Friday, 27 March 2009

Chicken run

We let the chickens out everyday now and they love it, by lunch time they have made their way down to the meadows, where if given half the chance would eat all the plants I've planted (am in the process of making a gate out of bamboo from the river, to keep them out).
They are happily eating the green stuff we planted for them and it doesn't take much banging of tupperware to get them to follow me back up the hill for a tasty snack a bedtime story and sleep.

Blokey stuff, part four

Various motorised vehicles as requested by some blokey followers

Wind up toy

45 meters high and rather huge to be travelling around the mountain roads , but they have to get them up the mountain somehow and this is how

Blossom's got a goose

We all miss Stanley especially Blossom so we bought her a new toy and some pigs ears....won't really make up for anything but might help...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Stanley 31st March, 1998-17th March, 2009

Some of you will know how much our first dog Stanley meant to us, some of you who had never liked dogs fell in love with him. Everyone understood that he had a big heart and a gentle spirit. He had sadly deteriorated since arriving in Portugal, the blindness he managed to cope with the,the terraces he did not, he tumbled several times and whether or not the falls bought on osteoarthritis or it would have happened anyway is neither here nor there...he was old, he'd had a good innings and yesterday (Blossom's birthday) we called the vet out and we said goodbye to our dear beloved friend in our forest on the top of a mountain. A huge gust of wind came as he left us and we all felt that his enormous spirit had been lifted off towards the mountains. God Bless you Stan

Saturday, 14 March 2009

The dark side

Here's a picture of what we call "the dark side", it's a piece of chestnut woodland that we own and George (the butcher of Benfeita) our neighbour suggested that if we wanted to fell the pines that were periodically falling over we needed to do it now as he's about to plant corn and didn't want the trees falling on his land or being felled onto his land.

Our local shopkeeper

There is a shop in Benfeita, sort doesn't sell much and is never open and the owners dogs chase away anyone that approaches the shop, however if they see you they'll open. I went the other day as they have a big sign outside displaying all sorts of delicious looking ice creams, we were hot and needed cooling down. I went inside and went to the freezer only to discover it was full of fish!

Hiving off, again......

We'd stopped to talk to these people as they had a "honey for sale" sign outside their house and as they were outside Rick decided to talk to them about bees and where to get some. The old chap told Rick that he no longer kept bees and that he had no honey for sale or hives or equipment. Later that day on our way home we passed them again, this time they were all geared up for beekeeping.....either they were lying or we didn't understand properly......

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Blokey stuff part three, licence to fish

Cost of fishing licence €3.50, trout seen this year so far zero, motorcycle pix will follow shortly.......

Monday, 9 March 2009

Blokey stuff part two...

Knife number two. Old piece of tool steel and chestnut burr handle. Chestnut from our own woodland

2 months and finally.....

After two months (first pic taken in January, after clearing 12ft high weeds) we have very nearly finished hand-digging meadow two. I have started planting stuff out and erected lots of canes and pea netting. The potatoes will go in next week and we are also planting a lot of maize in the animal meadow. Meadow one (pics another time) has been designated animal meadow, and will eventually house the chickens and goat and maybe even a pig or two, meanwhile we'll grow crops there for them all to eat. 
Rick has been busy clearing the woodland on what we call the dark side...there were a lot of downed pines and as he was felling the other day a very old chestnut blew down right in front of him, at that point he left the woodland as the winds had really picked up. Now that we're ready for planting he can go back to the woods and mess about with his chainsaw and axes.

The day of the first egg

Hurrah, we finally have our first egg, we knew it wouldn't be long as some friends of ours got their chickens a couple of weeks before us and their's started laying 2 weeks ago. 
The chucks seem to be getting very fat (probably all that pasta and rice I keep giving them), and very tame too, the dogs are slowly learning to leave them alone, Stanley our blind dog still has a go but fortunately has not made contact. Must be hard for the dogs doing what was once applauded (flushing pheasants) to being scolded for flushing chickens...they'll learn.