognese sauce, salad etc then we all (me, W&G, Alexandra, Lawrence, Sandy and Agnes) traveled (camper and car) to Dartmoor for a birthday dinner - great fun.

12th September
Unfortunately the kids went to school and W&G had to work today, so I was left to my own devices, during the day - shame as I wanted to spend time with Will. However I had great fun once Alexandra and Lawrence came home from school; we painted a landscape for dinosaurs (constructed by Will) and made Bouncy Eyeballs and a Crystal Tree (from kits).

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