Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Back to fuel issues

I left Portugal after filling up at about 62cents per litre. In Spain I found the price similar to those in Portugal as both countries had reduced the prices in line with the cost of crude oil. When I got to France I first saw prices at over 75cents per litre, I went past thinking this was just a service station that was expensive. Soon I found prices up to 95cents per litre and I was lucky to find a service station at only 85cents per litre and I was happy to pay it as petrol was about 139cents per litre.

I have found a site called My gpl France where is has a list if all French LPG auto gas stations and also the prices. The site says the average price is 72.9cents per litre so if that's the price where was it when I came through? And I used the main roads and not the motorways where I know Gas would be expensive.

The price of fuel has gone down in the UK, Spain and Portugal so whats wrong with France?

If that wasn't enough then i went into a MacDonald's for a medium coke, in the UK it is about £1 for a medium coke in France the same medium coke is 2.50€.

At another MacDonald's i asked for a cheeseburger but with only cheese on the burger now how easy is that. The girl even made it look like she understood what i asked for well when the burger arrived it had all the crap on that  i didn't want on it. When it came time to complain all of a sudden she couldn't understand me so i just walked out in disgust. Two mistakes out of two 100% bad record. No it gets worse.

I wanted to use the free wifi and as i was just outside of Bordeaux when i saw another MacDonald's and again i called in for a cheeseburger while i used the wifi.  This time it was no different to the last one i went in, again i was given the incorrect order but this time when i complained i was told that i should learn the language and then she turned away. A complete disgrace, i had heard of other with similar experience's while travelling through France and it seems that the same happens if you want anything that requires a bit of work.

Reading this you  would think that i have just been looking for fault in the way i was dealt with by those in France. The comments above are just about things that went wrong.  I will do a separate post about the Frence people who i found to be very nice to me.

How not to be served

While travelling back through France I had to stop for fuel a number of times. Using a car that runs on gas you only find one pump at each service station unlike those for petrol where you may have more at all stations. I was having trouble connecting the pump and a service station worker came over to help. After saying thank you in French and shaking hands I went in to pay and join the queue to pay. When it was my turn I was able to say the pump number in French and I then handed over my money. To my surprise the assistant just put the receipt down on the counter and soon the change was banged down. When I pointed to what she had done she just ignored me and served the person behind me.

Yesterday while travelling back through France i again went to a service station for autogas. As the system usages a different type of adaptor than the one fitted to my car a staff member saw me having difficult time and came over to help me. 

What a silly girl she was.

Who want's snow?

I am in Liverpool for Christmas and New Year after being invited by one of my sons  who invited me to spend Christmas and New Year with him and his Fiance. While at my Mum's it started snowing and I took a picture with my new Ipad but there was no option to upload a picture until i could transfer it to my desktop.

While i have been in Portugal now four coming on to four year i haven't heard or seen snow rumour. The picture shows the driving snow in Liverpool one evening while i was at my mum's for tea. Come the  morning the snow was gone after the forcast was to be freezing conditions following the snow thankfully the snow didn't freeze. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Chicken Tikka Masala

On the 11th December a new restaurant opened some way away from where i live. I met the new owners at a couple of markets i had been to and i was invited to a pre opening but i got the date wrong and missed the pre opening just my luck.

I had been contacted to supply Spices to the restaurant after meeting the owners at one of the markets i go to and i looked forward to the opening. I delivered an order of Spices today and stayed to have a meal in the new restaurant. I could not have imagined what i was to expect when i arrived. The restaurant was as good as any you would expect to find in any city in the UK.

The menu thankfully was not as you would find in may places in the UK where it would be many pages long. One i had been in was 6 pages and after spending a long time reading i decided to leave. This menu selection at RestaurantePassion  was just great two pages with more than enough to choose from. My choice was Chicken Tikka Masala and wow i have never had chicken that you could cut with a spoon. The chicken was so good and the portion size was bigger than you would get in the UK. Then came desert Home made coconut ice cream on a bed of sliced pineapple with toasted almonds  and the zest of an orange. I have been spoilt tonight but now i need to start to cook food this good for myself.

I have been to many restaurants that serve a set menu and some i have been in the food was not as hot as you would expect. But it seems to be accepted by the locals. One well known restaurant where i live always serve chips that are almost cold how they manage to cook almost cold chips i don't know but they do.

Congratulations Lesley Dave and family with your new restaurant.

Here are the Longitude and Latitude setting for those with a satnav that takes these setting.

40 18 54 77 N
07 53 48 68 W

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Granite Granite everywhere

This week that kind Mr David Cameron paid me my winter fuel allowance and the pictures below show just what i did with it. I got my granite as you can see so Mr Cameron thanks.

The one thing i was worried about was getting all the sections of flue together and through the ceiling and the floor below. When i put the granite down on the floor i found the floor was not quite level, it only took a few hours to get the floor nice and level and it was time to put all the granite together and in place securely.

In a local village there is a retired Portuguese builder who is going to put the flue up and out of the roof. There is no way i would even try to get up there and i don't even have a clue what to door use to water proof the flue when it comes out of the roof. So i am happy to accept help.

A bonus when my fire is being used each day will be no more cold cups of tea.

Granite from the local granite factory. Even though i used graph paper to draw what i wanted the right hand piece of granite was cut wrong but swiftly replaced with another cut.

This weekend i should be lighting my fire for the first time.

You can see the insulation i used so that the heat from the flue can't do any harm. Even over my gas hob i couldn't get the insulation to light so i am happy that the flue is insulated OK.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Back to the log burner

Now that the internal walls have been completed i can now complete the install of my log burner. I have sanded the floor where the granite hearth will go and the hearth and the granite surround have been ordered. All i need to do now is to is paint the walls and i can put the granite in place.

The floor will sanded over the weekend and then it will be varnished and job done.
A local has a friend in the next village who will run all the flue pipework out through the roof. This is not something i want to do or even try as it has to be done right first time.

While all this sanding, rubbing down has been going on the house has never looked so sad and covered with dust. But a good couple of hours spent cleaning will soon have it looking nice again.

Loads done but no pictures

Much as i would like to put some more pictures for you to see i am only doing preparation work at the moment. I am no longer having a bath in my bathroom i am going to have a wet room. I have a tiler who did work for my friend up the lane from me who gave me a little advice as to preparing my walls for the tiles. Some of the cement render on the walls was a little loose and i was told it would be best to remove all the cement render and have the walls re- rendered. It's this i am doing at the moment, it's all OK taking of the loose render but the rest is being just a little difficult to remove.

Going into the bathroom from the new doorway i have cut means a step down of about 5inch's. The tiler said that it would be better to bring up the floor level so all i would have to do is walk in instead of stepping down into the bathroom. I am going to have to cut a hole in the floor so i can relocate the WC in the opposite corner to the sink and this will give me the best use of space. As a wet room i will be able to use most of the floor to put the under floor heating pad down.

All the cable for the under floor heating, extractor fan and the lights have been set into the wall. So i have got a lot done but not enough to show you but soon i will have pictures to show what all this time has been spent on.

Friday, 14 November 2014


On the left hand side of the screen i have a link to my other Blog . The Blog is really for people who see me at the markets as i have a list of all the Spices I stock  on the left hand side of the page. In time i will change the list so i can add the prices but at the moment due to lack of space i have only listed the product i have for sale. I now carry 100 items in stock and more will arrive in the very near future.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

In print at last

A long time ago maybe as much as 25 years ago i meet my best mates eldest son  who was into computers in a big way. His dad told me he was going to write a book no problem there, all teenagers need something to do.

Talking to his dad this week i am told that Jason has now published his book Wow if he does one every 25 years it's not a good way to get rich. When i was told it was a children's book i was a little surprised as i was expecting something i could read as well.

I went onto Amazon the same night and paid for a copy of the book only to find i had loads of problems. I wanted to read the book using a program called Calibre and that with the Amazon site not mentioning it was not for me as i use Ubuntu Linux on my computers seems Windows or Apple, Kindle or Android devices. So what !! Amazon i will and did find a way and i sat down to enjoy what i expected to be a kids book, Oh no this is not your normal kids book.

This book is about a detective called Harry Webb. Going back more that 25 years i knew a builder called Spider in fact i employed him to do a big job for me, why does that have anything to do with this book. The detective in the book is a Spider yes an 8 legged spider. Soon the book will be in print for those who don't like reading on a computer or Kindle. Sorry forgot to say it's a Kindle book.

I don't need to promote Jason's book the book is good enough to stand on it's own. Thanks Jason i am enjoying having a good read about Harry and Liverpool.

This book only cost £0.99p from Amazon and yes their is a link to Amazon,

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Now the hole in the floor is gone

Well i have been at it again and this time it was the floor where i had taken a wall down. When i came to prepare to cut a plank to fit the gap first i had to prepare the gape in the floor. The floor was not straight and it's there i had to start. A straight cut on each side of the floor had to be made before i could cut the plank that was to fit into the gap on the floor.

Then i had to use an Acro prop to get both sides of the floor level. Then i had to sand down the floor each side of the gap to get the floor boards level as some had highlights and low spots. This picture was taken before the plank was tapped into it's final place.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Log burner update

I received an message today offering advice as to how to put my flue through the ceiling.  I had read an article about the same issue and also asked for advice at the supplier. I hope that by showing how i am putting my fire together and to keeping safe while doing it this story will help others.

A good Forum to use for most things  to do with energy in any form have a look at

Before I light my fire for the first time i will install Carbon Monoxide Alarms in each room

When i went to Leyroy Merlin for the sections of flue i wanted i asked about insulation to protect the floor from the heat of the flue when the fire is lit. I was shown a type of insulation that has foil on one side, i was told to put the foil side against the flue when i am ready to complete the flue i will get the insulation with the rest of the flue pipes.

The first picture shows looking through the hole in the floor i have had to cut for the flue to come through. I used the shield around the flue to mark where i had to cut the ceiling for the flue to go through. I then used a glass pan lid so i could mark a hole for the flue but not as big as the shield that goes around the flue.

This is how the flue will look after the insulation gets put around  the flue.

With the window so close i have had to cut the pipe so that the window isn't covered to much by the flue. By cutting the flue the flue will then be well away from the windows.

 The elbows will not be at the side of the window but just above the floor so as to take the  flue away from the window.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

More people from more Countries reading my Blog

Since i wrote about the countries that had people reading my Blog from i have kept a list of more who have viewed over the last few weeks.
Here is a list of the top viewing countries for the last week. Look at number four in the page views by Country list.

Saudi Arabia
Czech Republic
Trinidad and Tobago
St Vincent and Grenadines
Cote D'Ivore
Belize  7th Nov 2014
Nepal 10th Nov 2014
Japan  11th Nov 2014
Saint Martin 25th Nov 2014
 Kazakhstan 2nd January 2015

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

How to protect you computers and devices

Recently a friend of mine had an almost new laptop stolen in the UK. It got me searching for a way to protect my own laptop and i found a program called Prey just do a Google search for " Prey ". See the links below.

After reading up about Prey what it does is track the location of the device that Prey is installed on. Best of all Prey works on all devices desktops, laptop, tablets, phones everything but no on windows mobile.

Windows but not mobile, Apple, Android and most types of Linux

One good feature is that should you have a device stolen is that you can lock the device so it can't be used without a password set on Prey.

I know you all who read my Blog have computers or phones with this program installed you have some protection and any protection is better than no protection.

What i would say is read all about it and decide for yourselves. The free version allows three devices if you have more than three there is a small fee. Also read the FAQ page there is lots of hints and information ... ost-device

Monday, 13 October 2014

Finished my shelves at last.

A long time ago after finding i had a lot of very old Chestnut timber i had a plan to make the best use of the timber that i could. I started with my shelves, it may have taken a while but i am working on my bathroom and lounge at the same time.

Left and right now both the same. I finished with just what i wanted.

And then.

Not content with making the shelves by the window i knew i could make even better, and i did

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The little white clouds.

After the rain had stopped for a brief time today i stood watching the clouds pass by. I noticed some white cloud high in the sky that seemed like it was not moving. Just then i noticed a dark grey cloud pass swiftly in front of the white cloud above.

I took some pictures of the very low heavy grey clouds pass by the higher very slow white clouds. These photos where taken in less than 10 seconds

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Who wants yellow tomato's not me.

Remember many years ago when you where very young and you would often be told by your Mum or Dad that they know best, i am sure you do well they did.

From as early as i can remember my Dad grew tomato's and always got a bumper crop. As i grew older i was trusted to go to the nursery to get Dad's tomato plants for him. Dad grew Ailsa Craig and Moneymaker every year until he passed away.

Ailsa Craig and Moneymaker never let him down so that's where my story starts. I was given some yellow tomato's last year and even though i was not impressed with them i kept some seeds to see if i could grow my own. I planted and grew about a dozen plants and nurtured then till they started to produce yellow tomato's. The first ones where OK but over time the later ones where marked and some discoloured. The taste was nothing like normal red tomato's at all just quite bland, they didn't go to waste i just pulped them to use in curry.

In time for next year i will get some Moneymaker or Ailsa Craig just like my Dad would have had me get and my tomato problems will be over. From reading about Ailsa Craig on Google it seems that Ailsa Craig are one of the best tasting tomato's on the market so for next year it's Ailsa Craig for me.

Did you spot the clues.

If you may have noticed i put  couple of pictures of a ruin sent to me from a friend who lives near a reservoir. When the water level goes very low a village near the bottom of the lake come into view.

The clues are in the pictures if you look close you can see the water mark behind and above the house in the top picture.

I even put the pictures on an advertising site, house/ ruin for sale but must be a quick sale.

It was good fun but for now it's over.

At last my shelves are done.

It's been a long time since i had a vision of what i wanted for shelves in my kitchen. I never wanted ordinary shelves i wanted something different something unique. Looking at the pictures you can see that i have got just what i want and something i am proud of.

So what next well only i know but what i am working on is something even better, yes i can do better and it won't take to long as i am working on them now.

The holdup was due to an accident by UPS now i have all i need to finish my corner unit and with five shelves.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

It's a little Chilli

While i was at the market i got myself a new plant, this one is a Chilli but a little on the hot side. For now it will live on my veranda along with all my Strawberries. The nice thing about this Chilli is all the Chilli's are different colours.

Add caption

Friday, 26 September 2014

Cottage or Ruin fo sale.

I was sent some pictures of a property a friend is interested in about 60km from where i live. The property price is only 5,000€ but the seller wants a quick sale and wants everything to be completed by the 24th October. It does look a very interesting property and water obviously is not a problem.

The bottom picture is not as sharp but then again i didn't take the pictures

Friday, 19 September 2014

Another company who give great service

This time last year i put my car in for it's yearly MOT but sadly it failed due to a faulty Catalytic converter and my exhaust emissions where to high. I contacted the supplier i had used last year  and they where happy for me to send the unit back. I did ask could i buy a new one and they credit me after i returned the old one. I expected then to just say yes but first we need it back and then send it for testing, but no i would have to produce the original invoice etc.

It's not what i expected i expected that i would just buy a new one and send the old unit back but listening to them i didn't feel comfortable. It's here i decided to find another supplier and i did find one who i did feel happy with.

First when i called a machine said thanks for calling and we hope to have someone to answer within 45 seconds and they did and fast. I explained that i was in Portugal and i would like to use my own Courier. Let me explain why after many deliveries from UPS i have got to know the driver and even though they don't delivery out in the country as often as in the towns and cities when he sees my address he just gets it to me because it's a quick drop off for him. I was told that Gary would call to confirm that i could in fact use my Courier.

Being on a pension like many other i watch the  exchange rates to change my money for the best rate. That's all well and good but suddenly when you need money in UK £'s it's a problem but not for . I mentioned about having t e my money transfered to UK £'s and they made it easy by giving me transfer details so i could make payemnt as and when i was ready.

I had e-mailed four times over the two days i waited for my Euros to change to £'s and my e-mails where replied to within as little as three minutes now that's what i call service. Its' a pity the previous company could not be as good as this one. The girls who answered the phone knowing i was calling from Portugal couldn't have been more helpful. So Gary thanks to you and your excellent staff.   

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The rich get rich

I noticed that directors often get share options when they start a new position in a new company. It's only when you see just what that means The rich get rich and the rest of use just get on with things.

Today i saw a director take up an option on 850,000 shares and they paid only £0.2179 per share a total of £185,215.00 and then immediately sold them for £1.60p each a total of £1,360,000.00 a difference of £1,174,785.00. To make it worse the person would probably have off shore accounts or some clever way to avoid paying the tax.

If that's not bad it gets even worse, the same person has further options of another 2,827,809 shares value today if sold of £4524494.4.

Not a bad perk for just doing a job, if i wanted to buy the same shares the price as i type this is £1.68p each. 

From the London stock exchange. "A company director exercised an option over 850,000 issued Ordinary Shares held within the Company's Employee Benefit Trust, at an exercise price of 2.719p per Ordinary Share.
The director then disposed of 850,000 Ordinary Shares at a price of 160p per Ordinary Share. Following this transaction, The director has an interest in, via option, 2,827,809 Ordinary Shares, representing approximately 4.24 per cent. of the Company's issued Ordinary Share capital. "

All the above is taken from Published accounts from the  London Stock exchange.

Top or bottom that is the question

Work here in my place in the sun is slow at the moment. A parcel sent from Liverpool was lost because the label was destroyed in an accident but thankfully the matter has been resolved and it has been sent back to the sender to be parcelled up again and then sent back to me. I have even been offered a free delivery for my next parcel so a happy ending to a difficult time waiting for a lost parcel.

While waiting for the glass for my windows i decided to carry on with the bathroom. I had to cut back the wall at each end of the bath. The wall was 138cm wide and the bath is 140cm long but after removing the render from the walls the bath fits, Just.

I had wanted a shower in the corner where the door is and a corner toilet where the bath is but i found out i could have a bath with a shower above.

 I now face a huge dilemma where to put the sink. The one in the corner is on a pipe just so i could see how it's looks. This is really how the bath and toilet should be and i would need to get a sink to go in between the bath and toilet. But the picture above is really how i planned the bathroom to be. 

The question is do i go for what i want or what would look right???

Top or bottom that is the question

If you know me please get in touch with what you think i should do because i don't have a clue what to do.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Logburner now in position.

Because of delays in getting a parcel delivered due to a problem with the label getting damaged i am waiting for materials to finish jobs i am in the middle of.  But today i got a couple of sections of chimney pipe for my log burner the picture below shows the wall behind that still needs a couple of sheets of plasterboard but that's on order.

The first job now is to cut a whole in the ceiling where the pipe will then go up through the loft space to the roof above.

The loft space should benefit from the heat given of from the pipe and when the space is made into a bedroom it should make the bedroom nice and warm.

For now once the parcel i am waiting for arrives i will have to finish the outstanding jobs.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Peter's RANT

Last week i was having a nice cup of tea in a cafe with friends. While we where talking one said to me that the night before they had been talking about me. Oh nothing bad i hope, no they said and they then told me that of all the English here i was the only one not to moan or complain. That's nice i thought and then thinking about what they said yes it is correct, i am living in the nearest place to heaven so why moan.

Little did they know and here goes. In the village i live in there are only three cars and we park where we want with only three there is no chance of getting in anybodies way until now.

It's August and the owners of all the empty houses come back for a holiday. My neighbour and I started to park out of the way at the bottom of the lane. All was OK for a week until one car to many arrived and things went downhill after that. My neighbour and I parked under a tree out of the way until i went out one day and this new car parked in my place. I was then left to park in the sun now i got angry. When i next went out i as lucky and came back to my spot but to try and show how more cars could park i parked at an angle. My neighbour saw what i was doing and started to park the same and thankfully the new car kept out of the way.

Since the car has now gone along with some of the other visiters myself and my neighbour  have kept to parking as we have started to do because it's so sunny we are under a tree.

Culmac perfect service again.

Some of you may remember when i went back to the UK and got myself a back box for my cars exhaust system. Well i have a problem with the center section but as i am not flying back to the UK i still want the service i have come to expect from a company i have used many times over the years.

The branch i used to used was closed after a huge fire and i had to use another branch but still with perfect service. Today i called for bank details so i could make payment and i soon had an e-mail with those details. The time from ordering to paying to sending confirmation of payment was less than 30 minutes all done by bank transfer.

I should say that having to pay by bank transfer is just because the Culmac sell to account holders and the public who walk in to purchase parts for there cars. For than reason i paid by bank transfer.

The Courier on there site said order by 12pm and collection would be today. Having used the same courier many times i know that this evening by 2am the parcel will be south of Paris on it's was to me here in sunny Portugal. 

The cost of the same parts here would cost me over 200€. The cost from the UK including courier to my door £84.27 quite a saving.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

9 year old shooting an UZI 9mm

A part of my life in the UK a long time ago was my guns and being a member of a gun club. I was a member of a gun club and until Tony Blair stole my guns from me i enjoyed my time at the local club.

On the BBC news today i saw a report in America yes again in America guns. But in the report was a short video of a 9 year old child being shown how to shot a gun. Not just any gun a Uzi 9mm, the instructor was shown changing the gun from single shot to fully automatic.

When i used to shot my Uzi i would use both hands to make shooting more comfortable. To allow a small 9 year old child to shoot a gun without the strength of an adult if foolish.

Sadly the recoil was such on full auto the child couldn't control the recoil and the instructor died of a head wound. It was also reported that there is a age limit of 8 years of age at this club. Children as young as 5 years old are allowed under supervision can shoot a 22 calibre rifle.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Who needs an English builder?

Today a friend had a builder start work in replacing his roof. At 8am this morning they started to remove the old roof tiles. A total of 4 men worked on the roof and by 5.30pm the old roof was removed and the roof had a foil backed covering and then metal instead of wooden battens fitted. Half of the front roof and all of the rear had been done as the pictures show.

All to often i see and hear people asking about English builders or English speaking builders wanted. This is the second time these builders have been back to work on this house.

I am getting the same builder to skim the gable wall on my veranda, the reason being that i want a better finish as i use my veranda quite a lot so i want a better finish. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014


While i was looking at a picture of my family at the river bar i noticed something that looked a little odd. I enlarged the picture and below is a part that i edited for my Blog.

We all had a laugh at the time so i decided to share it and i do hope you find it as funny as we all did.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Nothing better than going for a swim.

Last night instead of sitting at home enjoying an evening with a cold beer and a nice meal I was out at Porto Airport. It was time for me  to collect my favourite granddaughter Chelsee. Chelsee may be my favourite but she also is my only girl grandchild before someone thinks i have favourites.

Not just Chelsee who is 11 years old but my son and his partner Charlotte and her sister Loraine and her daughter Ava who is 6 years old and the car was full.

Chelsee  just about to go for a swim and her goggles for swimming underwater. Just look at the background much better than going to the indoor swimming pools in the UK.

If you stand still to long the fish start to pick at your feet.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Nearly time to fit my bath.

In my bathroom the wall where the bath is to go the wall is 138cm and the new bath is 140cm. I am lucky that the wall has so much render that when i cut it of the bath will fit. The ceiling is complete and painted and the lights are in and looking good. I have fitted 4 LED's each 5w but the light it gives is great. The LED's will be perfect for when i go full solar but that will have to wait till next year.

Because i have now got my bath it means that the toilet will now have to be in the corner where my Corner sink was to go. Now i will have to get a sink to go between the bath and toilet instead of my corner sink.

Where the door used to be i have made a window and moved the door. The timber is a beautiful aged Chestnut and the colour is very good. I am ready to order the glass and get it fitted sometime next week.

Pictures to follow

Would you believe that people from over 50 countries read my Blog

From someone now living in Central Portugal i started this Blog so i could let my family see how i was getting on in my new life. One day i saw someone reading from Uzbekistan on the Caspian sea.

I started to keep a log of some of the countries from the Stats i receive as of today i have had people from 50 plus countries reading my Blog. The list below if from the 1st August to date.

Yesterday someone from Turkey looked at 53 pages. Someone with to much time on his hands instead of working.

So i hope that you carry on coming back to visit and keep up with progress here in Vale Boa

Saturday, 9 August 2014

I was told " Sorry but Yorkshire Bank never had a branch at that location "

First i want to say a big Thanks to all those people who replied to my plea on Facebook for help. Please read below for this story.

I became 65 years of age and as a pensioner i received my state pension however in about 1985/6/7 i paid into a private pension.sadly nearly thirty years later i have forgotten the name of the company i paid my pension to. I paid only for the first year and then need all my money for a business.

I called a few Pension companies that i could have used but after checking they couldn't find me on the system. One company even suggested to contact my bank, now why didn't i think of that.

I contacted Yorkshire Bank who had a branch in Liscard Village near to where i lived at that time. Now calling from Portugal most numbers on the Bank website are all 0845 or similar except for stolen or lost cards where you get the following number +44 141 951 7315. I called and spoke to what seemed a nice helpful young lady, but one who seems to know not a lot. After explaining the nature of my query she told me after looking that Yourshire Bank never had a branch in Merseyside. She even told me she would call her head office and again she stated the same but perhaps i was mistaken for the Yorkshire Building Society. I insisted that it was the Yorkshire Bank and with that i  hung up.

I spent most of the afternoon looking through every website i could find for old photos of Liscard Village but unfortunately i found nothing.On one site i saw a mention to a Facebook page called " Old pics of Liscard, Wallasey, Merseyside. " Much is said today Social media but i could never have thought i would get the help i have received. As i look at Facebook now there are close to 100 replies and likes. I have received pictures and also from a member of staff from the branch i had my account at also i was told that all accounts when Liscard branch closed where transfered to Birkenhead branch. 

I will have to now wait till Monday to contact the Yorkshire Bank but this time with the help from People from the Wallasey and Liscard areas i should at least get an answer.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Ceiling up, cable and lights done.

This week i have finished the ceiling in my bathroom. I was told a tip buy my joiner friend, he said to screw a piece of timber to the wall just below the ceiling and push the plasterboard into the gap. The picture below has been recreated to show just how i got the sheet of plasterboard up and in position. I put a piece of wood on top of the open shutters and put the timber you can see up to hold the plasterboard up. Easy when you have everything to hand. All cabling and lighting is done in preparation for when i go full solar sometime next year.

The gap at the top of the ceiling on the left is for the cable to go for the extractor fan. The fan will be at the side of the window just below the ceiling on the left.

The lighting is up and wired ready to be connected also as you can see the cables are in ready for the lights and switches. All wiring is from a consumer unit in the cellar, i intend to have a separate consumer unit in the cellar for each room. Only the underfloor heating and extractor fan now need to be installed and when they arrive from the UK that will be done.

A word of warning

A word of warning. A number of years ago i viewed a number of properties by a so called agent who advertises on a website that only does advertising by hosting adverts on behalf of owners or agents.

After seeing the last property we started back to where my car was parked some distance away. As we drove suddenly he stopped and said that he had to go and take photos of a property nearby. As we drove i asked if this was another property he had to put on his books. He then explained that no what he does is advertise the property and when he gets enough interest he then make an approach to the owner with an offer to buy.

The agent advertises the property and as much as he thinks he can get knowing he can get it for much less. The reason i mention this again is that i met a couple who after buying from him and some time later meeting the previous owner discovered that they paid 22,000€ over the price the old man who sold it for. The agent made 22,000€ plus all his fees etc. They told me the owner only got 8,000€ for his property. WARNING i was told this in good faith by a couple who foolishly not used a real registered agent and they are bitter to has been ripped of.

I mention this as while i had nothing better to do i found the agents site only to find that he mentions in bold black print that he is not an estate agent but he helps you buy the property of your dreams. His dream is of all the money he has robbed you of you.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Back to working on the bathroom.

I have just got back after a few days away visiting a friend. I came back to find that my Tomatoes, Strawberries and Chickens all doing very well. It's as if they don't need me but i am back and ready to get started with my bathroom.

Tomorrow i go to Chicco to order my ceiling timbers so i can put in a new ceiling and insulating. I will order the timber for round the doors like i have done around the windows. I have timber of my own but it's not long enough for around the door frames.

As soon as i got back i got onto the Internet to order an extractor fan for the bathroom, underfloor heating kit and shelf brackets to finish of the shelves in my kitchen. I already have  a box waiting in Liverpool for these items to arrive so that all the items i have had delivered to my son can be sent over to me.

To create the window for the bathroom i am going to ask Allan a retired joiner to help me so i get it right first time.

For anybody in a similar situation as me. Try and try again just give it a try and just maybe like me you can do things to your house that you will be proud of.

I hope that i have inspired someone to try and make things for there home. I now have a band saw and that's all the power tools i need, now i need to make a good working workshop but that's another story.

I have mentioned before about getting parcels delivered. In my next parcel due to leave the UK by next Monday will have in it, more shelf brackets, underfloor heating system, an extractor fan, parts for my SDS drill and a couple of drive.  Also some various food stuff and some Mature Cheddar cheese. All delivered by

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Now the bathroom gets some attention.

At long last i am able to make progress on my bathroom. I found that if i move the door to where the bottom of the stairs are and open it out instead of in i would have more room inside. Also  move the door and wall facing the front door out by 15cm i would gain over 12 cubic ft of extra space.

I have taken the wall and door out and also started to cut out for the new door way into the bathroom. I found that the wall measured 138cm and i can get a new bath that measures 140cm long. The found that the walls are covered in a cement render and if i remove some of the render i can get a bath to fit into my small bathroom. I will also have a shower over the bath.

In the right hand corner will be where my corner sink will go, the window will be made longer by about another 10inch's to the depth and a double glazed unit put in  instead of single glazed units that i have now. As you can see the back wall needs treating and then it will be insulated.

OK the picture below is what you must call Petite but i can get a WC, Sink and a bath complete with shower. Please come back to see how i progress with making a bathroom. I do have a bathroom and shower downstairs but i want to use this one on the same level as the rest of my house.

There will be a wall just above where the bath will be and above that will be a window from wall to wall and from bath to ceiling and double glazed. The frame i will make from my stock of aged Chestnut timber. I have cut all the timber for the window now i need my friend Chicco the timber guy to plane it down for me to make the new frame.

Here i have started to cut the new door opening and it's not an easy job with it being such thick a wall.

Friday, 27 June 2014

I make my own bread

For about 5 years i have been making my own bread using a Panasonic bread maker. Almost every time i have made myself a nice loaf. Recently instead of 25g of Butter i have been putting in 25g of Olive oil often i have used Sultanas until today

Last night i did as i normally did, i put all the ingredients in and switched the machine on and started to wait the 4 hours it takes to bake. After 3 hours i had a look into the machine to see how it was coming on. Shock horror i had forgotten to put the water in when i put all the other ingredients in.

I had to switch of my machine and start all over again but this time i put the water in. It was 9pm and i had hopped that i would have some nice fresh warm bread for my supper but tonight i had none. I then switched the machine on once  again and waited the 4 hours it took to bake what seemed a long 4 hours.

Over time i have found that if i put a tea towel over the bread when it's done for about an hour, this changes the crust to a nice soft crust so it was a along wait before i could go to bed. It was almost 2am early in the morning when i could get to bed after such a stupid mistake. At least i have fresh bread for breakfast.

Monday, 23 June 2014

A alarming story of Dodgy phones

I get all my news from the likes of BBC news, Theguardian etc. Today i found an alarming story about mobile phones for sale on Ebay. It seems that a copy of a Samsung phone is for sale on Ebay and it's made in China. The story tells of how it was built with an and inbuilt virus and what it does is send your data to China.

The link below tells the whole story an before you buy a phone from Ebay, Amazon or other online sellers beware.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Wooden box update

I was given a nice big wooden box to recycle early this week. I started to take the box apart only to find that there was to much rot in the box. Unlike the three boxes i had this one was full of signs of woodworm. As i started to take it apart i had some hope that maybe the rot was only in parts of the box and i may end up getting something from what was left. Sadly it was all to bad and it's only fit for the fire in the coming months when the weather gets a bit cold.

Chicco the timber guy has Chestnut timber like that i have been using in my kitchen but he tells me that it is not quite the same colour as my timber. My timber has aged over many years and has a nice old colour to it. It's looking like i will have to get timber from him as i need some longer lengths for around the doors and i have none left.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Additives from crushed Beetles in my Burgers.

Today I treated myself to some Beefburgers from a local Lidl. Because of a word I saw that looks like something i remember from when i was a butcher about 50 years ago. The word was cochonilha this looked so much like the word Cochineal that i new was a banned colour additive in the UK form 50 years. Cochineal is made from a Beetle, yes a Beetle and i have put a link to Wikipedia for you to read. To say i was shocked was an understatement. I still have 4 burgers left but the dogs next door will get them.

When i started work as a butcher i was told about the days when Mince would have Chochineal in it so it didn't loose it's colour while on display. It was explained to me why we no longer used it and what it was made from.

Now after a search on Google i find that E120 is in fact Cochineal but it's now properly processed to make it an accepted colour agent. It's a pity i was to quick throwing away the burgers i had but i learnt something  about Chochineal.

Percentagem de materia gorda inferior a 20% relacao colageneo proteina inferior a 15%
Ingredients: Carne de bovino (95%) pao ralado ( Farinha de trigo, aqua e levedura ) sal, antioxidates ( citrato trissodico e ascorbato de sodio ) consevantes  ( metabissulfito de sodio ) e corantes ( carmin de cochonilha ) Contem gluten e sulfitos.

Lower percentage of fat to 20% lower relationship collagen protein 15% Ingredients: Beef (95%) breadcrumbs (wheat flour, yeast and aqua) salt, antioxidates (trisodium citrate and sodium ascorbate) consevantes (sodium metabisulfite) and dyes (cochineal carmine) Contains gluten and sulphites.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A new Sport for the Olympics

I went to a bar called the MAY TAY tonight to watch the World cup game between England and Uruguay . Sadly we did not win but when England got a goal by Rooney lots of the Portuguese in the bar with use Cheered with use but sadly one goal was not enough.

If Football was a new Olympic sport what section would it be in, look at the list below.

Kickboxing. " Legs everywhere "
Karate " All the arms going in every direction "
Touch a man and down you go. " New sport "
That's just a few what can you think of?

At the end of the career they could all go to Hollywood  to become actors after all the practise they have had.

From Merseyside there are 11 players in the England squad including two on standby. Says a lot for the quailty of Football on Merseyside.

Everton 4 players including one on standby

Liverpool 7 players including one on standby

Wayne Rooney was trained by Everton from the age of nine till he moved when to Manchester United in 2004 at the age of 18 so i think Everton can take some credit for his talent.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Almost to hot to drive

Today was language class day and as usual i found it very difficult i always find it difficult but i try. Coming out after the lesson we all go for a drink mostly tea or coffee and today was just like any other day but hot. I had parked in a spot with a bit of shade but that didn't help at all. As i drove off i opened the windows and started my short journey to the cafe we normally go to. The steering wheel and gear lever where so hot i found it difficult to change gear and steer. On my dashboard the temperature was showing as 35.5c the heat is normally not a problem until you have to drive and then it is.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Why not become a follower of this Blog

Hi to all those who follow my life here in sunny Portugal.

Please take the time to become a follower just to give me an idea of how many regular readers i have.To those who have taken the time to become a follower i say a big thank you and i hope that i have given you a view of one persons life in this beautiful country.

For being a follower you get no junk e-mails, no extra bits in fact nothing just the pleasure of knowing that you have given me an insight into how many regular followers i have.

Monday, 16 June 2014

A nice wooden box to recycle.

A while ago i was promised an old wooden box to recycle the timber. It's this type of box i have used for around my windows and to make my shelves and fold down table in my kitchen.

The box is outside in the lane till i can carefully take it apart tomorrow without damaging any of the timber. There is some rot in the box but i don't mind cutting it away bt i should end up with a lot of good wood to reuse.

Planed down the outside will come up fine but darker than the inside as it's only the outside that weathers.

This should give an idea of the colour of the timber on the inside. I can make good use of all this aged timber.

Friday, 6 June 2014

my house is under seige from cats.

Fernando my next door neighbour has cats not one but a whole heard of them. Fernando had four cats and i am not an animal lover but i don't wish them any harm until now.

Since i finished my veranda it's been nice to sit out and read my Kindle and enjoy a cold drink. On have had to start keeping my door closed as it seems that the cats want to get in my house. Four cats are bad enough but i have now seen in front of his back door Fernando has another seven kittens.

Fall you dam cat but it was still there after an hour and i wasn't going to help it. If it fell it may not come back again.

Fernando also has four dogs i must be fair to him that he does take them for a walk every day pity he brings them back. Two of his dogs if not kept on chains get out and two of them if they see me and one of them has managed to bite the bottom of my jeans. I now have sticks all over the village to fend of the little B*****ds. If one of these dogs should get to bite me i will KILL it no if's or but's it's me or the animal.

It's bad enough that i can't leave my door open but to be attacked by dogs is to much, OK they are not big dogs but size is not the issue.

If you are an animal lover i am sorry for what i have said above but i must defend myself.

Window done.

Without Chicco to cut my timber i would not be able to get wood that looks like the picture below. I have plenty of timber to thick to use to go around my doors and window but Chicco cuts it down to size and i have now managed to finish around one window in my kitchen.

The picture below is how it looks finished and i used wood just like in the picture above but with six coats of varnish.

Now i have another window and two doors to do just to finish this part of the kitchen.

After this i have to do the Plinth under the base units and the skirting boards. It's a good job i have enough timber to complete this. I do have the promise of another box to take apart to reuse the timber in it.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Cherry Vodka again

Well the sun is out and it's going to be a good time for fruits  or i hope. I have a number of Cherry trees and maybe not as good as the big black cherries you get in the shops but still they are OK.

I got a bottle of Vodka from Lidl for 5.49€ in the UK you would pay about £9.99 for the same size bottle. I have done a before and after pictures and the only thing missing is the tooth pick i used. You need a tooth pick to stab the Cherries before you put them in the bottle and fill it up with your Vodka.

The bottle of Cherry Vodka will be left now till about Christmas to give it plenty of time to mature before drinking. The remaining fruit will be used to make a very adult sponge cake.

Empty bottle, bottle of Vodka and a jug of Cherries.

Now the bottle with the Cherries and Vodka mixed for maturing.

Now if its easy for me to do why not have a go yourself Brandy, Gin or maybe white Rum.

The best i made last year was Cherry Remy Martin and the Cherry Vodka was also very good. This year i plan to use white Rum and maybe Gin it just depends what fruits i have to use. Close to my house there is a place where i got over 4 kilo of Blackberries i used to make wine so this year i may make Blackberry white Rum.

Just wait and see.

Update on slugs

I mentioned a little while ago about Slugs and my strawberries well here is just a little update. My strawberries are doing well and i have had more strawberries than i had all of last year.

As you can see on my tower i have strawberries starting to ripen. Almost ready for me to enjoy for dessert.

In total i have about 50 strawberry plants and not a slug insight. So if slugs spoil your strawberries then build a veranda high if the ground and it works.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

I feel like a good Rant

It's no secret on the Forums i am on that i use Ubuntu Linux and i have found it secure and have no problems that i have found since changing from windooooows. It's not unusual to have other members have a go when i offer a solution to problems they may have with windooooows.

I wonder what they would say after i read about a computer in China that runs Ubuntu just like i do. OK it's a version in Chinese but the difference being this computer is twice as fast as the last computer that was the fastest computer in the world. After doing a quick search i have just fund that the top 10 fastest computer on the planet all run on Linux. So all these people who criticise me over window then just look at the link below from Wikipedia and the facts.

Of the top 500 the list below shows the operating systems and only windows are used on 2 out of 500 machines.

Operating system family

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Why pay for a fold down table make one yourself, i have

When i have occasion to go to Porto airport i like to have a wander around Ikea partly because they have a cafe and the soft drinks you serve yourself.

One day last year i saw a fold down table that i could use in my kitchen when it was finished with just fold it down out of the way. Now the kitchen is almost finished i decided to make my own fold down table. As i have a lot of very old Chestnut timber  that when planed down looks beautiful so i decided to have a go what could i loose.

Until my table saw arrived from the UK i had to go to my friend Chicco to get my timber cut down to size at his workshop.

The top is now waiting for a piano type hinge about 30 inch's long and then i can put it all together.  found a couple of small bits of hinge i found in a tool box but much to small for what i want it for.

I have been to all local builders merchants to try and get a piano hinge but i can't find one. Everywhere i go they say no sorry we don't have any. Even Chicco who makes furniture only had a type that was to wide, it was wider than the wood i used for the table top. So for the moment i am held up, to go to Coimbra to Leyroy Merlin is an hour drive and an hour back plus the cost of fuel just for a hinge. There is still one place left i can go to and i live in hope that maybe they will have what i want.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

If you can dream it you can do it. Just believe

I am not lucky to have confidence in all i do so i practice as much as i can. Making the shelves in my kitchen i used lots of wood until i felt i had it right. The first lot of shelf brackets i threw away because i didn't like them because i had a vision of what i wanted and they where not right. It's easy to just put up shelves just like you would a book shelf but as the pictures below show i wanted  more something better.

The first problem was finding the right kind of shelf brackets and with that done i used a small sheet of plasterboard to get the effect i wanted right from what i had in my mind. That done i had to get my friend at the timber yard to cut my timber down to size because my new table saw had not arrived in time.

Each shelf has been varnished 6 times to give a perfect finish and between every 2 finishes i rubbed the shelves down again till it was just right.

Here are my shelves finished and stocked with some of my Herbs and Spices. Two more corners of my kitchen will also have the same shelves put up mainly because i have so many Herbs and Spices.

The reason for having the most amazing shelves up is i don't and won't have wall cupboards up i want better. I think i have given myself the best i could do But long time since the last Big But.

I hope that never having done a thing in my life because i was able to get others to do it for me i now can do things for myself.  Many people come to not just Portugal but to many others countries like me without any skills. My big wish is that i have inspired others to have a go all you need is to dream because " Dreams can come true " the pictures above show it has for me.

I am in the middle of other jobs and in time as they get finished more pictures will be on show.

If you can dream it you can do it.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Strawberries and Newcastle Brown Ale

Today has been about the best day for quite a while. Three Bottles of Newcastle Brown arrived and they where hand delivered after a very good XO cognac they are something special to drink. The same day i picked my first Strawberries of the season, only a few but it's the first day.

Just a few but many more to come.

While i was in Liverpool I had a drink in a bar only to find they don't stock Newcastle Brown now that was a shame. I had to have Magners.

I have been waiting for a delivery for days and at last it arrived with my big table saw, 4 boxes of tea bags, a bag of 1,100 tea bags enough for a year or more. But most of all the special brackets for my shelves for the kitchen, the brackets will make the shelves look like they are just floating on the wall. I also  got myself a new Pillar drill a few weeks ago just so i could drill the holes accurate as a degree out would make the shelf just look odd. Tomorrow i will get started so it's no getting up late for me till the shelves are done and up ready for use.

Friday, 16 May 2014

The last bit done and the veranda is finished.

On Tuesday i finally finished my veranda. The finishing touch was to put a shaped piece of wood on the front at the top of veranda. Going back over 50 years my Dad built a green house in the rear of the house we had just moved into in Liverpool.

The pointy bit you see on my veranda was on the top of my Dad's green house but sadly last year it's use came to an end and i was given the pointy bit to keep.

Now 50 years later it was time to give some more life to the last part from my Dad's green house. I am also lucky to have my Dad's ladder and i used that to get up to put the pointy bit up in position. It still had the nails in that Dad used 50 years ago so i didn't even need nails. The last touch was i also had Dad's hammer that i remember from all those years ago.

So i used Dad's hammer to put up Dad's pointy bit and using Dad's ladder to do the job.

A fitting tribute to Dad, Thanks

Thursday, 15 May 2014

I went on a Wild life Safari

While i was in Liverpool i went out with my son on a wild life Safari. We went in search of the famous Super lambanana only to be found here in Liverpool. As you can see these are just copies of the real Super Lambananas Being a protected species they are hard to find.

Lastly seen over 50 years ago is this giant spider Crab this one in the case is a  real one for display. But the ones in the wild are hard to find but we can make do with a stuffed one in a case.