Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Genuine free ranging chickens all the space they want.

With the amount of rain over the last few months the chickens have been living in what was more like a mud bath. To help i started to let them out to roam the land around there chicken run.Over the last week i have with the help of my son built a much large estate for them. They must now have about 30 square meters of free space, the only downside is that apart from the doors into the coop there is no way to keep anything out only the doors so each night they have to be securely locked in.

There new chicken run is only a meter high and as they have had there wings clipped they can't get over. As it gets dull before dark they go inside to spend the night and maybe lay an egg. They now have no outer cage to protect them so before i could go over any time of the night to lock the door now as soon as it's dark they have to be locked in.

The down side of letting them roam free before they got there new home they got to my onions, robbing little B*****ds. Now they are kept in each and every day and what's left of my onions are safe.

Counting down to a trip to the UK

Well i am preparing for a trip back to the UK.To see my Mum and as many of my family as i can get to see in the 20 days i will be there.

Since i was last there my Mum has had in the last fifteen months four hip operations. Her recovery has been slow but recovering from so much surgery would make recovery slow for almost everybody and Mum is no different. I speak to Mum often on the phone and also on Skype on her Ipad. Mum never complains she just shows how brave she has been but now she has to use sticks to aid her walking. She is a remarkable person and she would shame all her family, me for one i could never go through what Mum has.

We are all proud of you  you have shown what courage really is.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Chickens and Ronnie Briggs.

Ronnie Briggs the Great Train Robber was good at escaping and so are my Chickens again!!. Again today even though i have placed a barrier across the entrance to the land they got away. They went straight for my onions again, maybe a big rope around one of there legs would keep them on the land. What they forget is they have an area of probably up to an acre but no they want my onion.

Well i finally started to put an end to there escape bids. Today with my son we started to put in the uprights for the new chicken enclosure. So they can't get out ofter this they will also have there wings clipped and if they get out after that then it's into the curry.

We had to put the poles in as deep as we could and to make a hole i used what's called a wrecking bar a huge steel bar. I was lucky i had two wrecking bars until today while my son was hitting a bar to make a deep hole the bar snapped in two. Well we just had to carry on with my big bar but " yes a but " i borrowed a sledge hammer so we could get the poles in good and deep. The handle on the sledge hammer broke and we ended up with a hammer head and a shaft. So of we go to Arkwrights i will explain about Arkwrights another time. We got a new hammer shaft but also a new sledge hammer but no any old sledge hammer but the grad daddy of sledge hammers. This one is the biggest sledge hammer i have seen, with this we soon got all the poles set into the ground and job done.

My mate from up the lane had a load of planks that were going to be burnt but after i said i had a job for some he said take what you like. Three planks together formed a door but not any old door this was so heavy i couldn't lift it. My wheel barrow made short work of moving the door but if you know what the Portuguese square nails are like you will know how hard it is to remove them. I used an cutting tool with a twelve inch cutting disc. After  nails are knocked in they where then bent over flat nice tidy job but a bugger to remove. Nothing is made to be easy anyway once done i started to split the planks down into strips 2inchs wide so i could build the new chicken enclosure.

That's enough for now back tomorrow with photos etc.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Spare a thought for others.

I wrote about my wanting to contact my daughter Sarah from my first wife. I sent two letters that day and i know one has arrived so i presume that so has the one over Sarah.

It also brings to mind this is not an uncommon problem when a marriage breaks down.

Some of the people who take the time to read my Blog should consider that others in a similar situation that i find myself in are lonely even with new families, new homes, a new life but something is missing. In my case her name is Sarah. But what about the others, tonight i will be sparing a few moments before i go to sleep and think about those like Sarah and I who are apart. I am not a religious person but who knows what may happen.

I am blessed with a good life, good home " well getting there and a good family. Only one thing is needed. So please consider a few moments for others.

Steps, Foundations and more done.

I started last week to put in the footing for my veranda but i didn't stop there. I have also created by the cellar door a place where my gas bottle will go for cooking and the showing downstairs and that's on the left of the door. I also made a couple of stairs to make the job tidy when going downstairs. Finally i with my son's help cleared the ground in front of the door and covered it in stone chipping, now to me that's a result that i am proud of.

I won't win any awards for design or anything else but when the veranda is built above it will all fall into place.

While i was out getting timber i saw three Telegraph poles at the side of the road in a little village. It may be worth trying to find who owns them as they would make all the framework of my veranda. But for now i am happy with what i have done this week.

When it stops raining i will be able to clear the tools and blocks i left that you can see in the picture but who cares.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Chickens eat my oinions

This week has again been a good week again. I have my eldest son staying with me and it's been a long time since we had quality time together. But it takes someone staying that makes you realise that things have been neglected as  have been enjoying my new relaxed life. I have put up five shelves in the area i use for my kitchen only to find that it was an easy job to do and didn't take much time why did it take having a visitor to get something done. The hard part was getting the wood, the person there only worked there and he speaks a little English and said i would have to come back when the boss was in. I then went to another wood merchant only to find that he was closed. This went on for 3 days when i finally got the wood i wanted. The jobs now done and it means i have all my Herbs and Spices on show on there own shelve. I even have a shelve to stand my plates up on real posh.

For so long jobs i could have done where not done because life was so easy and whatever it was that needed doing cold always wait till tomorrow. 

This week i have been letting the chickens out to roam wherever they wanted. That was OK till they came of the land and came down the lane and started to scratch about in one of my raised beds that i had onions growing in it. But this week i have been getting an egg a day so i can't be to angry.

I now have three trailer loads of fresh horse manure for my raised beds that i made last year and it has taken me till now till i got my manure.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Veranda foundations started.

Another good day's work done. Yesterday i started to get the foundations ready for the veranda i plan to build and in the near future. Gary and his sister Cathy are due over in May and Gary has a couple of acres of land with plenty of trees. Gary has said that i can have a couple of trees that i will use to form the main uprights for the veranda and also the main beams to go across the front and sides to form the veranda base. Between the two bases will be steps going down to the cellar. The next job will be to make the steps while it is nice outside in the sun.

In this picture you can see the locating steel rod and also the brick that will form an upright to sit behind the timber upright. 

This corner is under where the veranda will be and it covers a lot of builder rubbish from when the roof was repaired. This is where the gas bottles will be kept and it makes this spot nice and tidy.

This picture may not look like it is below ground level but it is and it has a piece of steel in it to locate the main veranda upright.

Monday, 4 February 2013

How's this for a meal?

I am complete novice at keeping chickens. I made them nice nesting boxes and have done everything i can to give them a good life. Sorry the picture came out bad but what you can see is two cabbage leaves with there morning meal ready to be given to them. They had carrot peeling, boiled cabbage, potato peelings, boiled rice and crushed egg shells. During the day they get plenty of greens to eat as well. They always have there own chicken food but they seem to ignore that in favour of what i prepare for them.

They have now started to lay eggs but not regular every few days but they lay on the floor outside and the floor of there chicken house but not in the nesting boxes. What's so wrong with a nesting box i don't know.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Time to admit what a fool i have been

Some or most of use are proud of our lives and of what we have done during our life. Some of us have regrets about things we have done or not done during or life. Me i am not different than most other people and it's a story i am not proud of but it's time i faced up to what i have done wrong.

I had a daughter while married to my first wife and one Christmas i called with my youngest two children to see if she wanted to visit use during the Christmas holidays.  My daughter said no but the way she said it told me she wanted nothing to do with me or that's how i felt her reply meant. She was in her mid teens and growing up to be a young women and it was a choice she made. I left telling her that she could contact me and she knew how but she never.

Being a stubborn person that i am i waited but she never did get in touch. I should have gone back but just waited expecting her to call . That has been the worst thing i have ever done and the biggest regret in my life. How stupid i have been, i have missed more of my daughters life than i saw when she was young. Never a day goes by that i don't think of her and even the day i moved to Portugal i drove passed her mums house in the hope that i may see her but sadly i didn't.

I am sending a letter to my daughter in case after all this time she should want to have contact with me. I have had to live with my actions when i walked away from her but i should have been the one to make the first move. Is it to late who knows but i have written the letter and on Monday i will post it  to her mum and let her mum consider whether to pass the letter on or if it's best that she gets on with her life without me.