Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Thursday, 28 November 2013

What a stroke of bad luck

What a stroke of bad luck sums it all up. I got my car back today after a short time in a great garage for repairs. during the last week i have had 30kilo of spices delivered and they all need repackaging into smaller sizes.

All packages have to have the rear label in Portuguese and that's not really a problem once designed i keep them for another time. But a bad but. The new labels delivered a little while ago were a different size. The problem being ever label had to be redesigned to fit the new label size. After a couple of hours work all was done now time for dinner and then get started printing. I always print in back as it's cheaper if mistakes are made and they do get made. I had three new print cartridges sent so i had spares ready for when i run out. Page one done great only another 59 pages to print Oh no my printer stopped working and it was the blue cartridge was the one at fault and i can't explain why.

The local internet cafe is open at 10am in the morning so i will have to go there to get my printing done. It's a fifty mile round trip to get a new print cartridge or a refill for my printer. Oh well what will can i do now with my time. Mmm

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Quickest parcel delivery yet

For a long time i have used a company called Pharosparcel's use UPS for there delivery. On Monday at 5.11pm a parcel was collected in Liverpool  and at 5.36pm a parcel was collected from Manchester bound for me in Portugal.

Normally it's 5 days for delivery but this time UPS did a fine job at 11.45am this morning much less than 3 days i had both parcels delivered. Now it's that's not good i don't know what is.

There is another parcel waiting for a couple of other bits waiting to make up a Red cross food parcel. My next parcel will have, Router bits, Cam belt a parcel from my Mum oxo cubes, cheese, tea bags and more. Red cross parcel is a nickname that is used by use Brits here in Sunny Portugal for any parcel that has food in it. No disrespect to the Red Cross.

Tree felling is now almost done.

Work is going on very well picking my Olives and here are a few pictures of progress. Progress is slow as getting up a ladder and cutting branches of a tall tree at my age is not a speedy task to undertake.

This tree has had it's branches removed and all it needs now is for the what is left to be cut down to about 2 metre's tall. All the branches will be cut up and get used for firewood when it's had time to dry.

My ladder is in front of the tree i am cutting down to get the olives from. To the right you can see my cherry tree, the olive tree was as tall as the cherry but not any more.

Here you can see the branches stacked up ready to be cut down for fire wood. All the thin bits will just be put on a bonfire along with the leaves.

Monday, 11 November 2013

I'm not old really I'm not

For the last few weeks we have been getting language lessons from the local primary teacher. The teacher also teaches English to a group of elderly woman who when we met them they seem to be getting on very well in learning English.

If only we and i mean the local Brit community could make progress as well as the local Portuguese women are. We recently went on a walk for Breast Cancer along with the local school children and the local Elderly people from the local old folks home and our fellow language pupils.

We along with our language pupils where invited to a Chestnut festival in a village 32k away and the local Camara " Council " paid or the event and supplied a coach to take use there. When we arrived or the coach meeting use where all the people who live in the old folks home across the road from where to coach was  waiting.

The band played on.

When we arrived at Alvares where we were being taken it turns out to be the old folks home and infant school. Something tells me i have been taken on an old folks outing. Now OK i am soon to be 65 years old in coming  March but i am not old or i don't feel old enough to be going on old peoples days out.

No Health and safety, no fire brigade, no safety barrier in fact everything that you wouldn't get in the UK. But this is how you cook chestnuts the Portuguese way.

Enough of my moaning. When we arrived there was a fire on the ground a circle about 10ft round and the chestnuts were on top of the flaming straw. The ladies who work at the home had prepared plenty of food room cheese sandwiches, ham sandwiches two types of sponge cake and as many chestnuts you could eat. Wine, coffee and a local type of spirit called XXXXXXX. name to follow.

What would health and safety make of this i wonder. Naked flames no fire protection or safety boots. It could only happen in Portugal.

Entertainment was from a band of local musicians who played local type music. There where a number of very old people who where dancing with the help of carers

Sunday, 10 November 2013

To much spam and junk.

Like everybody reading this Blog i use e-mail. My first e-mail account goes back about 20 years and as it was my name i had given it out a bit to much. Over the years i had a number of times had e-mails that had a virus in them. To this day i don't accept an e-mail if i don't know who it's from for that very reason. While i used windows i would always run a virus checker first. Due to the problems over potential virus attachments i ditched windows a long time ago for a safer operating system called Linux in fact Ubuntu Linux.

Anyway back to e-mails, Due to this problem i opened a number of e-mail accounts for various reasons. But recently Yahoo and Hotmail  accounts i had gave me problems again and in a couple of days i found that on one Yahoo account i had over 157 spam  e-mails. It was a constant problem that had been going on for to long and needed to be dealt with. My simple answer to this was to contact all those who had reason to e-mail me with new e-mail address's.

I have now deleted 5 e-mail address's from Yahoo and Hotmail. My original e-mail with Netscape was reasonably easy to delete. I also found that Hotmail was also easy to delete. Yahoo has been difficult to delete and i still have 2 to close it's no good just not logging in. E-mails from people you know will still arrive but what you need is for the e-mail to be sent back so that they know the e-mail couldn't be delivered.

My advice has always been to have a personal e-mail account for those closest to you then an e-mail for your extended family and then one to use for general use. That normally would be safe but you still can't be sure that those closer to you haven't had there e-mail accounts compromised. 

One way problems arrive is when someone adds your e-mail to an e-mail they send to a group of friends. Each in the group also get your e-mail and it only takes one of them to have a virus of some kind on there machine and that's when problems start.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

It's that time of year again a time to Remember

It's that time of year again. Everybody has there It's that time of year again when they remember an event, a loved one. For me it's all about how i have changed over the years.

In my teens every Sunday Dad would always have on the TV World at war. Dad was not glorifying war but was remembering his role in that bloody time in his life. Being a teen growing up to take my part in life didn't want to hear about the past. It was around the time i started work, i had money in my pocket, had a social life, meet girls why did i want to know about a war that as over and had been for about 20 years.

As Dad grew older i began to see that it was pride i could see, pride in that he took part to give me this new life. Going to see the Rolling Stones, meeting the girl who was and still is the love of my life all came at a price. Millions died so i could enjoy this new life as i grow older i now understand what others had done for me.

As the years pasted Dad became active in the various veterans associations always leading being, secretary, treasurer, etc.Dad took pride once again in helping others, some of the veterans needed help others where able to help. To Dad they where all the same they had had an active role like he had all those years ago.

It is with pride that i remember that Dad had three campaign  medals. These medals where only given to those who where on the first day of an invasion for example the Normandy landing. My Dad was on that first day and i am so proud of the part he paid on that bloody day.

Now years later one of my son's joined the Royal Marines. How proud i was to see him pass out and take his part in defending this proud country. As the years have passed i think more and more about Remembrance Day and those who fell and those who survived. The last few years i have made a point of stopping at 11am on the 11th November to pay my respect. This year as i sit here this is the second Remembrance day that my son has retired from the Royal Marines after 13 years of active service. 

This year again i will remember Dad and pay respect to him and those who paid the price that gave me this wonderful life.

Skype and four generations of my family

I use Skype a lot to speak to family mainly and friends. I normally use Skype to take picture of who i am speaking to as i have done today while talking to my daughter in law Margaret. My Mum mentioned that my sister was coming to visit last week and knowing that Mum lives on her own i know how she looks forward to visits. Mum mentioned that my sisters eldest daughter was also calling with her children.

As a family we all live far and wide so this is the first time i have seen four generations of our family. It seems like only a short time ago that we where all at home before we moved on to start our own lives and look at us now. This is one of my favourite family photos and thank you all.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

How to pick olives the Scouse way.

It's getting time to pick the olives that have been growing on my trees. Look on Youtube at how people pick olives what can be more boring than shaking trees or climbing ladders.

My answer was to cut the branches down and then pick the grapes. There was also another reason and it was that the trees had never been pruned for many years. Everything i have been told is that you need to prune back a lot almost to the point where they had been pruned before.

The bonus is that almost all of the branches can be kept and they will go on the log burner over the winter. The second bonus is the olives, i won't get enough to take to the olive press to be pressed into olive oil but i can process them and put them in jars for sale at the market.

The final bonus is that growing all over the trees and branches is Lichen. Lichen is what railway model makers use to put on the backgrounds they make for the railway displays. Lichen is used to make trees and bushes and i can use all i have on my olive trees.

Not bad for a few hours work. Now to salt them and empty the water for the next seven days. 

This is Lichen. People want to buy this so who am i to refuse.