Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Monday, 24 June 2013

A window without bars but not prison bars.

For to long i have wanted a window over looking the valley to one side of my house.  I had a window made some time ago but not a window that opens due to my neighbours next door. In Portugal if you do not own the land next door to your house and you want a window then you have to have bars up so you can't access your neighbours property.

I found out the people who own the ruin next door to me and spoke to a lawyer in the local town. I asked that he speaks to the people who own the land next to me. I still have had no answer but i live in hope.

I knew it would be a gamble having the window made and even more of a gamble having the whole cut in the wall ready for when the lawyer tells me he has spoken to the people involved and it's OK to have a window without bars.

The picture below shows the view i have wanted and when i get to finish the window opening all will be complete. A lady had a house built at the top of the lane in my village and Derek a friend acted as an interpreter when the builder was last in the village.

I asked if he would cut a hole in the wall the size of the window, this he agreed to do. Today unexpected he arrived at my house and left one of his workers to do the job. It only took about an hour to cut the hole and that's all i wanted as i would  complete all the finishing touches myself and now i can. The price for this view was about 70€ for the window and to cut the whole 25€ now that's a small price to pay for the view i will soon have.

What do i need now to complete the kitchen well the lawyer to get me permission for my window without bars.

Got my kicks at Route 66

I had told a friend about a bar called Route 66 on the N17 outside of Arganil on the road to the border. I had settled down to watch a TV program and i was half way through it when i was called to go out. We went to the Route 66, last time it hadn't opened long and it was not very busy but what do you expect when something new opens.

Tonight was great Steve and Mandy were singing and i must admit it was professional were i expected a lot less. It was one of the best nights i have had since i came here nearly two years ago. Many of the audience also sang and they were very good, i was very shocked as i expected them to be like you hear in pubs in the UK.

After a while a group of young Portuguese people came in all aged in the early 20's and not the age group you would expect to enjoy the type of music played. One of the Portuguese asked for Mambo 5 to be played little did he know that he would end up on stage singing it. It really was a good night.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

France and back and the turmoil along the way.

I recently went to France to collect someone and some of there belonging. All went well till i got held up in a  incident on the motorway south of a place called Burgos in Spain on the way to the border with France.

After stopping for fuel when i got back to the motorway the road was blocked and the only way was back to the service area. After an hour a couple of cars found a way out of the service area via what was little more than a track. At this point my satnav was of no use but i found after what seemed an age a main road. As it was by now 6am in the morning there was no traffic and the road signs meant nothing to me, until i came across a sign for Santander over 140 km away. The roads all along the road kept pointing me in a direction that i did not recognise and where only small roads that looked like they only went to villages.

As i was getting closer i saw a sign for Bilboa and i knew that it was in the direction of France and with this i put my satnav back onto the address i was gong to. After a little while i came across thick fog and i took some pictures and it was far worse than it looked.

In a break in the weather i saw some cliffs that looked like they had cave dwellings in them. Then it was back to the fog but it was soon gone and then i tried to catch up with the time i had lost.

I got to my friends address or at least the address that i was given and the satnav details i was given got me to a house i expected to be where i should be. I had asked that they use Google Earth and find the house and then zoom in to reveal the satnav setting at the bottom of the page. The settings he gave me where to a property well over a kilometre away. I asked a couple if they knew the address that i was given but they couldn't help. After 5 hours i was sat in my car at the corner of a road that ended up being where i should have been. It was now 5 to 7pm and at 7 pm i was giving up to go home. I couldn't phone because i had used up my credit because of the high charges for calling from a Portuguese phone to a phone in another country and for that reason i couldn't phone them.

With 5 minutes to go i was speaking to a couple who had tried to help me early in the afternoon. While speaking to them again a car approached to turn into the road and guess what it was the people who i was to see. Five hours waiting and as i was ready to go home they appeared pity after 5 hours i was ready to head of back home and give up on the job.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

What a load of Bull

I have just had a few days away going to a little village in France near to a place called Bergerac. On the way back on the motorway in the region were the bulls that are used for fighting come. Along the motorway there are bulls like in the pictures below but as you can see these are no ordinary bulls they are painted bulls. Well you have to take a chance and stop to get some photos don't you.

Yes that is were i made a mistake, as you can see the bottom picture is not quite right. As i was taking a picture i saw a car stopping behind mine and as i turned  i saw the car. Only an unmarked Police car lights flashing with red and blue lights all over the place. I put the camera back in the car waiting for him to get out and book me.  I was wrong he was gesturing to me to go and i didn't need to be told twice so i got in my car and got on my way. 

Now had he got my car on camera and would deal with things like booking me at a later time. Or did he let me just go, i will have to expect that i may get a fine through the post at some point in the future, who knows.

Monday, 10 June 2013

More veranda and the decking is partly laid.

Much has been done on the veranda but not what can be seen. Now that the base is complete it's time to think about the deck. I only have half of the decking that i need because i went through every plank that was on the pallet and only found 17 planks that i was happy with and could work with.

The whole base has to be treated with wood preserver before i can lay the deck but as we have had some rain i want to wait to let the timber dry out.

I am happy with how i have got on up to this point but i don't have a clue how to start to put on a banister and corner posts but that's a whole new story.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Get your kicks on Route 66

While my friend was paying for his petrol i noticed in the door of the garage a sign for the opening of a bar by other friends of mine. Steve and Mandy where opening a bar called Route 66 and it has a music theme. When i last met Steve and Mandy they were in a market in Arganil getting some plants for the outside of the bar.

As they had opened the day before we decided to pay a visit. Steve had explained that the bar was on the N17 between Arganil and Tabua so we set of. We only knew that the bar was on the main road and we expected to see a sign outside. We drove and drove until it was obvious we had passed it so we went back to the garage to get the directions from the sign on the garage door.

We set off again but this time we took the advert that had been taken of the door with us. On the advert it said the N17 and at the 63 kilometre maker. Sure enough  at the 63 kilometre marker there was the bar.

Steve and Mandy have been running music nights since they arrived in Portugal so it seemed a good idea to get there own bar. Friday nights are live music nights and next Friday there are three live bands. Photos and more information will follow so check back soon. Below is a link to there Facebook page.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

More veranda

I went for more timber this morning to carry on with my veranda. The problem at the timber yard is that most of the timber is twisted, Chico the owner is a dab hand at cutting and plaining down timber to get the size you want. I wanted 2.5 metre long and 8inchs wide, Chico cut it out of a plank 3 metre long and over a foot wide. At the finish he had cut just what i wanted now for the rest as i wanted 6 lengths of timber, Chico is a master at using his machines and getting just what you want.

It didn't take long and i was home and getting on with my soon to be veranda. As you can see from the pictures i have made a good start today. The frame is now almost complete i have just a couple of pieces left to do and the base is finished.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Well the veranda is now underway, work has started

Today i went to collect timber i  had ordered from a local timber firm. One length of timber was not straight so the timber guy had to cut a new 3 metre length but i was able to get the order and get it home.

I had to start by getting one piece in position and then start to mark of all the rest of the timbers. I had wanted to get more done but as it was dark i had to stop. It took a while to get the first main upright in position and ready to but once done it should make doing all the rest easy. With look now that the first corner is done it won't be long and the whole base should be done.

 Well today i got a good start and now i need to go for more timber.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Waste not want not.

The title says it all. It's criminal in today's world to waste food at a time of food banks for the people to poor to buy food for themselves and there families. Nothing is said about the smoking or alcoholic drink they waste there money on. After 20 years as a drinks retailer i can back up my claims about those who put drink first before there family.

I feed my chickens as much a varied diet that i can. A normal day is Rice, cabbage, carrot, potato. onion, bread and fruit plus they also get commercial chicken food. A normal day may be banana skins and now even Strawberries, some times you get an odd strawberry that has been attacked by a slug or something else. When i have strawberries i keep the tops and any bruised bits for the chicks.

So you can see that i waste nothing and the chicks certainly enjoy the diet they get. Below is a picture of the trimmings from the last lot of strawberries that i had.