Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Food for free and all my own work

The weather has now settled down and it's blue skies every day. My garden or estate as i call it is doing well and today i took some pictures to share, sadly the fruit is not for sharing only the pictures.

I also have orange, lemon, lime, plum and cherry trees that were here when i got my house. But more about that another time.

Up to now i have had two good bowls of strawberries and there are some in my fridge for later.

These are my red currants and although only a few next year should see plenty from both plants.

Last year i only got a handful of blueberries but this year it's looking good. I have also planted another blueberry for next year.

Now  for my favourite, Black cherries. I planted two cherry trees last year that were little more  than twigs. They have grown well and both have fruit on but only a couple of cherries for now.

Next year i expect to be picking much more than this year. I didn't expect much this year ass both trees were only small but i can wait.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Little Emilita

I never got to meet the lady who owned my house before me as she had passed away a number of years ago. I wanted to have a name plate on my house and decided to call it after the little old lady . The name i chose was Casita Emilita, Emilita was the " nickname " that Emillia was known by.

Today friends who own a house in my village came to stay and they had a photo of Emillia for me to borrow. I scanned the picture so as to have a record of who owned the house before me.

This picture allows me to know a bit more about my house and the life that was here before i moved to enjoy what this house has to offer me.

These tree trunks could be used to build a bridge

There is a club near me that has been taken over by the local Brits on a Friday night in a village close by. The reason it is used is because we can all drive to it and leave when it's time to go home by not going onto the main road not that any of us drink to much but it's better than being stopped by the local Plod.

A local Brit runs the bar on behalf of the local Portuguese who normally run the bar. While we use the bar a number of the local villages have started to come in and one of them is the local who is responsible for the logging that goes on in the area. It was this guy i asked with help from other to get me a couple of Tree trunks for my veranda. I wanted two trunks about three metres in lenght and i was quoted 27€ and that seemed a good deal. I had wanted 20cm in diameter  but when delivered the two trunks where about double what i needed, they are so heavy i could not even lift one end.

Now good as these are they are to big and heavy so tonight i will have to ask the guy to change them for a couple not quite as wide. These have to be lifted to be placed onto the locating bars in the ground.

That's all for now

Thursday, 16 May 2013

I now have the table and chairs now all i need is a veranda

For a long time i had been watching a table and chairs in a local supermarket that would look nice on my veranda.  I went to that supermarket on my way back from the airport on Wednesday to do some shopping. I had a look through the offer paper that was on show as i walked out only to see that the table and chairs were on offer at 25% off. I had just done a big shop as i had a 10% discount voucher and just spent it when i could have had the table and chairs as well so i would have got the table and chairs as well.

It was to good an offer to miss bearing in mind i had waited so long to get my veranda started so it seemed the right thing to do.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

I got grapes and have to wait about 4 years before there ready.

Last weekend i got myself two grape vines and i was lucky to get some Chardonnay grape vines. I went back today to the same garden centre/ builders merchant and after looking through the bucket with the grape vines in i found they had some Shiraz or as they were marked Syrah. Syrah is how they are called in France, Spain and Portugal. It was lucky that i knew them to be as i know them Shiraz.

I hope to be able to find a good spot in full sun for them and give them lots of care. Always a but, it seems that it can be 4 years before they will produce a decent amount of grapes. I have nothing better to do with my time than be patient and wait.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Granite window sill supplied and now installed

Until i can get the builder to take out part of the wall and put in my new window i am held up. I have just got myself a 3 metre wooden beam to become the anchor for the veranda and needs to be anchored to the wall.

Until then i have had to make do with going to the local Granite factory this week to order a granite sill for my window in the kitchen. I drew the shape i wanted and i was told to go back the next day. The next day my sill was cut and ready for me. Knowing the kind of prices in the UK i know the kind of price that i would be charged but i am not in the UK i am in Central Portugal. For a custom made sill i paid 10€. Now that's a bragain.

Cafe Girassol

This is number 300. 300 times i have put something about my new life here in the sun.

On Friday the 10th myself and 3 friends went to the Cafe/bar i have mentioned a few times before. It was Pie and Mash night. Now that may not seem interesting but the place was again fully booked But when you phone up and say you are Scouse Pete then making a booking is no problem.

Claire who does the cooking was as usual stuck in the kitchen preparing our feast, and feast it was. Pies i have had many times but nothing like i had this evening. There was Steak and Kidney, Steak and Ale, Chicken Tikka and the last i forgot as none of the 4 of us had it.

Between the 4 of us we all had a meal plus 2 litre of red wine and a bottle of Coke. This all came to just 32€, were can you get value like that. 

To make the service what it should be Dominic the waiter does not hover like i have seen before.

The next time it will be a Mexican night an i am booked in already.

Do they go or do they stay. Chickens

I was given a couple of chickens from a friend and these chickens are about 2 years old at a guess. When i got my 2 new chickens i didn't expect that i would have a chicken war on my hands. The old 2 are very violent towards the 2 new chicks. I  have kept them apart but i can't carry on like this for ever so i decided to get 2 more chickens and get rid of the 2 old chicks. I promised my 2 old chicks to a friend who lost his to a fox but, another but now i have 6 chicks the fighting is not as bad as it was. What do i do sit it out and see if things get better or keep my promise.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Corner sink and now a toilet

I have a number of things on the go at the moment, my plants and trees, my kitchen, my lounge, my veranda and on top of that i was in Leyroy Merlin on Monday. As i walked in they have promotions close to the door, this time it was Toilets. While i was in Liverpool a little while ago i found a corner sink i had been after well now i have found my toilet, There had been an offer sometime ago and the one i was interested in was 48€. As i walked along the row of toilets on offer i saw one that looked good but it may have had a wrong price it said 38€.

When i got to the checkout the toilet was scanned and it came up at 38€, i couldn't get one for that in the UK. So now i have my sink and toilet all i need now is time to get everything done. 

Chickens fighting

Last Thursday the 2nd i went to a local market to get a couple of chickens. One reason was that if anything should happen to one of my present chick's then that would leave one on it's own.

Not speaking Portuguese i wandered round and round looking for someone i may know who could ask a few questions for me. I didn't really know one chicken from another but as someone was buying two chickens and there were eggs on the top of the cage i decided to buy two. The person in front of me paid with a 20€ note but the seller had no change so the buyer handed another 2€ and got 10€ change so the seller can add up. When it was my turn i asked for two chickens from the same cage and handed over 22€ expecting 10€ change. The seller a lady didn't give me any change and tried to say that i gave her a 10€ note and 2€ coins. After me trying to give the chickens back i ended up getting my change.

I kept the new chickens in a separate part of the chicken house for a day before i let them out. One of my present chickens has been bullying my new chickens and i don't know what to do to calm things down. I am putting them in together again to see if things calm down if not i am lost as to what to do.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

First you cut a template.

 I am working in my kitchen at the moment an i came to cut a panel to fit up to the at the ridge beam on the ceiling. As the beam is part of a tree trunk it is not straight. I first had to cut a shape of the beam then make a template and when the template was OK i transferred the template to a piece of plasterboard.

After the plasterboard was found to be perfect i then cut out the panel that was to go up to the ceiling and it fit perfect first time.

The picture below was of the panel after i had fitted it to the ceiling, all it needed was to have the filler skimmed over the joints to create an invisible joint.

Now i am waiting for the window for the wall where the cooker is going to go so i will come back to finishing the pasterboard  in the kitchen but i am going to start doing the inside walls in the lounge so i am ready for when i get a wood burner.

Well that's two walls complete, i am now held up by the window to go into the wall on the left. The window will give me a great view when i am cooking as the cooker will be in the middle of the window.