Saturday, 1 July 2017


17th June
We got 133 bales of hay (at a cost of 70c per bale = 93€) from our three fields.
As rain is forecast for the next three days Brett wanted to get it under cover (a dirty, itchy job); I drove the truck Brett did the dirty, itchy bit!
This evening was an annual village festa (actually it started at noon), everything was free - lunch, beer, dinner. We went after we'd put our animals away; Greg & Sarah had been there since 12.00! Chris & Di since 4.00! We had a lot of catching up to do!!!!! But we managed!
Dinner was bread, barbecued pork and sardines (no vegetables) and red wine.
Bap's traditional village group played, a fabulous dancing group danced (the men wore wide brimmed hats), we left when the 'Euro-pop' group were on!!!!!

18th June
Dreadful, dreadful news masses of people killed (62 so far) some in their cars trying to flee massive forest fires in the Coimbra region.
This story has dominated Facebook today; people trying to contact loved ones, updates on the 'worst wildfire' since records began, offers of food, clothes and accommodation. And around us there's a haze, we can't see the mountains, we can hardly see the village water tower. And it's only June!

19th June
Last sheep shorn! He was a big boy (last year's ram lamb, about 16 months) and a real struggler - we missed Claire's help.
Nicky & Rich messaged us, they're coming round tomorrow evening.
A fabulous electrical storm this evening; but, as the fires on Saturday were probably started by lightening, rather scary!

20th June
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEL!!!!!!!🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈xxxx
We're really hot in bed, unable to sleep; we've tried covering ourselves with wet towels and having a fan on - it works to a degree, but not that well. Brett has had an idea; as it's colder outside at night we need to bring the cold air in, so ........ we're going to put a hole in the bedroom wall and insert an extractor fan (the opposite way round to usual) so it will suck the outside air into the bedroom. Today we went into CB to buy the extractor fan and bits and pieces (came to about 20€).
We went in late-ish, so we could get worm tablets for Lily (the vet opens at 3.00). Everything took so long, we didn't get home until gone 5.00 (Nicky and Rich arriving at 6.30!).
A mad rush to get food organised (and wash the floor) and we were ready for guests! Fortunately N&R are easy guests, once they arrived we relaxed and had a good evening.

21st June
The nights start drawing in ........
Brett installed the extractor fan.
I have a new cheese book and have found a traditional (slower) method for making a creamy salad Mozzarella (the curds are left in the whey overnight to ferment) - mine is always a bit rubbery (so best used on pizzas!).

22nd June
The extractor fan worked, it was still warm (it isn't air con. so can't work miracles) but far more comfortable than of late - well done Brett.
My mozzarella didn't work - the curds wouldn't hold together, perhaps the room temp was too hot?
We should have known better!!!! "We're going to the bar at 4.00 for a quick drink" said Chris & Di - five and a half hours later (it was dark) we arrived home to put our bemused (but thankfully safe) animals away! They are such a bad influence!

23rd June
House tidying with a hangover is not fun .......
Debbie & David arrived one and a half hours late as their train broke down - it was great to see them.
We started by making them pick their dinner (a bucket of French beans).

24th June
Didn't do much, well obviously quinta chores (including lots of gardening), and erecting the swimming pool - pity the temperatures have dropped (they'll soon heat up).

25th June
Happy Birthday Pam xxx
Everyone but me spent the afternoon weeding the vegetable field. I was in my studio cutting out a large bird lino cut and then printing onto my green dress - I'm so happy with the results ......

The pink background pattern is printed from a plastic placemat!
The birds are linocuts

26th June
Started making Chevre (10L milk) from my new book (slow ferment method) before we went out.
Went to Meimao for the day, treated to lunch.
The curds were fermenting and bubbling (not supposed to) when we got home, we think because our 'room temperature' is too hot atm. Strained the curd (as it wasn't going to make Chevre) and put it into a mould to see if it could be rescued.

27th June
Lots of weeding and watering.
Yesterday's 'Chevre' is very crumbly, but it works well on tomato salad (already picking our own tomatoes).
Helped Debbie print fish one of her dresses, last time she did a linocut she was at school (a long time ago!!!!). She was very pleased with the results.

This evening it rained ........

28th June
Went to Monsanto (we did take D&D there on a previous visit, in 2015, but it was foggy!) and then we were treated to lunch in Idanha.
On our way back home we drove through Proenca a Velha: so stopped off at the Junta to ask about our oil. WE HAVE OUR OIL!!!!!! A measly 8L from 96kgs of olives, should last us a few months (probably not until next olive harvest). We also picked up D&T's oil, which we will drop off tomorrow.
This week has gone very quickly, D&D are off first thing in the morning.

29th June
Up at 6.30, in CB by 8.00 ("goodbye D&D, see you next year"), at T&D's by 8.40, back home and milking the goats by 9.30 .........
Relaxed for the rest of the day (apart for some hoovering, as Looby is shedding dreadfully).

30th June
Lots of weeding today ........
Stuart & Helen go back to the UK tomorrow so we went to the bar for a few hours, as C&D weren't with us we managed to get home before dark!

1st July
We had a lovely lunch and gossip at Wendy & Kevin's today.

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