Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Chicco News

Great news my friend Chicco is on the road to recovery i am so glad to say. On my way back home i pass through a village where Chicco lives. Being a good driver i was watching the road as i approached where there is a supermarket. OK maybe only I think i am good but that's not the point i saw a couple of young ladies talking nothing new BUT.

One of the young ladies looked in my mirror to be Chicco's daughter so i stopped quick and reversed and it was it was Christine who i know quite well. Christine told me the extent of the injuries he suffered  and they where life changing injuries but he is doing well.

While i was in Liverpool in May i sent a get well card just to let him know i was thinking of him. from what Christine tells me he was happy to get the card and it is on show in his room. I know where his workshop is but i didn't know where he lived so i had no contact to enquire how he was doing but i can say he is getting better and is having Physio therapy and is home of a weekend.

Everything i have done in my house i could not have done without his help, I even cut out a pattern for a window sill i wanted and he produced just what i want. 

Next time you are home Chicco  Tenha um bom fim de semana

Take care my friend Chicco and thank you Christine for taking the time to let me know how your Father is. 

For Christtine i have translated the above

Boas notícias meu amigo Chicco está no caminho da recuperação, estou tão feliz em dizer. No meu caminho de volta, eu atravesso uma aldeia onde vive Chicco. Sendo um bom motorista, eu estava assistindo a estrada quando me aproximei onde há um supermercado. OK, talvez, só acho que estou bem, mas esse não é o ponto em que vi algumas jovens senhoras falando nada de novo, MAS.

Uma das jovens senhoras olhou no meu espelho para ser a filha de Chicco, então eu parei rápido e revertei e foi a Christine quem eu conheço muito bem. Christine me contou a extensão das lesões que sofreu e eles onde mudaram a vida, mas ele está indo bem.

Enquanto eu estava em Liverpool, em maio, enviei um cartão bem-vindo apenas para que ele soubesse que estava pensando nele. Pelo que Christine me diz que estava feliz em receber o cartão e está em exibição em seu quarto. Eu sei onde é a sua oficina, mas eu não sabia onde ele morava, então eu não tinha contato para perguntar como ele estava fazendo, mas eu posso dizer que ele está melhorando e está tendo fisioterapia e é o lar de um fim de semana.

Tudo o que fiz na minha casa, eu não poderia ter feito sem a sua ajuda, eu mesmo cortar um padrão para um batente de janela que eu queria e ele produziu exatamente o que eu queria.

Da próxima vez que você estiver em casa, Chicco Tenha um bom fim de semana

Tenha cuidado com meu amigo Chicco e agradeço a Christine por ter tomado o tempo para me informar como é seu Pai.

Pete's bar has gone it's changed hands

As the title says Pete's bar at Ponte Velha is no more. I went in today as I always do when in the area and I found that Barbara the cook has taken over. Lots of new changes are coming so watch this space.

So Pete's gone but what's new well the two things i know are that they are going to sell a good range of English food for those who can't do without English food. once they get settled in they are going to have a monthly barbeque in the car park over the road in the car park.

Amongst the range of English food is i hope to be selling a range of Organic Spices and also other Spices on request.

My suppliers tell me the reason that most of my range of Spices are not certified Organic is the farmers are so small the cost of being accredited as Organic cost to much when a farmer may only have one acre of farm.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

What road narrows

I went to the tax office today to pay my business tax. Driving down the lane i use to go to town i came across this sign at the side of the lane.

The lane is only as wide as my car or van this should have been Man at work but maybe they don't have a Man at work sign.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Tax time

Being a registered business here in Portugal every year I have to submit my accounts just as businesses do all over the world. Unlike the rest of the world when I went to the local tax office there computers where broke or as they say they where down. I went back the next day and again the computers where still down.

This second nd time when the computers where down was the last day to submit my accounts. However the office manager was happy to submit my accounts when the system was up and running. Today I had occasion to go to the tax office and one of the staff called me over to check my name as they had a letter for me. The letter was my submitted accounts completed and the total I was to pay was 67.44€ that's more than double what I paid last year. Last year I paid 31€ much better than the many thousands of pounds I paid each year in the UK.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Started on the TV unit

The new extended part of my lounge will become where i sit and relax of an evening and watch TV. I had planned to extend my existing unit and Chicco made the base out of Pine not Chestnut. When he corrected it he gave me the Pine unit as it was of no use to him the shape it was. I have used it as a template for my new unit and i was able also to use it to mark out it's position.

The picture you see is with the Pine unit that i used, i will pass this now to a new joiner i have found who will make me three shelf units. Once done i will then start to make the sides to take the doors for the front

I have to put the base in before i can complete the last of the skirting. Behind are 8 sockets to power everything.

Friday, 28 July 2017

It's coming together at last

Over the last couple of months i have been making my lounge bigger by opening the second spare bedroom. I took out a wall and door and frame to open the lounge and bedroom into one.The walls and ceiling have been replaced by putting battens on the wall and using insulated plaster board. The ceiling was also done by dropping it by about 120mm and with the addition of a ceiling fan and 4 LED lights.

The only outstanding  job is trimming around the windows and i now have found where i can get Chestnut to match everything i have done. I also have to move my TV unit as this is going to be the part i will use most as it feels so comfortable.

I had wanted one wall a different colour and i used grey but it didn't look right. I tried first with a white strip but again it's didn't look right. I looked at a site that did house renovating and saw a wall with a strip so that's how i got my strip on the wall. It was only after i did the black strip that it all came together.

Using LED lights if i have them all on at once i am using only 23w to light the room. That works out at 44hrs of light for only one unit of electricity or about 18 cents.

This is an area i am most proud of but for so long it was hidden by my dinning room table now it looks so good.
I have a tiler who is coming to tile the outside wall after the wall first is insulated.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Didn't sell my wardrobe

I had advertised the wardrobe out of the bedroom that is becoming part of my lounge. The wardrobe was a bug ugly thing and i offered a fair price only to be insulted by the offer i was given. So i cut the wardrobe up because i could make something better from it.

What an ugly piece of junk and i was glad to get rid. But below is a picture of what it may turn out to look like.

I intend to close up the draw so it can't open and have the top so it will open upwards. The base i am sure i can make it look like Chestnut and the table top will be made from Chestnut. I put this in my lounge to give me an idea of what it will look like finished.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sockets and lights done

The white strip you can see is going to have a grey and a red strip when i finish  the painting. I have varnished the skirting boards ready for when i am happy there is no more painting to do.  Then the next major job is to sand the floor again and varnish it. I will have when i finish 20 sockets in a room the size you can see.

This is the only light on at the moment as i am waiting for the main LED lights to arrive.

I managed to get one length of coving up today before i was called out but you can see how it looks.

Here is where the new TV unit will go and 8 sockets for power. To include land line phone, phone chargers, modem the TV and computer  and lastly there are 2 sockets for the mini LED lights.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

I do like the look of these lights

Today i finished the walls and ceiling in the extension to my lounge. The walls now have all the joints filled and skimmed as does the ceiling. All the wiring has been done and tested as the picture shows the mini Led lights to go around the ceiling are on for the picture. In front of the mini led lights will be coving to cover and make good the top of the walls.

In the room will be 20 sockets OK maybe a bit overboard but better to have to many than not enough. Eight sockets are for phone chargers, computer modem, landline supply etc. Before i fit the surround to the windows i am replacing the windows first.

Around the opening i will face everything of with Chestnut now i have found a new supplier.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

After the Fire

Today i went to visit a friend in Colmeal on the edge of the recent fires. Thankfully he was away in the UK so he was safe away from it all. I saw a hillside as i drove to his house and i had to stop and take a picture.

The firefighters are truly amazing just look at the picture.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Finally started

Last week i got most of the floor sanded and after waiting i decided to make a start by starting on the outside wall. These outside walls will have insulated plaster board to help keep the house warm in winter.

Most of the floor sanded ready for me to start on the walls.

I am to impatient to wait for my friend Robin to come and help so i started to put the Battens up myself. Plaster board next.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

My Mum

My Mum 92 years young and today one of my sisters sent me this picture. After a recent serious illness it's good to see Mum looking so well.

 I don't know apart from leaving a comment but i would like to know the countries that my Mum's picture is seen.
So please go to comment and just type the name of the country you are in.

Please Please Please leave me the name of your Country.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

First the tent, well dust sheet

When i came to complete the bedroom i had my friend Robin come down to help me put up the plasterboard. Robin called a few days early while i was about to put the battens up ready for the plasterboard. Robin offered to help and watching how fast he was we did the room together. My van is to small for the timber i need for the wall battens for the walls so i must wait for Robin to be ready.

To keep the dust out of the lounge i have put up a dust sheet to try and keep my living area clean.

Today i started to sand the floor ready for varnishing. Sadly it means getting down on your knees when they are past there best. Taking breaks this took me three hours but i have lots of time.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Used scrap timber to get measurements.

I have got started again after a delay this week, I needed to measure just what timber i needed for around the opening i have made to make my lounge bigger.

I used scrap timber to put in place so i could use it to get my measurements from.
I want to cover the concrete Lintel with timber but it has to be chunky looking.
It was so easy to get my timber list by doing it this way.

I have new ceiling fans on the way from Liverpool, Led lights and ceiling light fitting. I have them coming from Liverpool because The light fitting i had when i moved here are not available here and i want them all the same. The same goes for the ceiling fan they all have to match.

Friday, 23 June 2017

North sea to Liverpool

Hi All

I am proud to say my Youngest son is doing a coast to coast tandem canoe row. He is going from Goole on the north sea to Liverpool and it's a total of 164 miles. This is the first time that anybody has donethis and i am proud to say my son will be the first to do it with his friend Damien.

If you can spare any money my son is doing this for a Hospice in Liverpool who looked after Anthony's Grandad my Dad. Also he is doing it for his fiancées Uncle who sadly has recently passed away. All you have to do is click the link below and any money donated goes direct to the Hospice.



We have all seen the pictures

On TV in the News and even on Expat Forums we have seen or read about the dreadful here in Central Portugal.

The Bomberios are really the bravest of the brave doing a job for FREE yes free as most are volunteers. Yes they are fighting fires and not getting paid for it fighting till they are almost exhausted. That brings me to the picture below, i don't know what site i found it but so tired.

Well earned sleep and we are all so Proud of each and everyone.

I am told by some local friends that they saw me on TV as i dropped of at the local Bomberios station where i live 96 bottles of water. These guys and girls need to rehydrate as they must sweat with so much clothing on while fighting the fires.

This is where i was up to before

I was able to get the beam in place before i had to move from my house due to the fires close by. Now i have to order the wall battens and plasterboard for the walls and ceiling joists and plasterboard for the ceiling. 

I have the light fitting and Led's and a ceiling fan ready so time to get some work done.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Told to go by The Police

There has been a huge fire the other side of the hills above my village but the fire was about 5miles away.

The police explained that the fire would soon be out but as a precaution we had to leave. The reason was that the problem was the smoke coming in our direction.

Today we got the all clear to return and i am glad that the Police took the action they did.

I had four friends all offering me a bed for as long as the problem existed. Friends are really there when you need them but i am glad to be back home.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The sun turns red

Tonight I was looking out again at the sky like I did last night. Tonight the cloud was very dark like last night but if you look at the picture below you can see the Sun is red. No it's not the sun at a new planet it's our sun but the sky is making it look red because of the fires far away.

Fires as bad as they get.

While i was typing last night about fires where the smoke blacked out the sunlight. Today when i got up i found outside ash was covering everything on my veranda and by my front door. I made my cup of tea and put my computer on for the BBC news as i do most day. But i was shocked by what i saw.

Since putting my computer on at a little before 10am i have sat watching the news. Below is an extract from the BBC online news site.

A catastrophic forest fire in Portugal has claimed at least 58 lives, officials say.
Most died while trying to flee the Pedrógão Grande area, 50 km (30 miles) south-east of Coimbra, in their cars, according to the government.
Several firefighters are among the 59 people injured.
"Unfortunately this seems to be the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires," said Prime Minister Antonio Costa.
The death toll could rise further, he said.
Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes said that 30 of those who died were found inside cars, with another 17 next to the vehicles, on one road leading on to the IC8 motorway.
Another 11 died in a village next to the motorway, Mr Gomes said.

 We all look to the Fire brigade or as they are called here in Portugal the Bombeiros they are really the bravest of the brave.

This is only less than 50 miles away from me or less than 80 kilometres and i used to turn here to go to a market.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

The air was full of smoke

I looked outside a little while ago and the sky looked dark. Where the sun should be the sky was just a red colour but unrecognisable do to smoke. In every direction it just looked smokey and with a reasonably strong wind the sky is now getting clear.

It's that time of year sadly it's fire time and living in a village surrounded by forest we rely on the brave Men and Women of the volunteer fire brigade called locally the Bombeiros these brave people are mostly unpaid.

The sun is hidden by a covering of smoke in the sky let's hope that where the fire may be that all the Heroes come home safe to there families.

An hour later and the sky looks on fire scary.

Oh dear me the heat

It has been a hot sticky week and it took me longer to get what i wanted done. I have been treating myself to Strawberries and cream every night this week. Today on the way back from the market i called to get some ice cream only because i had a cooler box with me.

Pity the quality of the picture turned out not as good as it should.

My treat tonight was loads of strawberries, strawberry ice cream and topped of with whipped cream. Now i did deserve every bit of my treat.

It's been a long week this week

 I have bed space for three visitors and myself makes four. I also had a spare bedroom and this bedroom would be better opened up to give me a big lounge. So this week I started to take a wall door and the door frame down ready to put a new concrete lintel to support the floor above.

 But the heat here this week in Portugal has made it difficult to do as much work as I would've liked to have done and it's taken me a week to open up the wall. It's not my lack of being able to do the job I could easily if I'd been inclined taken the wall down in a day unfortunately due to the dust and having to get rid of all the rubble it's taken me a week. Just to get the opening done.

Next week I should get the concrete lintel fitted and I will be ready to get started on the walls. The walls will be battened out with timber and plaster boarded over. But that's another story for another day.

Family found and reunited

I Mentioned  the story about finding somebody's family  somebody's long lost family.  I went on a site called and from there we found family that my friend didn't know he had. The reason he asked me to look for him was because I found somebody from my past.

Everybody who knows me knows not to call me before 10 o'clock in the morning that even goes for my family.  Today I got a phone call a little after 8 o'clock in the morning on my mobile I have reason to be concerned if I get an early call in case it's from a family member whose work is dangerous so I answer the phone. Is that the bad news and early call could have been no it was good news because my friend had gone back to the UK and met up with his family he knew nothing about.

Knowing that you have been instrumental in helping somebody find long lost family is a good feeling to have. I will end the story now and I can just say I'm so proud of what we've both done my friend and myself.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

When it goes wrong who do you call " The A team " Pharos

It must be difficult when you run a big successful company and outside of your control something goes wrong.

I recently had an order from one of my Spices suppliers go missing. Not having any contact with UPS i had to go back to the Courier company who if you read my Blog will know i use Pharosparcels in Scotland. I sent an email late at night so next day it would be seen by the staff when there office opens, No it was answered by the owner a few minutes before 11pm at night.

Yesterday the 11th June i received my missing parcel but instead of 28kilo it weighted no more than a couple of kilo but it had my Label on it so in i went to open it. Upon opening the parcel i found that i had in my box a very expensive part for a sound mixing system.

I took pictures of the label and the contents and emailed them to UPS and Pharosparcels and left it at that till early this morning when i received an email from Pharos to let me know where we are up to in finding my parcel.

Even when something goes wrong Pharos are there for you.

Thanks The Pharos team.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

A problem getting timber

I have a big problem getting timber with Chicco being closed due to a serious injury. Due this problem I have a number of jobs I can't complete until I can get old aged timber, new timber is not the same colour as aged timber.

The last major job I have to do is to insulate what was a bedroom next to the lounge until now. I am taking the door away and the wall between the door and my log burner to give me an L shaped lounge. I will batten the walls and add insulation and then plaster board the walls like I did in the previous bedroom.

I already have the Coving and Led lights for the ceiling and for behind the coving. Today I took down the door frame preparing to get started but mainly so I could set out where the concrete beam is to go.

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Bombeiros

I am naturally proud of being from Liverpool as i have said before. But i have been reminded about the Fire Brigade here in Portugal or as they are called the Bombeiros. You find these brave men and women all over Portugal. These brave men and women risk there lives every time there is a call for there services.

About two years ago there was a fire the other side of Arganil in the direction of Coja. During that fire two/ three fire fighters lost there lives but the most tragic part was that one was a lady and she was pregnant.

The white tank below the helicopter is a water tank for the Bombeiros to get water to fight the fires. This water tank is in my village and it's only about 100 meters from my house.

When i was looking for my house before i moved here i saw the vehicles that the Bombeiros use. Coming from a big city i am used to ultra modern fire fighting machines but not here. With some roads in the area i live as narrow as 2 meters in places. How would ultra modern machines get down these roads and up some of the tracks. If you saw some of the machines you would think that they should be in a museum but they do the job.

The day of the picture above there where four helicopters that day taking water for a fire past Colmeal. I know there was four because of the registration numbers on the side of the body of the helicopter.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

And stilll proud to be a Scouser

i have just read that in the aftermath of the bombing in Manchester Liverpool taxi drivers left Liverpool to help bring people home. That's just what Scousers are we just do it.

Years ago at the Grand National there was a Bomb alert and the racecourse was cleared and the famous race was Called off. What did the Locals do many hundreds took people in who's cars where trapped in the racecourse and let them stay until there cars where released. Scousers.

I get asked at the markets I go to often if I am English but I always answer NO then I say proudly I am a Scouser from Liverpool.

Even on holidays to many foreign countries when you get talking and you say Liverpool and you are a scouser everybody knows us.

Scouser and proud.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Just look at this floor beam

I took a friend to see a house that another friend needs work doing to it. While looking round i noticed the floor beams and i took the picture you see below. The box below is just what i want as it's full of good dry wood.

Just look at this floor beam but it holds the floor above up and has done for many years.

I had three of these boxes when i moved into my house. These boxes are made from Chestnut and it's very old and dry. All i want is for the owner to decide that he wants to sell.

There are four small rooms that have to be knocked into one and that means the floors have to be dug out and leveled.  When this time comes i hope i get to buy the box.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Service this good yes this good

I have used Pharosparcels now for three years plus and i have never had anything but perfect service. On occasion i have had to make a call for one reason or another and i have got through to Fiona the boss now that shows the boss cares.

I have a parcel on it's way of 28kilo of Spices and while in Liverpool i made up another parcel but sent by me instead of a Spice company. I decided to pay via Paypal but my browser screen froze in the middle of the transaction. I went back to do the transaction all over again and guess what my browser is having an off day.

After this i went back to the beginning to do another transaction and pay by card again the browser just looked at me is if to say it's late time for bed. So with this i decided to use my Ipad and hey it worked first time so i now have my parcel paid for and i only have to wait for an email with the label to arrive to be put on the parcel.

When i got my email i in fact got a few in fact three for three tranactions it seems that my previous transactions i tried had in fact been paid. I took copies of the transactions with a screen dump something easy as i use Ubuntu Linux not windows. I sent an email to Pharosparcels so that in the morning my email with these problems would be seen then time for a cuppa. At 10.53 i received an email form Fiona saying she will look at my problems and deal with the refunds.

Now if that's not good service when the boss emails you at almost 11pm i don't know what more anybody could expect. Fiona thanks again for perfect service

Walked out of WH Smiths

Once through the security and passport control at Liverpool airport your time is taken up waiting for your plane to arrive to take you and in my case Home. I always get a couple of bottles of Coke one for on the flight and the other for the journey from the airport to home.

This trip back home was not like it normally was i got my two bottles of Coke and went to the till in WH Smiths only to be told not asked by an assistant to use the machines. For those who don't know the machines are automatic tills where you serve yourself. Sorry i won't use these the more auto tills the less assistants so i walked out and left the Coke.

In another part of Liverpool airport is another WH Smiths and i hoped to be treated better BUT. guess what no again i was told to use the machine. It wouldn't have been so bad if they said could you please use the machine as i am busy or another excuse. So i walked out again and found a Boots, This boots was better because the Coke was cheaper. I got my two Coke and as i walked over to the till a young assistant walked over and served me and i must say she was most polite.

So Boots in Liverpool airport gets a big congratulations from me. 

Knocking on Heaven's door

I give no explanation about this it's personal. Please take the time to play the link and listen to the song.

Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Youtube


Mama, take this badge off of me
I can't use it anymore
It's gettin' dark, too dark to see
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can't shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin' down
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

Wrong type of leaves

Remember as a child when something went wrong or you can back late and you always had an answer for what had gone wrong. Well when you grow up you can do what you did then just come up with any answer. 

We have all heard of the railway problem itch the wrong type of leaves on the tracks and then the wrong type of snow. Well I saw the latest rubbish article now it's the wrong type of Rain.

Remember when British rail came up with the one " Wrong kind of leaves " Leaves are leaves.

Then we had the wrong kind of snow, how many types of snow are there i ask.

Friday, 19 May 2017

And they blamed the address

I needed a part for my electric planer and found a company who could supply it for me. I ordered and paid by PayPal on the 22nd of April and when it hadn't been delivered when I expected delivery I complained. After I complained I received an email to check the address of course the address was correct because I gave it to them.

Can I just please confirm your delivery address:
2 new road, , deal, ct15 4df,kent, United Kingdom
Is this correct?

All The Best

Solent Tools

Today the 18th May I called again and guess what they still haven't dispatched yet. They told me there is two places locally with that address but only one with the correct house number and postcode. 

I asked a postman collecting mail from a postbox near where I am staying and he confirmed that with the postcode and house number the parcel will be delivered. At a place called Sandhills in Liverpool is a post depot where you go to collect mail that couldn't be delivered is left. I went to this depot to ask if the house number and postcode is enough to ensure a parcel would be delivered. Three postmen all confirmed that with house number and postcode I should have no trouble with my parcel.

At no time did this company contact me about any problem they may think they have. The only contact from them was after I had called them. 

If after I called and they replied on the 4th May and I confirmed it was correct why two weeks later was it still waiting to be shipped. 

So beware     

I am making up a parcel to have collected by UPS to send to me timed to arrive the day after I get home. Pity a vital tool spare won't get to me in time to have sent with all the other things I have got ready for shipping.

Would I use this company again not in this lifetime, there could be anything up to 10 items and  all parcels where delivered to me and packed in one box per month. In the last three years this is the first problem I have had. Pity this crackpot firm didn't use Pharosparcels they never let me down.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

At last

This trip was so I could see my Mum for her 92nd birthday and Mum was on great form even though she has been unwell of late. Even though I took pictures of my Mum I can't find a way on iPad to put up a picture on my Blog till I get home next week.

Today for the first time while I am in Liverpool we have sunshine and it and it took a week to arrive. As I came by Ryanair I have no transport, my son and daughter have been great but it's not like having my own car or van with me. While here I am stocking up with all things I like from beans to sesame oil even food grade bags for my spices. I also got a huge bottle of tomato sauce along with Fray bentos steak pies. There is nothing wrong with having a treat now and again.

Today the post came and it was my chisels for my lathe so my box will have a wide variety of stuff to get sent over to my house. I have ordered lots of timber for when I get home to make boxes for under my twin beds and timber for shelves for my workshop.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

I had to locate someone some time ago

As the title says i had a need to locate someone from my past to right a wrong.
I mentioned this to a close friend and how i went about it. He then told me that he knew little about his father and would like to find out more. To make it easy his father had three Christian names and that made it easy to start the search.

Now a few days later he came back to see just how far we could get and i was surprised just how far we got. We where able to go back to the early 1800's and to his Great Grandmother. This we did because i had to remind myself just how i searched for a friend from my past and we soon started to find what he wanted.

When it got to his father by having three Christian names made it easy but there was two entries for the same person. The problem being that each one had already had someone doing a family tree so for further information we had to get in touch with the two other people. Another way i found was to look at the Births, Deaths and marriages and here we found out his Father had passed away. The births, marriages and divorces where of great help as well.

We sent of two messages to the people who had started the family trees and waited for a reply. I am glad to say that a reply came and he is now in touch with family  he knew nothing about.

Every story needs a happy ending.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Beef gravy but where is the meat

It's been a long time since i had a rant about ingredients on a food product this time it's about Asda gravy granules

Potato starch
Palm oil
Fortified Wheat flour (  Wheat flour. Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin (B3) Thiamin (B1))
Colour Ammonia Caramel
BEEF FAT (Flavouring Contains Wheat)
Onion powder
Emulsifier (Soya Licithins)

Bold may contain allergens

The pack says MEAT Gravy Granules,  the only ingredient in this product to come from a Cow is Beef Fat.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

I don't want crap scrap

I went to a scrap yard in Arganil for a headlight for my van and as luck had it they had one in stock and only 35€. When it came time to fit it i found that the reflective covering on the inside was all discoloured almost black so i went back for a refund or replacement.

It was suggested that i cut away the front of my faulty light and the front of the one sold to me and glue the two goods bits together. I asked for a refund due to the replacement being faulty, the girl who served me said that they had no money and i would have to have something else. I asked three times for a refund and each time i was fobbed of so i asked for the Complaints Book.

The system here is that when asked for the Complaints Book the business must immediately hand over the Complaints Book. I then reminded her that as she has not given me the book so i am going to the GNR make a formal complaint.

At this point she called me back having now found the money for my refund.

I then went to another scrap yard in a place called Poiares where i found a scrap yard that had one in stock but it was on a van. The guy behind the counter asked that i follow him to the rear where the van was parked. He then connected a battery to show me the headlight was OK. There is good service and all you have to do is look for it.

Parcel2go Parcel to crap

for over three years i have had all my Spice parcels delivered via Pharosparcels and they use UPS. Every parcel has arrived quickly and one only took 66 hours from the UK to me in my village in Portugal.

I had a parcel sent by a family member and they did the booking for the courier. I sent the delivery details. When the parcel was ready to be collected i was shown the label on the parcel via Facetime on my Ipad. The address was correct so UPS collected as they normally do.

My parcel is for the first time late but not just late it's now 10 days so very late. On the tracking on the couriers site i get a message

Current Status: The address is incomplete. This may delay delivery. We're attempting to update the address. / Your delivery has been rescheduled for the next business day. 

My family member used not Pharosparcels like i have for over three years they used Parcel2go because it was about £2 cheaper. 

Moral of the story stay with what you know.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

A friend I do miss

anybody reading my Blog knows how lucky I am to have someone like Chicco as a friend. I heard last week he had a bad fall, above where he planks tree trunks is a store area. Chicco fell of the second floor and as far as I know he has some serious injuries.

I do hope he makes a good recovery but at his age I don't think it will be a quick recovery.

Get well Chicco soon as you can.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

We have running water as well

I have been asked often about getting various things, particularly by people with building experience they seem to think the UK is the only place to get most building materials. My comment to them is usually "We now have running water and Electricity "

Today while sat on my veranda having breakfast i saw the bin men come to empty our bin, OK nothing unusually there but not today.

Today after the bin men came the bin cleaners and as the picture shows the huge roller to clean the bin.
So yes Portugal is a civilised country.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Disappointing day not needed

Today was a very disappointing day. Since i moved into my house and found out that the Cherry tree on my land next to the font only had tiny Cherries i had a plan. Because one of the branches that i had cut of due to damage and it was eaten away from the inside i wanted the trunk.

On the land that the Cherry tree was growing there was a chance to plant somethings i wanted that would suit me better. For a start Walnut trees i have one in a big pot and it's doing very well. I decided to cut the Cherry tree down today and take the trunk to Chicco to have made into planks. Well that was the plan but not all plans work out the way you expect them to.

As the picture shows the tree trunk is eaten away from the inside or rather it's just grown that way.

Here is the trunk all cut up and of no use to me apart from firewood.
A sad end to a dream of what i may have been able to do with it.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Door done

I have already mentioned that i have finished the window frame after insulating the walls in my spare bedroom.

Now it's the door. I had help from Robin when i built a stud wall to take the new door. The door now slides into the new wall.  This meant that i had to make a new door frame so the pictures below so a little of what i had to do.

 This is two pieces of wood i had to make into one side of the door frame. This fitted over the excisting door frame and the door slides into the wall.

Now this is made up of three pieces to for the new door frame. Built over the old door frame that is hidden behind this new frame.

Here is my pride and joy the door and frame finished. I was lucky that Chicco had some darker Chestnut to make the corner feature and it really stands out.

Window done

I have been working on changing my spare bedroom. I started by insulating and plaster boarding the all the bedroom walls.

I had to panel all around the window so it was of to Chicco for loads of Chestnut. 

I got Chicco to make me five of these i don't know what they are called but armed with a picture Chicco was able to make just what i wanted.

Here you can see the window frame done including the molding for the top corners.
To finish my friends Mr Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner now have a home, if i have to glue them down so they don't run off on another adventure i will.

This window  looks ever bit as i had planned.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Normally at this time of year

At this time of year we would have had rain rain and more rain until the beginning of about May. this year we have had little rain and nowhere near enough but what can we do.
While having a cup of tea on the veranda i could hear Bees on my Orange and Lime trees so i went in to leave them alone. I later took some pictures of my various fruit trees and below is some pictures i took.

The grapevine already has small bunches of grapes, i don't know if the grapevine is a Shiraz or a Chardonnay and only time will tell.

This one is my Lime tree and has lots of blossoms so hopefully i may get some Limes. I use Limes in my cooking so here is hoping.

Here is the bigger of my two Orange trees. Lots of blossom and it looks like the Bees have been busy. I try not to disturb the Bees while they are busy.

Monday, 10 April 2017


I was taken to a timber yard a few days ago but i timber yard like none i have seen before. A timber yard in Liverpool where i used to go had a huge sign saying timber over 20ft was to order. The cost was at a premium for some reason i don't know.

This warehouse is well of the beaton track between a place not mush bigger than a village and a small town. 13m or 40ft in stock.
I asked the owner do they charge a premium for such long pieces of timber and he said if he did builder would just go to another timber yard.

The timber you see wrapped comes from Lithuania. They also stock as a stock item that you don't need to order is Mahogany, i never saw this in Liverpool it had to be ordered.


Here we can see is the board store. these are 2.7m X 1.85m much bigger that UK standard board sizes. What seemed unusual is that the supplier is licensed to deliver the oversize timbers.

So if you are going to move to sunny Portugal don't worry there supply chain is some respects is much better.