Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

50 Years after leaving school i am working with wood

When i was at school a good 50 years ago i was to say the least not very good.  Now over 50 years later i enjoy wood working and able to make a good job at what i am doing.

I have been able after so long to get to a store for some of the bits i can't get local. Just a bit of tidying up to do and it's all complete.

The top has now been completed and i have managed after so long to get the eye bolts to fix the rope to the uprights on the veranda. I got myself a type of thread to secure the rope ends only to find that it was not very strong. I now need to get some more stronger thread to secure the rope as i don't want anybody to fall through and have an accident.

One of the timber floor boards was twisted and i have now been able to get that replaced. The hard part is doing things that can't be seen done but lots can't be seen.

Back later 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Getting questions answered

On Tuesday i tried to join a Forum. I know lots of people use Forums for research and there are some who have nothing good to be said about them. Me i always try to find my information from Techie Forums that is run by people who know what they are talking about.

The best two  i have found are Ubuntu Forums as i run my computers using Ubuntu Linux and the other is AVforums as this is all about Sound and Video.

When i started my kitchen i knew i wanted LED lights but didn't consider Solar for the power. It's only now i want to turn to using Solar power all i need to do is change the LED bulbs and connect up a Solar panel. OK i know there is a bit more to it but that's the plan but why not free energy. I am now looking at installing Solar energy for my lighting system, i only want to install one panel so i can run 12 LED lighting so not to difficult. Also i want when i am ready to fit a Solar panel to give me hot water. Not to difficult but when you find a very good UK Techie Forum it's easy to get the questions answered But a big BUT.

The internet is full of people who want to do harm to websites in various ways, Spam or steal information or for whatever reason. I have found a Forum that for one reason or another made me work hard to get membership. Am i upset no because security is vital in todays society and for that reason i move from windows many years ago security is number one with me and Ubuntu Linux gives me that security.

The work starts as i have lots of question now so that when i get my Solar panels for both Light and water i know what i am doing.  

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Me 1 slugs nil

Having strawberries in the ground gives slugs something to do like eat my strawberries when i am not watching. As the pictures below show i have made it more difficult for them.

Last year i got myself 4 strawberry plants from a garden centre for 2€ so at that price it was a bargain. However now i have about 40 plants and i am to mean to give any away or even loose any to the slugs.

I have in total six planters all with 2 plants in each. All i now need is for them to grow nice big strawberries for me to enjoy.

My son said about putting the plants in pots on the veranda, so i did and now all i need to do is keep them watered and eat my fruit.

Here is my strawberry tower and tomorrow i will start to get it planted. I will get to plant 21 plants in my tower but look at the work i am giving myself all this watering every day.

After all i made a watering system for my grapes and onions well i have to do something for my strawberries.

Just paid all my bills even my Council tax

Today being a nice day as it was i decided it was time to pay all my bills. Electric, Phone, Water and my House tax or as it's known in the UK Council tax.

What made me pay it all today even though some where not yet due was i was talking to a friend in Deal in Kent this morning as he said how much he had to pay for his Council tax this year and he has to pay £135 per month. I made him sick by saying mine was only 30.45€ per year.

House tax           30.45€    per year
Water rates          4.59€    per month
Electric              59.45€    per month
Phone/internet   30.36€    per month

How is that only 124.85€ for all my bills and that includes my yearly House tax. My mate in Kent pays more per month and that's only for his Council tax.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Everything has started to grow nicely

We have been having mixed weather, the forcast says one thing and we get something else. Weeks of nice warm weather then overcast and then rain. Well the blossom has come and gone on most of the fruit trees. The plums, apples and all the cherries have tiny fruits growing.

The orange and lemon trees have blossoms on and soon hopefully they will have fruits growing. 

 On the left is another Apple tree.

Next but no so easy to see is my Blueberry tree.

On the left is again a Plum tree.

Next is my Lemon tree.

 My onions are doing very well and better than last year when the chickens got at them and decided there need was better than mine and they eat the lot.

The strawberries have gone from 4 plants last year to about 30 this year so i should have plenty of nice ripe strawberries to enjoy this year. I have just got myself a strawberry planter, a 5ft high tube that takes 24 plants. The best thing is that it is above the ground away from most ground pests.

I had wanted this year to be growing by using Hydroponics where plants are grown in water instead of soil. On the left hand side of my Blog there are links to Hydroponics.

On the left is my Lettuce.

In the bucket are my Onions

On the left is part of my Apple tree.

Lastly is my Plum tree.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

I locked myself out of the house. What a fool

The hard part of doing things as part of my project of improving my house is often a lot is done but can't be seen.

When i moved into the house i found all kinds of tools etc and I put them all in a box to look at later. I locked myself out one day this week and having a key to the door on my veranda hidden outside i was not to concerned. I just had to get my spare key and get in, now that would be easy but i left the key in the veranda door on the inside. In the end i had to break the front door open and in doing so i broke the lock.

Lucky for me i had three door locks in the box of tools in my cellar so all i needed to do was get one of the locks and fit it to the door. Sounds easy. The lock had not been screwed on but in fact was nailed on. The problem here is that all the nails you buy in Portugal are square not round. Having removed nails from timber i have recycled i know how hard it is to get them out. This lock proved no different. Only four nails but not wanting to damage the door frame it took over an hour to just to get them out without any damage.

Thankfully four screws and the job was done.

I managed to get the electrician to call this week to install the switches for my outside lights and to get my ceiling fan connected and working at last.

I have a new fridge and after putting some consideration to how the kitchen worked for me i decided to move the fridge to under one of my work units. The problem being all units where joined together and the granite worktop was fixed to the units as well. I had to cut down one unit and then fit the fridge in the gap i had made for it.

Because i had planned my kitchen well, running cable to put in a socket for the fridge was easy. It was a good job i hadn't had my unit doors made yet or i would have wasted the doors on this unit.

While out shopping i got a loin of pork 2.75 kilo for 9€ that works out to £1.50 per lb. After cutting it in have and slicing one half into steaks the other was to make bacon.

Beautiful sweet cured bacon. Two bacon steaks and enough when packed away in the freezer to keep me going for weeks.

100 gram of salt
100 grams of sugar
1 heap table spoon of Juniper berries crushed and the rest is easy. Now to enjoy

That's not a bad week,

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Getting rid of waste

I hate waste of any kind and water waste is high on my list of waste hates. For the last couple of years i have been using the washing up water by putting it on my garden. I only needed four pipes and a couple of elbow joints, drill a few holes and when i pull the plug the garden gets watered.

I did a search on Google to find if water with washing up liquid would do any harm to my plants and i found nothing to concern me so i went ahead.

My five grapevines, onions, strawberries and Red/ Black currants will now get watered more often than the rest of my fruit trees. Also my raised beds are coming on well with onions and carrots already on the go.

When the plug is pulled the waste water now goes down the pipes you can see and waters my plants.

I planted this apple tree last year and forgot about it till today. To my surprise it's covered in flowers that when the bees have got at them should turn into apples.

This is my lemon tree and apart from new leaves growing it has a number of flowers almost open so maybe this year will be the year for my own lemons.

Friday, 4 April 2014

It was party night

My friend June and myself have both just became pensioners, for a long time we had the idea of having a party to celebrate out good fortune in being paid to live in this beautiful country. I don't look to bad for an old age pensioner do I.

June and her husband live not far away from me in Bordeiro a little village just outside of Gois.

It was good to see David turn up as he only arrived back few hours before he had to come out to our meal.

This is June's husband Pete and my new neighbour Madeline. Madeline has had a house built at the top of the lane from me and her house is at the highest point in the village.

Even animal George the logger boss and Fernando the mechanic turned up and they are local Portuguese. As there are a few Georges the logger boss has our nickname of animal. Mine is Scouse Pete and i wonder why?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A quick mock up and admire my shelves

From when i first started to work on my kitchen i had a dream. I didn't want just any kitchen i wanted a kitchen that i had dreamed about built by me to meet all my needs. It is coming together bit by bit when i have also to complete other works around the house.

I have a large collection of Herbs and Spices all in jars and they needed a home in my kitchen all of there own. It's this amongst other things that have made me start to do things in the house that i never dreamed i would be able to do. I wanted my jars on show instead of hidden away and that meant i needed shelves. I didn't want just any old Pine shelves i wanted to do better after all in have been buying lots of power tools so it was up to me to plan what to do.

A shelf is a shelf and just a bit of wood fixed to the wall. No i wanted something more, i wanted no brackets on show so i had to do a Google search. I found that i could have brackets that where hidden from show or as they advertise invisible brackets. These are pins that screw into the wall and into holes in the shelve but as is mentioned often on TV programs measure twice cut once. Close but not what i did, i used old timber to built a mock up of what i wanted to do. Now i was happy with the results and i had to start all over again but this time i was using some of my old seasoned Chestnut timber.

Before i screw them into placed them in position on top of some big jars. Now that's how i had dreamed it would look.

This is in one corner on the wall by my window with a view.  

The timber is beautifully seasoned and has the grain looking rich and beautiful. Now i need to polish the shelves but not before they are fitted into place. Now is the time to finish the job and that means they need to be rubbed down and polished. Maybe it will take a little time but i can now see how it will look once finished and fitted back in place.