Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The reason i am writing this Blog

A long time ago i had a business in Liverpool. One customer was called Derek and in some way it's him that i am writing this Blog and why. Here goes.

Derek was a Seamen and at the time he was 67 years of age. I would listen to many of the tales he told of his years he spent at sea. During this time BBC Radio Merseyside where calling on people from the war years and those who had a story to tell where asked to tell there tale for a talking history project.

It was at this time that Derek became a Grandad again to a bouncing baby boy. This was the time i started to have a go at Derek due to his age he should consider writing his story about his life as a young man. I tried for a few years even giving Derek pen and paper but his story he never did. I have seen him since i moved away on Skype but he still has not put his story down for his grandson to read and marvel at his Grandads tales.

Well i made my escape from my previous life and i am now free, but i also have a i feel i have a tale to tell and that's where i am now. My tale, my story will be there for my extended family to see and read for maybe generations to come. Who knows how long a Blog remains live but only time will tell.

There is only one regret that i have and that is that while i was at school i didn't pay the attention i should have in two subject. One is my writing and the other is my command of the English language.

I look back sometimes at my Blog sometimes to something i have just done or something i did a while ago and see that there are things that don't sound right so i make changes. This is where if i had listened and paid attention at school then my Blog may be a better read but how it is well that's me. I hope that my story is of interest to those who take the time to read it. I know from comments from here and on one of the Forums i am on that readers seem to be enjoying my story. Expatsportugal is the Forum but on here it doesn't show as a link so just copy and paste this into a brower.

I will end now and thank you all for taking the time to read my Story.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Please consider leaving a reaction or leave a comment.

At the bottom of each Topic there is a place where you can leave a comment or there is space to also leave a Reaction so please if you feel the topic is Funny, Interesting or Cool please mark or leave a comment. This is a way for me to find out if people enjoy what i am trying to do by sharing my experiences here so far from my old home.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

What's happening to Local Radio in the UK

Well the title says it all as far as i am concerned. I have listened to Radio Merseyside for many years. Now i am not living in the UK it's my lifeline to what's happening where my family and friends live. Some time ago the BBC said that the stations had to make do with less of a budget and that was a cut of 20% at each station. We members of the public only here part of the story. Station programs are to merge or programs are to be lost on mention of letting the stations make saving or themselves raise there own income from the shop at the station.

As a simple listener why can't the powers to be just tell each station you have to save 20% of your budget and just get on with it. It's then up to each station manager to find those savings. Radio Merseyside is the most popular BBC station in the country outside of London.

But what has all this to do with me now living in Portugal.Let me tell you how it may affect  me in Portugal. I like to listen to most of the programs on Radio Merseyside From Chat to News it keeps me in touch with whats going on in what was for most of my life Home.

Saturday and Sunday are my favourite time to listen. I am a child of the sixties and grew up with the Stones Dylan The Who Jimi Hendrix to name but a few. Frankie Conner has a show that covers the 50's, 60's and 70's. I never got to see Frankie play in the Sixties even though Frankie was part of the Hideaways who played the Cavern Club more times than the Beatles did.  Frankie has something unique in Radio in that he is from Liverpool and you can tell from his presentation during his shows he's one of use. Frankie plays a lots of requests from people like me from all eras but for me it's the Sixties. Today i emailed Frankie and asked if he had Love Minus Zero by Bob Dylan but instead played Highway 61 by Bob Dylan from 1965. Frankie often says on air that if he doesn't have your request with him in his NETTO bag he will play it next time.   Every request i ask for is something that is a reminder of Jean.

I listen to all the other daytime presenters but it's the weekend that music  from my era is played most an mostly it's the music i like. The daytime presenters are all very good and mostly it's music and chat but it's my time that comes back to life at the weekend.   

Copy and paste the link below. It's Frankie with the Hideaways at the Casbah Club in Liverpool.

But how will all these changes affect me and others who listen from all corners of the World. Who knows but should the powers to be decide on cuts instead of becoming more efficient with the budget they have to run the station. The future for me and many like me who have chosen to live away from home what do we do listen to someone who is just a voice coming out of the speaker covering an area that a number of stations would cover. It would just be a voice not someone who you can associate ith. The station would no longer be a place for those of use away from home to tune into to get a bit of Merseyside to listen to. It would just become another Radio Station.

Should cuts come instead of a more efficent running of the station then it will be a sad day for Liverpool Radio and for it's listeners both at home and away.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Crazy trees

I have seen when i lived in England trees that where planted and growing as we it was intended to be.

Here in Central Portugal things are a little different apart from trees that are planted as a crop for the paper mills get planted on hills everywhere you turn. But there are some that grow wild.

I have seen a couple of trees at Nigel and Ann's place and Derek and Hannah's place. These are not just normal trees but these are trees that have found these own place to live. The first two pictures are from Nigel's place. This tree has chosen to grow in the middle of a wall. The first two pictures are of an Olive tree growing in the middle of a high wall.

As you can see the tree is growing in the middle of the wall.

This is in fact a fig tree. This Fig tree is as you can see growing out of the side of a wall below a house. I took these pictures because it shows just how things in nature can survive.

Yes i have given my new Chickens names

Well today i have just got my first Chickens. Considering that i have never kept a pet, bird dog or cat etc i have taken the bold step and got myself 5 chickens. Everybody says don't name them as when you need to get rid for whatever reason you have formed an attachment.

Sorry but my Chickens have names there is No1, No2, No3,No4 and the boss is No6. Why No6 well i was a big fan of the prisoner and  Patrick McGoohan sadly he has now passed away so he is now officialy a free man. Free a bit like me now Single and free, Oh and happy.

 Here is No1, No1 got her name from being the first that i chose.
 It would be nice to be able to show all together but like children they don't seem to stay together while a photo is taken. The big one in the middle is the boss his name is No6 and sadly he is and will always be a prisoner.
Here they are again and there are 5 in total but getting them together well maybe one day i will get a picture to show you.

My Granddaughter Chelsee wants to name the Chicken house and next time i mention about the chicks i will name the house for her.

Just when it seemed that the Chicken house was finished i decided to refurbish the room next door for my chicks. There is a nice doorway for them to go through and explore there new play space. There where a couple of places around the side that needed tiding up holes in the block etc so i have given that lots of attention today and tomorrow morning they will get access to there new play area. I hope they enjoy it because i don't have a safe area outside yet for them to get some sunshine.   

Sunday, 18 March 2012

What a load of Sh*t

Cool title.

Well all is going along well in the orchard. OK only a couple of fruit trees but they are my fruit trees and my orchard. Both Cherry trees are now starting to have buds on and in a day or two they will start to open. I thinks it will be a little longer before the new plum trees start to have buds on but i can wait. The existing plum trees that  i have are already in full bloom and one of the photos is of a plum trees in bloom. The Blueberry has also got shoots growing so for someone who has never grown a thing all seems to be coming along nicely. Or so i think for now.

I have one load of horse manure and with that i will add a few bags of compost and mix it up well. First it will be put around the base of all the trees. Second it will be mixed in with where all my seeds that are going once they are big enough to be planted out.  The part i don't fancy doing is every four days turning the Horse manure over and mixing in the compost and also my kitchen waste.It will be about two weeks before the mixed compost will be ready to use and by then i hope that the seeds will be ready.

Sweet Corn
Green Beans
Yellow peppers
Cayenne chillies
Leaf beet
Organic Radish

Along with
Plum trees
Black Cherry trees
Orange trees
Lemon trees
Lime trees
Blueberry bush
Blackberry bush
Rosemerry bush

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Feeling helpless

One downside of not living in my home town is that when friends needs help you are not their for them at the time of there need.

Have you ever noticed that you only get for example a toothache at the weekend when there is nowhere to go for relief and you have to suffer all weekend. Well this morning a friend called me at 7am while i was busy asleep. But real friends know that you can rely on each other at any time. Well this morning a call for help came the part that real hurt for me was that this is a friend who when i needed support and comfort he was always there for me. I suppose that i helped in some way by just listening but it wasn't the same as being there.   

I hope that with the call this morning i was able to be of help, it's the not being there that has given me something to think about.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Seems i have a new fan.

Well the title says it i have a new fan.

I have just been talking to my son Anthony on Skype. He asked for my Blog address and  was a bit surprised that he had to ask but kids. Well after i gave him the address he told me that his better half Charlotte likes my Blog. If they weren't both so shy i would be able to put a picture up of them both.

The sad part of being from the age i grew up was that it wasn't a manly thing to tell your children how much you love them. You expect that they already know but we never get around to tell them. One thing i have noticed with my Brother and Sisters is that they all say at the end of a phone call or when they meet Mum that they love her as i do also.

But i have never told my own children. Anthony i speak with often a few times a day is if i am only around the corner. As i type this i know that he is reading my Blog.

Corrina is the middle of my three children with Margaret and like all father's i have my ups and downs with each of them. Well i am so happy to say that Corrina and i are now friends again. Something that came between use is better forgotten when she needed help i was there like i should be.

Lee is the eldest and things are different with him. His job takes him away so much and for long periods of time and as he only has a mobile it's not cheap to call him.  I know his wife reads this because things get back to my EX from this Blog. Lee has a laptop and my hope is that one day he will get onto Skype. Since i started to use Skype when less than 1,000,000 people used it now over 37,000,000 use Skype so Lee if you get to read this call me it's free.

Well Lee, Corrina and Anthony i love you all so much.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Orchard planting on my Estate.

Well for what it's worth the good weather is here and i must say it's really nice but we need the rain. The rain never came in the winter like it has other years. This year the ground is dry and very hard to dig unless you have something like a 5ft wrecking bar. A wrecking bar is Hexagonal in shape and one end is like a a chisel. These things are very heavy and just what's needed to break up the ground where i want to plant some trees.

I was given some Plum trees and i went to Lidl who had Blueberry and Blackberry trees/ bushes for sale at only 2.5€ each. I am told that because of the sun you need to water often so the roots get of to a good start. The problem i see is how do you know when you have watered enough or when you have over watered.

I was given 5 young plum trees by a neighbor of which i kept 2 and after some hard work i managed to get them planted. I have some compost and i put some of the compost at the bottom of the hole and then put the tree in. Then i put some more of the compost on top of the roots and then filled the  hole with soil. It's ok when you know what you are doing but i don't so it's learn as i go along.

The Blueberry and Blackberry tree/ Bush i got from Lidl i put these in buckets. I don't want the Blackberry  overgrowing like you see at the side of the roads all over the UK. I would like to keep control of the Blackberry so it's in a bucket as is the Blueberry. This time i mixed soil ad about a 50/50 mix with compost so i hope these take of and do well.

The lime tree seems to be doing well so i have now re potted  the Orange tree because when i dug it up i had obviously been over watering it so it's now in a mix of 50/50 soil and compost.

On the Olive tree's and what i think are Plum trees i have been cutting of all what looks like dead branches.

My Mum has been a keen gardener for as long as i can remember and has even won awards in competitions run by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool. If Mum was here in Portugal instead of in Liverpool she would soon have things all done right but i have to learn.

Friday, 9 March 2012

A very welcome Email

This morning after getting up i opened the shutters and looked out to see a vivid blue sky a really beautiful day. This kind of day you want to just go outside instead of staying indoors all day and find something to do. After breakfast and a cup of tea i checked my email as i do most days. Today was special  i received an email from my son Lee. I had spoken to Lee a few days earlier but my phone ran out of credit. Before we where cut of i got Lees email address.

I can't get a signal in my house so i have to walk down the lane till i can get a signal. It seems that  Lee has tried to call me a few times but in Portugal  the sims don't work in my new phone so i now have a new phone and number.  Well now i can be in touch no where ever Lee will be working.  All i need to do now is to get him onto skype and i am working on him. Who knows if i can get him on Skype i may be able to see my Grandson Sean.

A few days ago at the end of the lane a car stopped and the owner got out with what looked like some twigs. He walked of out of sight and then came to see me. I didn't understand him but he mentioned Fernando who lives next door to me. I got some paper and a pen so he could leave a not for when Fernando returns. When Fernando returned i gave him the note and he just laughed. With this he got me to go with him and we walked of down the lane to a water Font down another lane. In the font there where what looked like twigs but it seems that these where trees because they had roots on them. As we walked back Fernando handed the trees to me and gestured to me that they where for in fact for me. Well i was shocked i can only think that when Fernando saw me plating my Cherry and other fruit trees he must have mentioned to his friend about me planting trees so he sent some for me.

I took the message that had been written down to a Portuguese friend to translate for me. The note said Fernando please give these Plum trees to your friend. Plums trees where what i got and i am happy with them. So one day Plum jam, chutney ect. So happy days unless you see the generosity of the Portuguese people you can't understand how people who have so little can be so kind.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Turkey wings what a find

Well as an ex butcher my skills where used again today. Back in the 60's it was common for most of our customers to be short of money. The cheaper cuts of meat where always in great demand Belly pork, Lamb breasts and shoulder of lamb, Brisket and the skirt from the breast, Shin beef, Ox tail to name but a few cuts. This is going back to the days before the supermarkets had such vast selection of meat products and in fancy packaging but you never see the more economical cuts.

I could never understand that today chicken wings are so popular when you consider that they are no bigger than your little finger. Today i saw a massive selection of Turkey wings huge meaty things. I asked for two turkey wings and when they where weighted they where 1.5 kg that's over 3lb in weight. The bones will be used to make stock so nothing is going to waste.

I decided that i would make a chicken casserole simple good food and very good as all the ingredients where fresh. I cut the wings into four and when i took the meat from the wings i was surprised by the amount of meat on each  part of the wing nothing in relation to what is on a chicken wing.

I got four good size portions of meat from the wings after i had taken the meat of the bones, the portions where big enough for someone like me who lives on there own. Anybody can buy the best and most expensive cuts of meat but not everybody can use the more economical cuts. Stock and meat for four meals for a little under 3€ now that's not bad.

I am glad that i was a butcher in the 60's and had such staff i worked with who took the time to teach me a trade that is coming in so handy today more than 45 years later.   

Saturday, 3 March 2012

A happy smiling face

While i was in Liverpool last i didn't get to see Chelsee as i would have liked. We normally see each other on Skype and often for hours at a time, i joke with her that i am child minding while she is with me. It's been about a month that i haven't seen or heard from Chelsee. It turns out to have been a problem with there internet well at least it's now back on now again.

I had a request from someone using Chelsee's name and i ignored it as it looked like someone wanting to be my friend. You know the kind like the emails that go around now and again. In fact it was Chelsee and her Mum trying to get in touch with me. Much has happened that is family stuff so nothing to be said.

I often take pictures of Chelsee using Print screen from my Laptop and the picture below shows tonights photo. Well tonight Chelsee did the same to me and sent me a picture all the way from Liverpool of me. I take a picture, edit it while we are talking and it's great to see the look on her face when she gets the picture on her machine.

Chelsee is reading this as i have just put on another picture. The one with her smiling is the one i have just taken.

Hows that Chelsee done before you have finished reading.