Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Rain Rain and more Rain

Well over the last week we have had a drop of Rain, It's rained now for three days. Not like at home a few clouds and they drop there load and it gets better. Well here it rains so much trees have been blown down by the high winds. The bark from the eucalyptus trees is all over the lanes that i use a lot. The lane from Vale Boa to Martinho is for me a short cut down to Gois passing a house being prepared for friends of mine who are due to move in to there house before Christmas.

The lane out of Vale Boa is narrow and it bends to the left and the right and if that was not bad enough it also goes uphill quite steeply. But on this day Monday of this week i followed the bread lady up the hill only to find the lane blocked. We have a lady who delivers bread three days of the week. The lane is to narrow to turn even for me so i had to reverse down about 500 yards. Ok no problem but i had behind me my big box trailer, well i managed to reversed all the way down the hill without a stop all in one go. It certainly is a challenge to reverse in just a car but i had a big box trailer behind me and nowhere to reverse and go back to where i came from.

The reason i had my trailer was that i had a flat tyre that needed to be repaired also the spare wheel i have with the trailer was flat and needed repairing.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Getting on with the kitchen.

Over the last few days i have been busy getting all the pipe work installed into the walls ready for when i get the kitchen wired. The walls have to be cut into and a plastic pipe has to be fitted so that the cable can be pushed through them.

I went to a B&Q type shop to get some insulation for around the doors and while i was there i had a look around. Not far from me is a place called Penacova and in Penacova there is a place to buy plaster board and insulation. I got a price for an 8ft x 4ft sheet and i was quoted 25€ and that also had the insulation on the back. At the place i went to on Friday i could get an 8ft x 4ft sheet of plaster board and the insulation separate for less than 18€. The size of the sheet i am glad that i kept my Big box trailer.

I need to brick up at the top of a wall and the bricks i got cost 14 cents each that was 2.80€ for the twenty that i needed. So at that price i was happy. I will include some photos as soon as i can. Below is a picture of the hole ceiling exposed showing how big and open it will be when the rafters have been paneled.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Since i got back lots has been happening

Well we seem to be into the Olive season. Everywhere you go people are up trees picking the Olives. I don't know what it is like other years as i haven't been here at Olive time before. As i type this there is a team for want of a better word picking Olives next to my house and across the lane. There are six women all either up trees or picking Olives up that have dropped to the floor. The boss is sat in his car doing nothing.

Maybe tomorrow i will start to pick mine i have about 8 trees and none have grown very well. The land is on a step hill and facing the sun for most of the day the land is dry. From one of the pictures you can see a section that has just been cut back to allow the lane to be widened. The ground is so dry that the workers had to use a digger as they where cutting back the land by five/six feet.

After the Olives have been harvested i am going to cut the trees down. A couple will be used as a corner post for my chicken run. I want to give my chickens as much space as i can so they get a better life than in a cage. Hopefully they will have plenty of space to run around in.

While i was home to see my Mum my Mum and sister Lynne both mentioned that i had not been coughing at all. Well maybe i have the answer, On a number of the photos you will see that on the branches of the trees something growing. These things growing are called Lichens. Lichens only grow in places with very clean air. They are an indication of air quality as they only grow in clean air. So does this mean that now i am living in a very clean place that my cough is no more. Well the answer to that will show itself over the coming months. Below is a picture of my house seen from over the lane from my land " sounds good my land i am now a land owner "

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

I have found a ripoff garage

Before i left to visit my Mum i went to a local garage to have my hand brake fixed. The garage owner mentioned that i needed new brake shoes. As i had my own garage and a contract with Pickfords removals. Also for four years i was a night fitter for the largest haulage company in the UK. Then i like to think that changing brake shoes is something even i can do even at my age. Getting under the car for the handbrake was something i wanted not to do so i went to a garage to get it fixed. I told the owner to only repair the handbrake. I also said that as i was going to the UK i would sort out bringing new parts for the brakes with me from the UK.

I had my car taken to the garage for me while i was away. I said that i only wanted the handbrake done. Well the garage owner ignored what i said and fitted new shoes and new brake cylinders. The charge for just the handbrake had now gone up and from about 50€ to 175€.

I will be back to this later

Well it's all over now till next time

Well it's all over as the title says, back home in only two hours. Well that's the flight time and then it's down from the airport to my place in the sun. It may only be a two bedroom cottage in a little village called Vale Boa but it's mine and it's home.

As I type this at over 35,000 ft above a cloud covered UK or at least from 35,000 ft plus it looks that way. From the plane I can see small areas of lights but it's the lights of Portugal that I want to see most. The welcoming lights of home.

One of the highlights of my stay is seeing so many customers who really are and where friends I now have to leave behind. There where only a couple who I missed but I am that my son will pass on my best regards to them and maybe next time I will see them. The real surprise was the reaction from everyone that I met and was I quote “ Peter you do look well “ everybody noticed how much weight I had lost. Being me and a show off I had with me a jacket that last November I could not fasten due to my weight. Now that jacket is to big for me but it was nice to hear those comments. Lots of the people I would have liked to see had been told that I would be home for a short stay and I was able to see many. Thanks son that made the trip for me.

It was with great sadness that I had to leave my Mum who had only just had her hip replacement a week ago today. During that time I learnt a lot from my Mum. Despite the pain from the operation she didn't let use see she was in a lot of discomfort. Mum would try to do things and I just watched her struggle. Mums recovery would take all the longer if she was being helped all the time I just hope that she understands and I am sure that she does.

Soon I will be home and as Mum has a Skype phone I will be calling her to make sure that she is OK. Chelsee is so old for her eight years of age that she is. She can take instruction over the Skype phone that we use and we have when needed fix things. She even found how to play music from Youtube and use Skype at the same time. I used to text her when I was on-line so she could call me but this time I have told her to go on-line and if she See's me on-line she can call me.

As usual I get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, I make sure that I am always first in the queue at the check in so after the priority borders are on I am always next. This trip was no different than any of the others I have made. The three seats at the top of the stairs are where I aim to be for the flight. I just get to the top of the stairs and while waiting while the crew check the passports I put my glasses case on the seat by the window. As usual it worked and I am sitting where I wanted to be.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Well it's been nice but it's time to go home.

Well it's been a nice couple of weeks but it's time to go home.

I got to see mum before she had to go into hospital for her hip operation. Mum had to go into hospital on a sunday for her op. We took mum to Spire hospital for her operation and we arrived a little before noon on sunday. After she settled in mumwas taken down to have her operation. The operation was over by 4pm and she was wheeled back into her room by 5pm. It's a pity that we all live so far away or mum would have all the care she needs, plenty of family call in on regular basis. It would be nice if we where more local but there is nothing really that we can do about it.

Sue has just gone to Napal to climb part way up Everest. Lynne lives and works in Huddersfield. Diane is away on holiday in Greece. Tim lives in Derbyshire and that leaves just me well as you all know i live in Portugal. That leaves Jackie, Jackie lives just a short walk away from my Mum. Jackie i would say is very close to mum and does more than any of the rest of use. David and Laura also paly a large part in my mums life as they call in so often if going to or from work. So mum really has lots of help.

Justine and Andrew called to see mum on Thursday. Justine is a physio in a hospital in Leeds and on her day of she called and she was a great help to mum. Justine has a loverly little baby 6 months of age and what a loverly baby he is. I could go on more about family but you all are such a big help. The news from Robert that he got the flat he was viewing was a nice lift and that cheered her up. So we may not be there but we all play a part in mums life and recovery.

Laura is going into hospital in the coming days for an operation and i wish her well and if you red this Laura good luck and i will be thinking of you.

I got to see Chelsee a couple of times, as usual she is so excited that she comes out without her coat. On one occaision she didn't even tell her mum she was with me. It was only that her mum called to check that she was with me.

I didn't get to see Sean even though his mum and dad where in Liverpool visiting his dads mum. This was the one thing that i return sad about.

I got to see my mate Dave. Dave and i have been mates for well over thirty years. I helped Dave extend his garage and we had to sit on top of my van to get to the height of the walls we where doing. Dave & Margaret i will miss a lot but i will get to see him next time i get back next year.

Well i fly back on the 16th to Porto and due to getting into Porto late in the evening i will be staying in a local hotel.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Sean and Chelsee

I have two grandchildren Sean 5 who lives in Scotland and Chelsee 8 who lives in Liverpool.

Today i was lucky to see Chelsee. I had sent messages as i had not seen her on Skype and i was getting a little worried. Well i got a reply today, it seems that she had been away on holiday with Mum and Dad in Egypt. So it seems that i was worrying for nothing. Chelsee wanted me to pick her up after school.

I used to get to see Chelsee a lot when i lived in Liverpool but now i have moved i have to speak to her on the internet via Skype. Chelsee always seems to be doing something else  so all i see is the top of her head but at leaset i can still see her. As my mum has been in hospital getting a new hip i wasn't able to see Chelsee as i would like.

This week Sean is down from Scotland with his Mum and Dad visiting an ex relative of mine. Sadly I won't get to see him while he is at an ex relatives of mine's because he is staying with Chelsee's nan. I have only seen Sean a few times in Scotland and a few times down here in Liverpool. With relations between his mum and i well i can't see how i can get to see Sean at the moment. Maybe his Dad will bring him to see me but as he has been here almost a week now he has had plenty of time to come and meet me. He has spoken to my Youngest son and seen him twice but me well seems he only has one parent or only wants to see one.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I got to see Chelsee

Yesterday i had to decide either see my mum or see my granddaught Chelsee. As it truned out i was able to see mum and then go and see Chelsee. Chelsee like all children seems to think that she can have her own way they don't understand that sometimes you have to say no. This time i was able to see both her and my mum. Today i went with my sister Jackie to see my mum only to be told that she is able to come home tomorrow on Thursday. We don't know what time she will be released but it's great news. Laura my sisters daughter has arranged for a car suitable for mum to be able to come home in.

I had not seen Chelsee since i left for my new life in Portugal and i must admit i did miss her. My thoughts where with my mum who dispite making a great recovery i felt i should have been there instead of with Chelsee. I did see Chelsee  and it was a great time and one i will remember. When i lived in Liverpool i would see Chelsee often and when i did we would have curried Chicken. When we have curry Chelsee comes with me to buy all the ingredients that are needed. Chelsee normally does most of the cooking and i stand next to her just in case. This time we had to have white rice as we had no turmeric to put in to make the rice yellow.     

I will be back to finish later

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Proud of my Mum

I am back in the UK for a very short break. I wasn't going to do this one till i got back home in my place in the sun. I love my new life in Vale Boa and during my short time there i have changed. I am more relaxed, i have lost weight, i am eating so much better as everything is fresh. So i do want to go home as soon as i can. Enough about me.

My Mum has had to go into hospital to have a new hip. Ok but mum is in here eighties but need it she did. Sadly the local hospital waiting list was so long that one in Fazakereley couldn't even put her on the list. My youngest sister has the sense to ask about other hospitals namely private hospitals that are allowed to do NHS work. Mums doctor agreed but it seems that you have to make contact to have the job done not the doctor. So Jackie called after seeing Mum she had a date for the op. Sadly due to an infection the op was delayed till the 9th October.

We took mum in just before noon on the day of the op and shortly nurses and doctors came to see her. Well by 2pm mum was taken for her op. Yes in before noon and ready for the op by 2pm not what you would expect from the NHS. Well as you would expect we waited but not for to long by 5pm mum was done and back in her room. We stayed for a little while and then left mum to rest.

Mum was told that the next day would be her worst as the drugs have worn of. Next day i went to see mum and she was in a little discomfort but she was looking so well. I am looking forward to seeing her today the 11th October sister Sue's birthday also the day before was the day that 44 years ago i passed my driving test and i passed it first time.

Ok more later

Sunday, 9 October 2011

45 Commando have returned from Afghanistan

Much is happening but this week i am only reporting on one thing.

The Royal Marines of 45 Commando have returned from a tour Nad-e Ali. All parents, brothers, sisters etc will like me be very happy to here of there return. They returned home without loosing any Marine.

That's all i need to say on this good news. My news will wait for the moment.