Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Thursday, 21 September 2017

I went to the old Pete's bar yesterday

Yesterday i went to what was known as Pete's bar on my way back from Coimbra. Talking with Barbara about how sales of the English food she no sells she mentioned that she now sells bacon and gammon. The bacon is 400g and cost 4.00€ and the gammon cost 5.50€ for two slices. They are now in my freezer ready for when i want a treat.
I took some pictures of her selection of English food and later i will put them on here.

This is the one thing that i think most Brits miss here in Portugal. I do make my own bacon but having it ready made  in the freezer saves time.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The walls came tumbling down

Thursday we start in Geoff's house taking down the integral walls that are not load bearing. I am trusted to make sure that certain works get done for when Geoff and better half come over shortly. It's nice to have something different to do and it's what I need while I am waiting to get timber to carry on with work in my house.

This is how the walls are made, mud is plastered on the walls and when dry they put use a kind of Lime plaster type material to face the wall when done.

My last trip back to Liverpool

I recently had a trip back to Liverpool reason being my Grandaughter had been to stay and at 14 years of age couldn't travel back on her own. To be honest I was glad to take her home as I was able to see lots of my Mum. I stayed both at my sons and daughters so it was a good trip and I even w end to see my best mate Dave's wife sadly Dave has passed away and wasn't there.

I had an appointment at Specsavers for glasses but I only wanted the prescription because you can get glasses much cheaper online. Martin Lewis from Monetsavingexpert fame recommended Glasses direct who last time for prescription glasses the offer was two pair for £19.00. This time there offer was two pair of prescription glasses for £16.00 including deliver. This time I needed a pair of glasses for driving so maybe I have been using my eyes to much but at two pair for £16.00 now that's a bargain.

Traveling over from Lisbon I only had enough with me for a 5day stay but it meant that I didn't have a lot of weight in my bag. A tip, I use a site to find the best prices for what I want to bring back 4 blocks of extra mature cheddar at £5 a kilo, 2 blocks of another extra mature cheddar at £4.55 per kilo. But this time I spotted in Aldi bacon joints this is something my Ex used to get early in our married life a nice bacon joint. The bacon joint is now in the freezer along with 4 lambs necks nice for a hotspot in the cold winter months.

I saw my friend Chicco today

I have had to wait so long for timber to finish the doorway I have created in my lounge. After promises I decided to write to Chicco's daughter who speaks quite good English to ask for the names of where I could find a place to get some Castanha.

I was invited round to see Chicco as he had some Castanha or Chestnut to you and me. When I arrived I was invited to come in to see Chicco who was resting in a chair by his veranda and I was welcomed very warmly.

Chicco his daughter Christina and myself went down into the workshop, now this workshop in its better days employed about 12 craftsmen so it is a very big workshop. The look on Chicco's face once he was down stairs in his workshop  was worth going to see him.

We were seen by some of his neighbours who Christina decided to open the door to let them come in to see him. I met the lady who found him after his fall and the lady who called for help and another neighbour. The language may be different but it was plain to see everybody was so pleased to see him. As they left Chicco's brother arrived and he speaks a little English from his time working in Rhodesia at the time it became Zimbabwe.

While looking round Chicco pointed to a huge pile a wood all neatly stacked and it seems it's what I am looking for Chestnut and after talking with Christina I may end up with the Chestnut I need.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Ain't life a bitch

If I offend anybody by the title I don't care. I have just had a call from a friend in Portugal and during the conversation I was told that they had been diagnosed with a aggressive form of cancer. Shit this isn't fair only a short time after moving to Portugal this happens I know some may say but that's life. After working all your life and this happens lt's not fair.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

If you think Royal Mail are bad

i have never had a good word to say about Royal Mail but in the six years I have lived in Portugal maybe they could be better than I remember. Low and behold Royal Mail own a company called GLS, most Expats will know about GLS. From reading comments on Various Expat forums delivery is normally upto 30 days and this is common. Why do the bosses of GLS get so well paid and provide a crap service?

For my business I first ask a supplier if I can use a courier of my choice to get and keep my business all have agreed. I use a company called who in turn use UPS as there choice of company to trust there business with. Delivery normally at best 66 hours from pickup to delivery but 75 hours from pickup at my supplier to delivery to me. I have arranged with a local garage to take in my parcels. The driver has told me he will only go to the garage if he is very busy and he normally comes up to my house.

A friends sent me a pack of labels thinner than a pack of computer paper and that was sent on the 14th August and to date has not arrive Why. The driver from the courier says the house was empty and it's returned back to the depot. Why are the drivers for this firm so bad and why is it allowed don't bosses at the company not ask why so much is taken back.

Below I have put four email addresses someone put up on a Forum called Britishexpats, if you have had trouble with this company email to all the below ID and I got a reply and it is below it comes from Andrew Moys.

Dear Mr Calder,

I'm sorry to hear that you have not been satisfied with the service you have received from GLS.  I have asked that someone contacts you about your concerns.

I will follow up to ensure that this happens.

Best regards,


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

49 year record gone

Today I was driving round a car park and instead of stopping to point something out to my granddaughter I carried on driving slow. Big mistake as I turned to go down the next row of cars I hit a sign pointing to the exit crunch I hit the post OUCH.

We all like to think we are perfect drivers but i was only a year of 50 years driving without a single bump. So here it is all my own work.

A real treat

Today on my way to Coimbra I called at what was called Pete's bar but it's now been refitted but it will still be referred to as Pete's bar. I had a look in the new English food section and the one thing that did surprise me was Blue Dragon stir fry sauces plus lots more.

In the bar is a fridge with pies, pasties and mini pizzas along with this was Pukka pies and Warburtons Crumpets. Crumpets and a six pack was only 1€ a bargain so I had to have them but I ordered four more packs to keep in my freezer.

I had two with butter on and they where just like Mum does for me. Mmmmm

Monday, 28 August 2017

Grandad it's raining

Grandad my granddaughter shouted it's raining but only when she called again did I look out and yes it was. By the time I went to look out from my veranda after picking up my IPad to take a picture it had stopped. I live in an area covered in forest and after little rain since early 2016 the place is tinder dry so any rain is welcome.

This is as much as i found when i went to take a picture of the rain and as soon as it came it was gone.

Driving through Vila Nova de Ceira the heavens opened and i got my granddaughter took this picture so you can see it does rain even in Portugal.

When i was sat on my friends veranda in Serpins suddenly there was what looked like a light show but with Lightening followed by thunder. The thing about lightening was that it happens so fast you can never time it to take a picture.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

One stop shop

For a while at least since I have lived in Gois one problem is translation. It's OK if you know the translator to use that doesn't translate in Brazilian Portuguese it's really Google Tradator.

Shortly a One stop shop is opening not just for translating from Portuguese to English but English to Portuguese. One problem for new English is finding Plumbers, Electricians, Joiners and much much more well the One Stop Shop will hold a register of local recommended tradesmen. Also the One Stop Shop can act as a go between should you need communication between builder who only speaks Portuguese.

Childcare, the other side of the One Stop Shop will be a school run by a teacher who schools her own son but more about that soon.