Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Monday, 28 December 2015

New Year is fast approaching

This is my last post of the year I have had a great year and I have been lucky to get so much done. New year is fast approaching and it's time too look back with pride at what I have done. The year has had its highs and also a few low points but as I reflect back I can say I am proud of what I've done this year. On a personal point the year is tinged with a little sadness but sometimes good come from bad and the coming year may see only good.

So I will finish by wishing all my Reades a very  Happy New 2016

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas is cancelled till February

Christmas this year has been cancelled this year.

Last year I had arranged with my son that I would have Christmas dinner with him and his fiancée and her family and also New Year. Well this year I have a lady in my life and I would like to spend Christmas with her but it just won't work. I am needed in so many places by so many people how do I divide myself between everybody. This is what's planned and at the end why.

Christmas Day I will have dinner with my son and at night I go to my ladies daughters home for the evening now that doesn't sound to bad but. Between dinner and night I have a job taking just because I don't drink and drive my granddaughter and daughter have asked if I would take the over to the other side of the river Mersey for the evening.

I have been asked by my granddaughter if I would drop her off on Boxing Day for a sleep over at her friends. Then my daughter asks me if I would drop her of to her friends Oh to be so wanted. As a parent I can't say no because if they can't turn to me who can my family turn to. There mother well let's say that's another story but come the 11th February 2016 my lady and I will have a Christmas to remember. 

Christmas dinner will be a Turkey dinner and with all the trimmings followed by Poached pears for desert poached in red wine and a very expensive Cognac. To finish will be my famous alcoholic Christmas cake covered in flaming Cognac. I am even taking Christmas crackers back for our dinner

But for now I wish all who read my ramblings over the last year a Wonderful Christmas and an Amazing New a Year to you all.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

More rain and more rain

'Early this year around mid January I drove back from the UK in the rain and more rain. Well Monday night I got of the ferry at Portsmouth to rain and that was the start of the journey back to Liverpool. First I had a customs stop just a brief " is this your vehicle sir " you have seen it on TV programs answer Yes, did you pack everything yourself but I didn't mind as I think they had a couple of new trainees and after a few minutes I was on my way in the rain. 

All went well till I came to the junction where you go on the M6 toll or the normal M6 but some bright spark decided to close of the exit to the normal M6. This gave a choice of M42 or the M6 toll road and pay for them closing of the road ahead. So I carried on along the M6 toll and when it came time to pay it was only £3.80 so it wasn't to bad.

As I carried on I became aware of a car at the side of me and the passenger looking at me. Next they where behind me then in front, the car was a late model BMW. Their happened blue lights it was an unmarked police car and he had a sign saying to follow him and this I did. When we came to a stop the passenger came over and politely ask if this was my car. I replied "yes mate a scouser in a Portuguese registered car I sad" he could tell I was being light hearted. I said sorry but yes it is my car he then asked a series of questions. First how long have you been here I replied since 9.15 tonight I have just got of the ferry at Portsmouth. Next question am I here to work, I replied if you mean looking after my granddaughter fir two weekends then yes if that is work. 

The police officer then went on to say that now they have powers to tackle all the foreign drivers on the UK roads with tax etc. I offered my Portuguese driving licence in case he had reason to verify my reason for being here, he went to the police car and suppose that he checked DVLA that my UK licence had been surrendered for a Portuguese licence. Why can't the Portuguese Police do the same, where I liver there are many who just injure the rules but that's another story.

Anyway I got on my way still in the rain when I read signs saying Jun 18 to JUN 19 on the M6 was closed. Not what you want at 3am on Monday morning in the rain. I was lucky that there where so many Lorry's going North that I just followed then from Jun 18 cross country to Jun 19 and back on route again. Now I was back on my way north and to Liverpool if you think that's the end of the story wait for the last bit.

The one thing I miss is fresh cream cakes and each time I come back before I get to where I am I going I go and get a couple of fresh cream cakes and sit in my car and eat them and after  a long drive it does feel good. Well this is what happened Next I went into Asda and got myself a couple of cream cakes I then had to get a couple of litres of oil and that was it go to the car but. As it was early morning all the staff where filling the shelves and there was nobody to man the cash outs. A pet hate of mine is the automatic cash tills that you have to do every think yourself. I asked for an assistant but none could be found and I was advised to go to the automatic tills. Automatic Tils do not create jobs they take jobs away so I will not go to the automatic tills so I put my good down and walked out. So I drove to another Asda some miles away and again the same thing happened when I asked for the duty manager that was a waste of time. Speaking to the duty manager would like talking to a brick wall so again I walked out and I gave up on my fresh cream cakes.

Later on the day that arrived in Liverpool I went back to another Asda to buy my fresh cream cakes I was served by a nice lady and It was great to be served by a human. I have looked forward to this moment for such a long time and after all that happened my fresh cream cakes tasted so good.

Monday, 14 December 2015

On a big adventure and what do i do

Well it's that time of year when Christmas is coming. Last Christmas i was invited back to share Christmas and new year again with more family members. But this year has posed a problem as i now have a lady in my life who lives in Liverpool. How do i share myself with Christmas dinner at one house New years Eve party at another and with the lady in my life. Along with all this is seeing my Mum and Looking after my granddaughter for two full weekends so her Mum can have a break.

I am lucky to have found someone who is very understanding. Remember the old story of King Solomon who had to decide which of the two women was the mother of a baby.  Well i find that how do i share my time and keep all parties happy.

Maybe i will tell you after the New Year how things turned out.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Fire but no good for me now

A friend recently had an accident in his car with a wild pig. He needed shock absorbers and a couple of wheel rims to replace those that had been damaged. There is a scrap yard not to far away but unlike one that i remember in Liverpool. All the parts are in fact stored on shelves and the main assistant is a girl in her 20's and she certainly knew her job and where everything was.

While my friend was being served i saw a very rusty round log burner the type you see in cowboy films. This is the type of log burner i wanted but i was unable to find when i came to buy mine. I to a chance and for a few Euros te fire was mine but how to you get rid of all the rust.

In Liverpool i knew of a firm who does sand blasting and as i am driving to Liverpool next week that was what i was going to do until. After leaving the scrap yard we then went to see the guy tasked with repairing the damaged car. After inspecting the parts i showed him my find from the scrap yard and i asked if sand blasting was a service that is found her in Central Portugal. I had never heard of sand blasting since i first came here in 2007 to now. I was told that the  people who supply Granite are the people to ask so of i went this morning.

The owners son speak quite good English and as soon as i told him what i wanted all he said was OK let me see. I told him i was leaving on Sunday to go to Liverpool and i would not be back till January.  To my surprise he said to come back later in the day and i found that the log burner was done and looking quite beautiful. The cost for the work was only 20 Euro and to me that was about half what i would pay in the UK.

For the cost of a tin of a spray paint made to be used on fires so i soon got to work on the painting. The pictures below show what a beautiful fire it has turned out to be, pity i already have one.

This really is a beautiful top much better than my modern log burner.
This is just what i wanted a long time ago pity i can't use it now so it will have to be sold.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

One last job almost complete before christmas.

For weeks now i have been resting my knee since i got back from a trip to Liverpool, but being idle has really annoyed me as i have lots of jobs i want to complete.

I picked up some timber from my friend Chicco so i could complete the surround round the doors into both bedrooms. Between the two doors there was a piece of wall about 10 inch's wide that even with my skills i couldn't plaster to save my life. As you can see i decided to use timber and although the enclosed picture shows everything in place i now have the job of rubbing the timber down till it's got a nice smooth finish. Then a few coats of clear varnish to preserve the look of the wood.

The picture shows that everything has been cut and clamped into position. The door frames have now been shaped to take the sharp corners away. The moldings have been jointed and now once the varnishing has been done that's another job completed.

I do think that the timber between the doors looks better than if i had tried to plaster the wall between the doors. To complete the job i have planed a narrow shelf to fit across the top of the doors.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Now that's what I call warm

It took a long time before I installed my log burner fire. It's nice when I have a log burner Light it makes for lounge Nice and warm I also have my bedroom door open and the bedroom becomes nice and warm as well. I've just taken a photograph of my air-conditioning unit as it shows for me the temperature of the room. I've just taken a photograph of my air-conditioning units and the temperature is 33° that's warm and comfortable.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Mist and spiders webs

This time of year most morning normally before i get up the valley is covered in mist as far as the eye can see. Today was as it normally is this time of year apart from the mist i saw a huge spiders web spoilt only by the grapevine behind. after i took the pictures below i made my morning cuppa i looked out and the mist had all disappeared. The pictures below show how it looks most morning at this time of year. It only took what seemed a few minutes and it was clear blue skies

I feel robbed but walked away

A little while ago I went to a shop just outside of Coimbra to buy a printer I had already picked the one I wanted before I left home. The model I wanted was in stock also there was one of the same model wrapped in plastic film but it had been reduced. I asked an assistant if there was anything wrong and I was told the box had been damaged but the printer was ok. As it was reduced and it was what I wanted it was worth the saving. 

After I got home I set the printer up as I had a lot of labels to print as I had a Spice delivery due. Shock the printer wouldn't work, upon investigation  I found it had not print cartridges so it was a long drive back to the shop to get the cartridges or my money back. I was told by an assistant the when an item is reduced like the printer they remove the print cartridges but they couldn't find them for me so I got my money back. 

That would put anybody of shopping in the same shop again but I wanted a Tumble drier and after looking at a few stores I came upon the same one as the printer story. 

I found just what I wanted and it was like many things on offer reduced by 20% and this made the price the same as I could get when I drive back to the UK. I decided to but the drier and found an assistant who could speak English. I asked to confirm the discount was correct the assistant confirmed the offer price but he then went on to say that what they do is give you a voucher for the 20% that you can then spend in the next month. I tried to argue that all I want is the discount but no voucher as I live a long way away and I don't want or need anything else. 

The thing that was wrong was you pay full price and they let you have a voucher to use not just the same day but the next month. That means that you have loaned them your money till you want to buy something else. What kind of daft idea is that so guess what I WALKED away. Maybe I will wait till I drive back to see my Lady for Christmas.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A search for a video goes on.

This week i found a Dvd i had made a long time ago of various family films i had taken.  The one video i was looking for was of my children fighting at Karate tournaments but unfortunately i was not able to find them. I still have all the camera films that i had taken over the years so the search goes on.

The pictures below are from videos i took on the prom at New Brighton a special time in my life.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

My week in Liverpool is slowly coming to an end

This week in Liverpool was a chance to catch up with my family and friends. I was lucky in that when I went to see my Mum one of my sisters was there with her first grandchild. I have been out with my granddaughter a couple of times and hopefully I will see her once more. The first time I saw Chelsee she didn't know I was turning up. She had gone out for a meal with her mum and I turned up to surprise her. All you could hear was " there's my Grandad " again but louder " there's my Grandad "

Today I had a meeting with a friend in Liverpool city centre for lunch and later I go to see my son and his fiancé, it's all go.

Monday I have business with my Spice supplier and then At 7.20 am Tuesday morning I say bye for now to the lady in my life and it's back home to wall to wall sunshine as it's been for the last week while I have been away.c

Friday, 13 November 2015

Something free from Google

On my IPad I use FaceTime to speak to family and it works fine. Now Google have an app for android phones where you an text or send messages Free also and I have used it one you can even use it like you would use Skype. Because it's also linked to Facebook it finds all your friends and Family who have phone, IPhones or IPads and it saves you from finding your contacts. 

Try the link below and if it sounds good for you give it a try the best bit is its Free.

Text messages on Google Messenger - Android One Help › ... › Messenger app
You can send and receive text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages using the Messenger app. To open Messenger ...

A little reminder about train prices

i mentioned a while ago about the cost of train travel and that I paid a little under 12€ for a return ticket to Porto and back. Well I am in Liverpool and I got the train down to Lisbon to get my flight to Liverpool. My return this time was 18€ and that was for a return journey much further than my previous trip but remember I am a Senior here in Portugal not an OAP. So I hope this reminder gets to people who may be taking a journey by train.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Eleventh hour of the Eleventh day of the Eleventh month

On this day the 11th November 2015 I went into Liverpool city centre with my lady we went to the rear of the town hall to the memorial where there was a ceremony. At eleven o'clock everybody stood still what I was most taken by was a couple of young girl office workers who would be only about 16/ 17 years of age. These two girls stood for the silence as did everybody else. Afterwards one thing did make me laugh was a proud Royal Marine dressed in kilt.

My Dad never forgot his role nor the three time he was part of invasion forces and he had the campaign medals to prove it.

R.I.P all who gave me the life I have now.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The price has to be right

I have been selling spices now for quite some time and this time of year is a problem. The local Council or Camara as it is called in Portugal can't decide when the market will be at the outdoor market or the indoor market. This year a leaflet was handed out giving information as to the timings for the coming months.The problem is when the market moves indoors getting the message to our customers to know just where we are. At the last market i had a customer who couldn't find me even though i was in the same place i can normally be found.

This customer had two small 50g boxes of a herb that i also sell, when i asked what it was and how much he paid i was told that 50g cost 1.20€ that was 2.40€ for a 100g. I get told so often that my prices are very competitive but when my price for the same Herb was 1.50€ for a 100g that's a difference of almost 1€ for the same thing. I am glad to say that i sell volume because my prices are correct not over inflated.

As a side issue the other people who sell spices only have a limited selection as this is not there main product that they sell.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Who said Scousers can't take a joke

Heard the joke abut the guy who went to a football match in Liverpool. Near the ground a young lad asked if he could look after the guy's car. The driver said no as he had a dog inside, the reply was Can your dog put out fires Mister.

How about the comedians favourite. Don't drive to Liverpool and park your car Why was the reply because they will rob your hubcaps.

Liverpool has been the target of comedians up and down the UK for man years and it still goes on today.

Well here is one from me, well a picture actually. I hope you like it.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

I feel robbed

Since I have been selling Spices I have been the only person to handle the Spices when they are delivered to me here in Portugal. I check the weight of every single pack before they are labelled, each spice or herb is in it's own sealed bag. After I place an order I then print the labels ready for when my next order is delivered. Each Spice or Herb has it's own label, it's really easy and and after the last couple of years there has been no mistakes Untill.

At the market at Miranda do CORVO I had a customer who after picking four items that he wanted then told me that I sold him a wrong item at the last market. On the pack it said White Cumin seeds 100g a very popular item I sell a lot of. 

To my surprise when I looked at what he gave me I could see that inside of the bag was not white Cumin seeds but in fact black Mustard seeds but also something else that looks like Nigella black onion seeds. The 100g bag when weighted had instead of 100g it had in fact 156g. Why someone would take Cumin seeds out of a plastic bag and put other Spices in it's place I don't know. Certainly I don't know why he did what he did as the cost of what he put in the bag cost more that what was originally in the bag. Each and every bag is heat sealed but this nag that was returned had been opened and had no sign of having been pre sealed.

Please look at the enclosed picture.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Now the loft is being insulated to make a master bedroom

While I wait for materials for jobs I am in the middle of I carry on with other works. I have started on the master bedroom in in what is my loft. I have started to insulate the roof joists and I have started to plasterboard over the insulation. I have laid in the pipe work for the electrics ready for the lighting.

From the picture you can see the insulated board behind the plasterboard. At the top of the plasterboard I was lowering the centre of the ceiling as the picture shows a piece of insulation in place as a guide. Now I am putting more plasterboard up to the level of the blue plasterboard to have the ceiling that bit higher. The reason to change the ceiling height is so I can install the lighting I want. By the time I am finished I will have all my lighting on LED lights but also being run from solar energy, but that's another story.

A trip to fix an injured knee

The last time I was in Liverpool I had injured my knee and had to see a doctor. I was told I had damaged a ligament on the inside of my knee and I was prescribed some cream to rub into the damaged area. I did this as prescribed but nothing happened I didn't feel any better. Over time I noticed that I was getting worse not better so it was a trip to my doctor here in Portugal. I took the cream with me and shown it to my doctor who just shook her head after looking at the tube of cream. 

After looking at my knee the doctor decided that I should go to the hospital to have my knee examined before she gave me a prescription. Today I went to the hospital to have my knee examined. The hospital is a Universtity teaching hospital and not having been to this part I left early so as to get there in plenty of time. 

After giving in the letter from my doctor I waited my turn to go in to be examined but I was soon called to go to the examination room. The room was only lite by the light behind the box that exhausted are put on to be viewed and from the monitor and instruments. An assistant told me to lower my jeans so the doctor could examine my knee.

This was the first time I have had a scan was similar to how doctors scan to check the development of babies before they are born. The doctor who examined me had me in all kinds of positions so she could scan every part of my knee. After the examination the doctor said I had big damage to my ligament but reassured me that my own doctor would give me the right medicine to fix my knee. I have to go back next Monday afternoon for the results of my scan, I didn't want to wait for the results to arrive by mail. 

I forgot to mention at the start that I had to pay for my examination but I had no reason to worry as the cost was only 1.80€ now that was a bargain. More to come after I go back to see my doctor next week.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Timber frame houses

I have a friend who owns a huge Timber frame company in Spain. I had occasion to call him today for some advice for a friend who is looking to move to my area and build a modist Timber frame house. There certainly seems to have been many advances in Timber frame house since Chris and I last met. The land is available and the price has been agreed it's now down to the finances to be in place and I will in the near future have another friend living close by.

As soon as I get some pictures of the proposed house and links I will let everybody know Worldwide.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Chill Out

Monday night My lady and I went for a meal at a restaurant in Gois called the Chill Out. The Chilli Out had been club but now with a English part owner it's become a Restaurant.

A short time ago they had a curry night and it was amazing so i wanted to let My lady taste curry here in the centre of Portugal. I booked a table and asked if they could do a curry, when asked what type i would like to have i said i would leave it up to them to surprise use. Well we had beef curry, chicken curry, prawn curry plus lots of side dishes including mango chutney that was amazing.

The English part owner was a manager of a Michelin starred restaurant and comes to Gois with a wealth of experience. If you come to Gois or live close enough to called then i am sure you will have a great night.

Monday, 12 October 2015

It's been raining a we needed it

The last week has seen various amounts of rain from showers to almost torrents only seen in the tropics here in my place in the sun. At one point Gois was one of 26 places at most danger of forest fire but thankfully it didn't happen.  So when rain comes it is greeted because it helps keep use all safe in our homes here in country surrounded by forests.

I am keeping busy in my house working hard I have finished my window from in Chestnut, the 2 bedroom doorways have been started and look well in Chestnut and now I only have the architrave to get cut by Chicco and that's the doors done.

A lenght of timber in the loft that supports the roof has now been finish. It is Chestnut and will be at the top of the stairs and for where a hand rail will go in front of the shower. Why I flip from job to job is because I have timber available to get started and because I have the time to set up other jobs that I can go back to. I will take some pictures later.

Monday, 5 October 2015

A number of jobs getting done

As the pictures below show i have been busy in the lounge. The window frame on one wall has been encased is Chestnut and certainly looks so much better than it was before. The next step will be to get the window frame replaced in Chestnut and double glazed.

The wall at the side by the stairs i couldn't decide what i wanted to do until i saw a floor in a dark wood that had been polished by someone who was renovating a house. I could picture the wall done in planks of Chestnut and i went to see my timber guy Cicco. I wanted planks of various sizes and Cicco did even better. When i called to see him he had laid out the planks so i could see how hey looked. I was pleasantly surprised with the result and i could imagine them all together against the ugly wall at the side of the stairs. Cicco went even better he glued up all the planks to make one complete panel and the picture below shows how it will look. Now i need to varnish it before i fit it into place.

One other job i have been doing is to fit a new window in the bathroom. While getting ready to fit the window frame i found part of the sill was loose and had to be repaired before i could fit the new window in place. It seems that nothing at the moment is straight forward and i had to make a whole new window sill.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The render fell off the wall

Fitting a new window is no problem for window fitters but sadly i am not a window fitter. After taking my time i was happy i was doing a good but slow job until. Until part of the render on the outside wall fell off and disappeared down into the ruin below. It's easy when you have sand and cement laying around but i don't have any sand or cement laying around so work stopped. It would have been touch and go if i left to go to the local builders merchant to get what i needed to complete the outside wall. The glass is being held in by a piece of wood till morning and they i will be able to complete the job and then i will have a view from my bathroom window like my kitchen. My window is about 30ft above the lane that goes past upto a local village so my window has clear glass. Pictures will follow when work is complete.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Going for a cuppa

I am told last night there where high winds but it must have been when I was asleep as I didn't here anything. But when I went out with my neighbour for a coffee, well coffee for him tea for me we got a surprise. As we went down a little lane to the garage where we go for tea we found our route blocked. A tree had fallen acros the lane, look how narrow the lane is and I had to turn round to go in the opposite direction to get my cuppa. I tried using a rope I carry in my car to pull the tree to one side but the trunk was stuck between a number of other tree trunks. So many locals seem to carry chainsaws in there cars that by now the tree will be cut up and gone.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Then the rain came

The last time I have seen rain in this part of Portugal was about early March. The last couple of days we have had some rain, not to heavy but still enough to help protect this area from being a fire risk. When I last went to Liverpool the area where I live was at the top of the areas most at risk of fire till now.

Sadly the forecast for the coming couple of weeks is full sun and good temperatures. So if you are in a country where you have plenty of rain you are lucky not to be at fire risk.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Another project done and finished

 I think by now you understand my want to do things a little unusual. I used Chestnut as usual but nice thick planks as this unit faces the door as you come into the lounge and needed to look good. I had a space under the stairs and I wanted something unusual and when I planned what to do I had to take it a stage further. My drink of choice is Cognac and expensive Cognac so I decided I had to have light. I have a small LED light cut into the top shelf to highlight my Cognac glasses the picture really doesn't do justice to the look I have the bottle of Hine you can see is the best Cognac I have ever had and I have had some Cognac over the years. The 12v LED lights will work well when I make all my lighting run from Solar panels but that's a little time away.

I have included a picture of the window for the next big project in the loft where I want to create a master bedroom and have views looking down the valley. More about that when I get started.

Here is a picture of a window i found that looks just how i would like the window in my bedroom to look.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

What a bike

I went for petrol this morning and at the petrol station I saw a bike similar to one some days before. The bike was unusual in that it had a petrol engine fitted. I asked the guy if I could take a picture and he said yes and with that he came out to explain that he makes them but this one is his own the rest he sells. The bikes he makes sell for about 500€ and the ones he sells go over 50kilometer per hour and 500€ for such a nice machine is money well spent and they do look fun to ride.

The sad loss of a friend

Today I called at a local garage for a pre IPO /MOT test. The garage is one I have used a number of times and had got to know the owner over the last few years. Some time ago I called only to find he was not there his brother told me he had had a bad accident and was badly burnt. Today I was greeted with sad news that Luis had died, he was only in his early thirty's and it was a sad loss of life.

R.I.P. Luis

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Sunday was market day at Miranda do Corvo

I have posted before about the amount of countries where I have had people reading my story.   On Sunday someone who has been reading my Blog came over to say hello while I was at the market. He had his wife and two young daughters with him. They may not know it but after four years here I know the wonderful life they have ahead of them, I must say they all did look so happy. I know of four children of a similar age who are in the local school system and how they all get on so well. It may be tough to begin with and a tear or two will be shed but they will get on so well. For then there story begins and I wish them all the very best in their new life.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Where it all began

Some of you will have read some of my early postings about when I first started to look at property in Portugal. My dream was to take disabled people for holidays after knowing one young lad who came into my shop in Liverpool. Sean had been in a wheel chair all his life and that is where my dream began. Sadly cost was an issue I couldn't do anything about.

Well the first house I viewed and dreamt about came back to me yesterday, I passed that same house while my lady and I where out for a drive. I had to stop to look at the house that started a dream, sadly the house is overgrown with bramble and all kinds of other things growing but the house still has the charm that it did in 2007 when I first viewed it.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A new chapter in my life

When I moved to Portugal I had recently divorced and I was staring a new life. For the last four years life has been so good and I have had no regrets. Also I have never felt so good in my life this life is agreeing with me and long may it last.

Well at the grand old age 66 years of age I have a lady in my life and this perfect life is now complete. How will this affect this perfect life I now have I don't know but I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life. Also my children and granddaughter have all wished me well now that's a result.

The icing on the cake so to speak is that I received a message from my Mum wishing me well now how's that. I couldn't wish for better now with Cathy in my life.

Friday, 21 August 2015

What a rotten job.

I may be a bit particular but at least I have standards. When I look at the lights in my kitchen or bathroom I know that they are all straight and in line.

I am in Liverpool at the moment and today I visited a very good friend. She as recently had a new kitchen fitted but one tradesman let her down. The kitchen fitter did what looks like a good job but the electrician was hire separately from the kitchen fitter and that's where it went wrong. I am sure the electrician has poor eyesight and if you look at the enclosed pictures you will see what I mean. 

When challenged the electrician says I did what I was paid for and refuses to repair his rotten work. You can see just how bad this job looks from the bottom pictures but the top picture really is just as bad. I count myself lucky to be living in Portugal where the tradesmen I have seen are about the best I have seen

Monday, 17 August 2015

Another bike race

A few days before I left to return to Liverpool a car was stopped from leaving the garage where we stop for coffee. A short time passed and we saw that there where a lot of Police activity on the road. Being nosy as we all are we saw there was a bike race about to go past and with this most of use lined the road to watch the bikes go by. Although I took over 100 pictures the best one was the one on my Blog as you can see. This is the last of the riders but what you can't see is at his side is a Police bike acting as an escort with the rider being so far behind the rest of the riders.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Happy fourth birthday.

Well it's now the 12th August 2015. What is special is today four years ago I signed for my house in the sun. I signed for the house late in the day and after signing the deeds I had to go with the agent for the sellers to sign for the water and electric. Because of the time it was not practicable to move it so I waited till the next morning and as they say the rest is history.

Yes in the four years I have done a lot but if I put more time into what I am doing I would have got so  much more done. It's not about how much is done it's about the quality of my life. If only one person who reads my Blog understands my feelings and how I enjoy this my new life then this Blog has achieved something.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


I looked out while making a cuppa and saw that the sky was very dark but it was early evening. The sun was not the usual colour we all see daily but it was Red yes Red. I took a load of pictures but iPad won't let me upload to my Blog. The Blog gives me an option to use a program called Picassa from Google but I don't want Google to store my pictures when I use Dropbox.

When I find a way I have a number of pictures to put up on my Blog but for now the pictures will have to wait.

The cost of rail travel

,To get my flight to Liverpool I went from Coimbra by high speed train. The return flight from Liverpool doesn't give me a lot of time after landing to get from the Metro at the airport to the station that takes me Back to Coimbra before the last train has gone. I found that shortly after midnight there is the first train south to Lisboa.

I went to the ticket office to book my tickets and as I am now a pensioner I get what is called a Seniors rate. To travel from Coimbra B station to Campanha in Porto where I get the Metro for the rest of the journey. I also booked my ticket back on the train after midnight on the 1st September. The total cost even with my special rate for being a Senior was 11.75€. Yes that is correct 11.75€ now compare that to the cost of rail travel in the UK and if that's not a bargain then I don't know what is.

I needed to take an early morning train in Liverpool and as it was before 9.30 am I had to pay. The journey was about 5mile or  8 kilometres and the cost was £3.00 or 4€. When you think of the cost of travelling from Coimbra to Porto and back only cost 11.75€ the cost here in Liverpool was to to much but it's how it is here in the UK.

The photo below shows the UK cost of a short trip. The bottom picture show the cost of two trips in Portugal, big difference. 

Driving to the station and boy was it hot

Well I am back in Liverpool, am I a fool when it's so warm in sunny Portugal. As I was driving from my home to Coimbra to get the train to the airport I looked at the instrument display on my car and it said the outside temperature was 37.5c. I stopped to take a picture for my Blog but try as I may I can't find a way from my IPad to put a picture for you to see. Maybe I will have to wait till I get back home. For now you will have to take my word that it was 37.5c while driving to Coimbra. At last I found an App so I can now insert pictures from my IPad.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Sun and blue skies and August

It's sunny still no rain and nothing but blue skies what a problem to have. Today i went down into town and almost every parking space was taken even the two spots outside of the Farmacia. I had a prescription and needed to get somewhere to park so i could get into the Farmacia.

This time of year people who own homes here come back for the month of August also the motorbike festival is on and that packs another 10,000 plus into an already packed town. The village i live in has also been invaded with already 5 families and more to come i am sure.

This year a number of bars have built outside seating areas and it certainly has made the town look so much better. The beach bar was  great on the night of the Firework display. So what do i care i am going back to Liverpool to baby sit my granddaughter and that's worth more than staying here in the sun and busy town.

I started this post because of the amout of sun we have had snce about March. While reading the BBC news in the section for Health i found an amusing story andi have included a link to the story. The story is about people in the UK needing to take vitamin D because of the lack of Sun. Well all i can say is i get more than i need with sun from morning till night.

Everyone should consider taking vitamin D supplements to counter the lack of sunshine in the UK, government experts are proposing. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Almost finished now just the varnish

Most people but not all who move from the UK to another country to live  have dreams of how live should and will be. Well i am no different i have made the move and i have taken the opportunity  to create a home of my dreams.

I have said before " If you can dream it you can do it, just believe " The picture below is my latest project but really one of many i have on the go. As you walk into the lounge ahead of you is the wall space under where the stars are and i came up with a shelf unit.

Shelves i am good at but i want a unique look, not just anything you can get at B&Q or Ikea but something different.

I hope that my projects have given someone else an idea to do something different and unique to them. It's easy to come up with an idea but without the experience it sometimes proves a little difficult but don't give up find a way.

This is before i put 4 coats of varnish, the varnish will also bring out the colour or the Chestnut timber .

This picture is to give an idea of how the unit should look when varnished and fitted into place.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Iraq ????

I have wondered for days how to write this. No country has bothered me as much as when i saw a reader from Iraq. Iraq now is a country torn apart by war and now with IS its still a very dangerous place to be. Diplomats and rich Oil executives live in there own little protected world of work, meetings, parties ect.

So who would be reading my humble writing on my Blog, probably the guys who provide what's called Close Protection. Paid body guards, paid good money to risk there lives just to look afters others. I had a family member who wanted to do such work and i was sad to here what he wanted to do but sometimes it's not up to me to try and change someones mind.

This time i got the pic's i wanted

A year or two ago while having a coffee at the local garage i watched a local bike race go past. I had my camera with me so knowing a side road i tried to get ahead of the pack to take some pictures. No i didn't get in front as they where just to quick but it was worth a try.

Last Friday the bike race was on again but this time i was half way up a long hill where the riders where due to come down. As i turned abend a Police motorbike stopped me and told me to pull over and wait.

The uphill section after you pass Bordeiro is long and for about 4k and is very steep and winding.

 This is a long donwhill section coming down into Arganil. For those who know this is the just before the turn for O Vaso.

This guy even has time to wave little does he know he is on my Blog worldwide.

He may not have a chance of winning but he still fights on and good luck tohim

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Don't be afraid to ask

A while ago i told you about an engineering firm who when asked did a job for me there and then and the charge was only 5€. I am never amazed any more at the amazing service i have found in my 4 years living here in Portugal.

Today again i had another experience that confirms that my move was the best thing i did. Close by to me is a shop called Ovaso a mini type B&Q shop. I need a cutting tool for my router so i could carry on making my window moulding. In Ovaso here is one member of staff who speaks good English and is more than happy to help.

All i could find was full boxes of 24 different types of cutters. I ask if they could get one for me after showing the one i wanted to the assistant and he just opened the box and took the one i wanted out and sold it to me. It saved me the trouble of buying a box of 12 assorted just to get the one i wanted. Moral of this tale don't be afraid to ask.

It's silly season time again

Today while having a coffee at our usual bar we watched as the local fire fighters the  Bombeiros who are all volunteers went of to fight another forest fire. I went to visit friends and we sat and watched as the fire fighting planes came overhead to go and fill up with more water and then return to carry on trying to control the fire.

We counted 5 planes in total by reading on the side of the planes there registration number plain to read as they where flying very low.

On my way home i turned a very sharp bend in the road and he road was almost blocked by bystanders wanting to watch the planes coming in to drop the water. From the first picture i couldn't get back to a point where the road was almost blocked. It was a pity that the people stood watching didn't think about those who just wanted to get on with there journey.

The second, third and fourth picture is of the fire behind the trees, sorry but you can only see the smoke. The last picture is taken from my veranda and if you look close you can see one of the planes just above the tree line.  All done by mostly a volunteer force.

The last local fire had over 200 fire fighters, 4 planes, 59 fire engine and an unknown number of helicopters. It has been reported that this fire was stared by a man aged 22 years who is now in Police custody. Todays fire was on one of the hottest days this year reported to be about 40c.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Door frame done now the windows.

The door into the lounge has now been covered in beautiful Chestnut timber.

After the timber was cut to size the hard part was sanding down with fine sandpaper and the a coat of varnish. This was done three times to give a rich finish to the timber. 

It's a long slow process planning, finding the timber from my own stck and getting extra from Chicco for longer bits i don't have.

The beauty of the hinges in Portugal is that you can lift of the windows without unscrewing the hing. It's now down to cutting the  edging and to creating the moulding profile. The part that takes the time is waiting for each coatof varnish to fry before preparing for the next coat

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Bathroom done well almost

I am coming to the end of making myself a luxury bathroom. Perhaps luxury is not quite the right word as my bathroom is little more than the size of small cupboard. But it's mine and it is how i wanted it to be a beautiful wet room I still have some minor bits to finish but the enclosed pictures show just how the work given me just what i wanted.

Above is where i used to have a door way into the old bathroom until to took it down and moved the new timber wall out by about 5 inch's. All timber used was from my own stock i found in the cellar when i moved into my house. Laminated glass for safety and covered with a modesty film for privacy.

Four LED lights give the perfect light cover and just look at my shelf no bracket but best of all no wall cabinet full of junk. I opted for a shower like the kind you use for washing your hair but mine has a bracket above the mirror where the shower head is fitted before being put away.

Lastly in front of my Loo are three mirrors to finish what was going to be a blank wall. So apart from the last job that is a new window for the outside wall that has been delayed all is now done.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Perfect service at the doctors

I have a little tale to tell that happened to me today. I had a need to go to see my doctor and went to make an appointment. Before I had time to sit down and read my Kindle while I waited the nurse came out for me to give some information name, a Date of birth etc. the computer the nurse was using must be connected to the Doctors computer. While the nurse was checking the water sample I had to give the doctor came in and asked me some questions. When finished the doctor asked to to go into her room after the consultation I was out after less than 20 minutes.

The cost to see the doctor was 5€ and the prescription cost was 7.01€. Now to me that is reasonable even on market day when the town is busy with people coming in from all the local villages.

If you consider that in the UK getting an appointment was getting almost impossible at times. The medical service here in my little place in the sun is far above what I expected before I made the move almost 4 years ago.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Just a bit of fun

While i was in Liverpool i was lucky to see lots of my  grandson. We went out one day to the Spaceport on the banks of the river Mersey opposite the Pier Head in Liverpool. There was lots to see and even i learnt lots about space and the Uinverse.

There is a ride that is a flight simulater, i thoughtit would be good but after going on the one in Orlando i didn't expect that this one would be as good but it was every bit as good.

I if you have been on a flight simulater you will know just how much it jerks about. Well it was not easy to sit and hild a camera to record the ride but i did. I have put the video on Youtube and there is a link below and i do hopw you will enjoy it as much as i did filming it so please take the time to view video.

It may be an idea to turn the sound down as it is a bit loud.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Just my bad luck

While in Liverpool i called a local radio station to thank the presenter for announcing my Mum's 90th birthday. At the end of the conversation I was asked to stay on the line by the presenter who's name is Pete Price for those who may be from or know Liverpool.

The presenter has a spot on a Sunday night called Expats Abroad i was asked if i would like to talk about my life here in Portugal. I would be  more than happy to speak about my new life here in the Sun so i said yes i would be happy to. It was arranged for the Wednesday after I arrived home from my trip to Liverpool. Wednesday came and I received the call as arranged at 3pm. We spoke for over twenty minutes and at the end of the call Pete the presenter said that he would play the whole of the conversation without any need for cuts.

Sunday night came and try as I may I couldn't get the radio station to work on my Laptop, my Desktop and also my Ipad. I can only think that the station blocks access from outside of the UK but i run software that hides my country location. So is it because I don't run my computers using Windows it is a problem that I need to get to the bottom of but i will find out why i couldn't get the rado station to work.

Monday, 8 June 2015

The trip home and costs.

Now time to settle down and catch up with tha last few weeks. It all startedwhen i went ack to Liverpool for my Mum's 90 birthday but now back to driving back to Portugal.

About the drive and costs involved for a 1,400 mile journey.

I drive a car with a Autogas conversion fitted, this was fitted a little after the car was a year old. I have enjoyed driving over 165,000 miles on fuel that costs less than half price.

I filled my 60 litre tank for £34 and started my drie down to Brighton to fill up before i boarded the ferry to Dieppe and the drive home to Portugal. Before i left Liverpool i downloaded all the stops on my route for filling up with Gas along my route. I choose to drive the whole journey of the motorways and to enjoy the drive through the countryside. Well that was the plan so read on.

Next to me waiting to fill up is this Amazing motorbike n Liverpool and after this the long drive starts.

The drivedown to Brighton went well without any problem until i arrived to fill up using my new bank card. My card has been changed from a Visa card to a Mastercard and i arrived at the only autogas garage in the Brighton/ Newhaven area so i had to use the last of my UK £'s because there was a problem with Mastercard what a start to a long journey.

I arrived in France with my Euro's and my UK Visa Card. I headed towards Le Mans for my first fuel stop but on my way i saw an Autogas gagage so i stopped to fill up. That is where things went wrong . Most of the garages are open 24 hours a day and have no staff all you do is use your card but French gaages don't use Mastercards. Next trip i will be running with plenty of cash to avoid cad problems.

What you see here is a sculpture that is  24 meters high and weighting 20 tonnes which is made by using metal and coloured concrete with seven historical cars wrapped around a forearm, the roundabout is in the city of Châtellerault.

Because of the problem getting gas during the night after getting cash i went onto the motorway because i could then get gas without ant card issues. After getting a full tank i was safe now to get about over 300 miles plus from my tankful. Now it was back to getting of the motorway and to enjouying the drive.

This is what driving through France is all about tree lined avenues going of into the distance. Roads like this where common and where a pleasure to drive on.

While driving in the direction of Bordeaux i saw this small local airport.

Well this is a different way to advertise an airport and just look at the clear blue sky.

Finding autogas in Spain is no problem and one place i know very well is in a place called Salamanca.

On the way into Salamanca is a scrap yard and this one has an old Dakota plane pity the car is in the way. Again clear blue skies just like home.

The cost of the trip home was as follows and for a total 1406 miles.

Liverpool fuel             53.41€
Autogas                    131.00€
Tolls                           32.42€
Overnight and food   50.00€

The cost from Portsmouth to Santander ferry would have been 520€ and still another 450 miles to home at probably another 100€ so as you can see 263€ agains over 600€ and with the ferry you get nothing to see apart from water.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

A welcome bit of news.

Since i arrived on Monday i haven't had any time to myself. I brought back so much i am still unpacking and putting things away. I bumped into a friend while in town and had alittle catch up, it seems that he has set up a website called

I have known Simon for a long time and knew he was a biker but this is a welcome surprise so good luck Simon.

Please take the time to click on the link that can be found on the left of the screen.