Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Sunday, 17 June 2018

I had a pillar that need attention

After cutting a whole in a wall I had a difficult job getting old chestnut to cap off one part of the opening I had cut. I made a panel up out of parque flooring but I didn't want the edging on show because it didn't look right. I first made up a test piece of how I wanted to make the moulding look but first I had to cut and shape a piece of the profile to look.

Cutting the profile was no easy task because a professional would have moulding tools or machines. Because I was only cutting a small piece of wood to put up in position to see that what idea I had in my head would look how I had figured it would. To mould a piece almost 2 meters long was beyond what I could cut but I have a friend who had the machine I needed so of I went. After a little practice I got just what I wanted and after a good varnish it looks as I had planned.

Advertising hoe far does it have to go

have you ever considered the subject of advertising. We can't help really because everywhere we go or look we see some form of advert. But how intrusive does advertising get Doctors surgeries, schools, hospitals but just when does advertising get just to much. I recently went by train to Porto airport and on that journey I needed to use the Loo. I was shocked so shocked I took a photo but not till after I was in the Gents on my own. Look at the picture below and yes that is a some kind of video display on the urinal yes right in front of me an advert moving and in full colour. How of was that, it's not something you expect to find when you go to the loo.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Mirranda do Corvo Market postponed

If you had been planning to go to the Miranda do Corvo market it's been postponed till the 10th June. There is an Expo in the indoor market place and due to possible rain the Camara have changed the date.

If you can please let others know to save them a wasted journey.

Above is the text i have put up on three Forums i am on. It's OK  the Camara (Council) changing the date but so many people will not have found out the market has been postponed till the next week. Lots of people are creatures of habit and thee following week they already have plans for the next weekend.

So if you know anybody who would normally go to Miranda do Corvo market please let them know.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Top of the tank almost done

Today has been another good day. I have managed to get the top for my fish tank finished ao should i say apart from securing down to the base it's all cut and stained  so now just securing into place.

This is the left hand side where the water filter will go.

This corner is where the last corner is and the clamps need to be taken off and joined to all the others.

This  side is where water will be treated for doing water  changes. But it's coming on.

Polluted UK

I had been reading on the BBC news website about the Pollution in UK cities. Knowing how interested i am to clean air as where i live is pollution free. I was driving to the Maternity hospital where my daughter had just had her second child a beautiful baby girl. On my way to the hospital looking ahead in the direction i was driving the sky was blue and cloud free. So i took a picture because the blue sky was nothing like i see at home in Portugal.

I took this picture the day i returned home and as you can see the picture is looking through my veranda.

The difference in colour can only be down to the pollution in the air. The report on the BBC news put London as the worst place in the UK. Liverpool came about halfway in the list of polluted cities. How glad i am that i live and breath clean air everyday apart from when i go to Liverpool to visit family.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

On a vist to a Santander bank

So many Santander banks have closed down like many others. Now it's hard to find a branch of most banks open but one is still open that I use Santander but not what you would call local. Kirkby is a overflow town outside of Liverpool long long ago it was built to take people who wanted to move out of Liverpool to a bright new town. Unlike what I have seen in Liverpool things are not so bad as I found over the last few days.

  " If you think i am cleaning up after that you can think again.
From where I parked to walk to the bank I came across well I don't know what you would call it but here goes. Something that looks like a Viking long boat with an Elephant stood in it. I tried to take the picture with the bank in the background well i couldn't but it's still a great picture.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Fish Fish Fish

During my teens I was lucky my Dad had a fish tank made for me and then another till I had three fish tanks. In those days I was new to keeping tropical fish and over the years I have had tropical fish again till now. Being retired I am now in the position to get back into the hobby of keeping tropical fish. I follow on YouTube someone called the Diyfishkeeper who got my interest in not just a fish tank as we all know them but a big tank. I have mentioned this before but I am making a big tank 5,000 litres big but this is not about the tank it's about Fish.

This fish is a Pacu from the Amazon and is related to the Piranha these fish are veggies.

I have asked on Forums over the years about finding shops that sell tropical fish. I have even found a few but after watching Joey the Diyfishkeeper on YouTube I now want something more and till yesterday I didn't quite know what I wanted. I have mentioned Oscars and I may got for them who knows but let's wait and see.

Here it is the Oscar my favourite fish that i have never had.

Because of the trouble finding a good selection here in Portugal I started looking in the UK where I know Tropical fish shops can be found everywhere. I must have called twenty shops by email asking if they have the means to export Tropical fish. Most didn't reply a few did but really you can only get quantity from the likes of the fish breeders in Thailand, Vietnam or in fact most Countries in Asia.

What could look so majestic than a silver Arrowana. They grow in the wild to about a Metre or over a Yard.

I started my search again online and found as Spain was not far away I started my search again in Madrid. After all a round trip Madrid and back could take a good day so that was it. After finding so many in Madrid I started to look in Salamanca and then Valladolid. At least now I know I can see the variety of those I may choose to have and the advertised price is so much better than importing.

Unlike the other these Platinum Angle fish don't grow very big and i would need about 20 or more in my tank.
That's my short list and i don't know just what to have yet nut i have lots more to the tank to do.

I have three choices as I said Oscars, Platinum Angels or Silver Arrowana. Oscars I could only have about six at the most. Angels as they don't get as huge as Oscars I could have twenty. But I am leaning towards Arrowanas but as these even in a large tank can get to 70/80 cm and in the wild over a metre so six would be the maximum. I will post pictures when I can I can't now because this damm Ipad won't let me.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

The old garage

I have mentioned about the phone I have just got myself but on the way to the address I went down Menlove Avenue on the way towards the airport in Liverpool. Menlove Avenue was the home at one point of some you may have heard of John Lennon. John lived just around the corner from the children's home made famous in the song Strawberry fields Site of a former Salvation Army children's home & the inspiration for the famous Beatles song.

Enough of that driving down Menlove Avenue I stopped at traffic lights and at these lights is a garage forecourt that was a car sales and car hire business in the 1970's and still is. I worked for a time there after going on a course to learn to be a mechanic after getting married. As a newly married man the wages from being a butcher was not enough so I left butchering to become a mechanic.

Stopped at the lights I let myself dream back to the day I had to change the oil on a Ferrari Dino and to return it to his office now that was a day. That was a good job just as long as I kept the cars well looked after nobody bothered me.

When I travelled over to Portugal so much before I got my house and not wanting to pay huge parking charges it was so easy to park in a side street. The house I went to for my phone was one I parked outside a few times certainly a small world. I mentioned to the lady what I used to do and she said she remembered my car as it had a private plate. Small world.

Getting rid of landline

Over  the years I have enjoyed an offer from Meo the phone company. The offer is for 200 minutes free to call any landline in Europe at any time. I have used this to call my Mum and it was how I kept in touch for all this time. But from the start I have never been told when the offer ends until I get the latest phone bill. As I don't know the offer has ended I just carry on until the phone bill arrives a month later.  As I had no notification when the phone bill came in I would then get not just my normal bill that had the Internet cost but also all the free minutes charged for.

Every time I get a phone bill with increased charges I would call and complain but not her ever got done. The only thing that would happen would be to reinstall my 200 minutes offer but not back dated and I had to pay the charges.

It's happened again the offer has ended without notice and my bill instead of 32/ 35€ came in at 96€ quite a shock. Ok I made the calls but with the amount of British people living in Portugal you would think there would be a system in place to let them know sorry but not all Expats can understand Portuguese and could they let use know in a form we understand. In this day and age it's not a problem to translate from one language to another and with the computing power they must have it should be easy.

What makes the problem more difficult is I am in the UK so I have no means to call and complain as the phone number is 16200 not a number to call from the UK. In Portugal they have a system where every business has to display a complaints book. Also it is law that when asked for the complaints book the person you ask must immediately provide you with the book. Now the system has changed and the complaints book is online this system over a period of time will affect all companies. At the moment only the largest of companies have to have the complaints book online.

I made a complaint online and received a reply early next day. The reply said that the offer runs from one date to another date the next year and to discus the matter call 16200. What part of telling them I was in the UK till the 14th May did they fail to notice?

When I get back I will call and see if I can cancel my landline as my UK mobile on the Three network only cost me 3p per minute. The problem there is some people will not call a UK number from a Portuguese phone so I have an answer for that. My Portuguese mobile that I don't normally use I will use that instead of my land line. As I like my tech my Portuguese phone is great for calls and text nothing else it's no good for the modern world.

I pound for sale in the UK an IPhone for sale and all I need is to get it unlocked and use the sim from my old phone to keep my number. So Meo your days as my phone provider are numbered when I get home I will no longer have a land line.

I have a friend who when we talk we can talk for hours having a good catchup what do I do, I suspect he will be in touch with an answer as I know he reads my Blog.

Visiting my Mum

I'm lucky to still have my Mum unlike many others at my age. My Mum is only a matter of days from being 93 years of age and has said she doesn't want a fuss. What lots of people don't realise how lonely it must be sat on you own not in the best of health and without company. When my Mum was recently in hospital a number of times she said to me how she wished " why won't they just let me go ". Hearing you Mum say that and more than once is heartbreaking and what do you say.

Yes I like the rest of my family want Mum around after all she is mine and my brother and sisters Mum BUT. Yes a big but this time we are selfish just consider for a moment about quality of life. Mum has four careers come in each day as five of Mums children live a long way away. Me in Portugal but I have one sister who lives local and is with Mum most days but she also has her life to live.

My Mum is just like a prisoner, a prisoner has a cell, somewhere to spend time with other and an exercise yard. My Mum has her house but as walking is not very good she spends her time at in a chair. Very occasionally Mum ventures out into her garden so you see life is no better than life for people in prison.

I call Mum almost every day and try to avoid the afternoon as Mum has a nap then. Yes family visit but they also have there own lives and with Mum's coming birthday I hope that the family are able to spend some time with our own prisoner.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The high street has gone

Today I am in Liverpool for my Mums birthday and to become a Grandad again. Leaving Mum's I got the bus into town so I could catch another to where I am staying. While travelling along we went along a road where I trained as a butcher in 1964 and also past where I had my own butchers shop. I can say the High street as we know in the UK is dead. R.I.P the high street.

I traveled up Townsend lane that when I had my butchers shop there was full of shops all doing good business and not an empty shop in sight. Today it has a Ghost town feel from maybe 20 shops in my day to now only a handful and all look past there best.

At the top end of this block was the insurance broker i used for my first car. in 1968 an Austin A50. The car cost £11.00 from Liverpool motor auctions.

 From Townsend lane we started up Breck road past the only business that seems to be thriving Georgson's car sales. The owner of the car sales came in every Saturday and I cooked him a leg of lamb from when I worked in the shop to when I became the owner. His business looks to be doing well and during my time he certainly had a very good name as a person who was good to do business with.

Sadly just passed there was the Cabbage Hall pub recently closed and looking like it closed years ago dirty paint holes in part of the roof not a pretty sight.

Between the Pub and there turning for Belmont road what shops still open looked tatty and in need of a good clean and a facelift outside. Sadly with the lack of trade there is not the money to allow the owners to spruce up the exterior of there sorry looking shops.
As the picture shows this is 3pm in the afternoon. little more than a Ghost town.
The hay day of yesterday is long gone. The next think will be housing.

 As I pass the turn for Belmont road we come to the block of shops where I worked and learnt my trade as a butcher. The bank on the corner gone and the building looking sorry for itself, the little shoe shop and next door a ladies dress shop again looking really sorry for themselves. Rushworths the record shop now a Deli but looking so tatty who would go in there. The shoe shop on the corner closed.

Across the road Ohares the jewellers now a Pawn shop Sayers the cake shop gone and empty so is the Chemist next door. Looking past its sell by date next door is still a pet shop and the pub on the corner it would be kinder to knock it down.

It's the same up the road every block less than half the shops on each block closed and what's left looking sad. Across the road and further up are new housing estates so why is everywhere looking like it's time to close and say enough is enough.

Who's fault is it a shopping area that had everything now has nothing. The Car that's where it started, the car gave people the chance to be able to travel to the new supermarkets. The war between the supermarkets drove down prices and the little shops suffered and closed.

The council lost many millions in Rates but did the Rates from the supermarkets make up for what was lost from the high street???

About the only shops left are the ones owned by the ethnic communities because the shop has no wage bill to pay and all the family works in the shops. These type of shop offer no chance of employment for the local communities.

Solicitors, hair dressers, fast food outlets ( chippies ) and second hand shops. That's about all that's left but this is not a problem in just Liverpool it's a problem across the country as reported often in the news.

R.I.P the high street