Many thanks to our great friend (and high-minded painter) Andy Baird, who both conceived and jump started this attempt to contemporaneously record at least some of the eventings of one move abroad. Regarding content, the narrower column on the left is the supposedly more timeless and reference stuff; ongoing entries are in the larger-width column on the right of the script below - following the (red)


by-line below. The plan is for these at least to be augmented over time.

It should also follow, therefore, that the most recently added post will always be at the top of this right-hand column; so if you want to get a flavour from earlier times, scroll and start NEARER TO or EVEN AT THE BOTTOM (only, please, please if you chose this option, allow yourself a series of snack-breaks; it can be repetitive, and boredom is guaranteed to increase with intensity of effort!)- but ANY comments are not only also welcomed ->but positively encouraged

Remember this folks ......

Remember this folks ......

Friday, February 11, 2005

November 2005

Casais de S. Jorge
3131-022 Degracias

24th November 2005

Indeed, we are writing this in late November -and to-day we have a coolish wind from the mountains to the North, just as the sun is splitting the skies- but that’s because Jason (and his girlfriend Jane) is with us and we’re taking the opportunity of having them take back a batch of cards for posting in N.I. Although the shops ARE geared up already –the great god of commercialism must be served- Christmas here is more a family occasion: New Year is the bigger, more public celebration.

Anyway, the stories of 2005 were mainly the long dry hot summer -about eight months until late September during which we had probably less than that number of rain showers, our purchase of the `field`, and now Jason’s new partnership.

Portugal has just had its` worst and longest recorded drought in 60 (sixty) years. This meant not only that the fires which had removed much of the forestry south of us over the last two summers finally hit our patch -including a small outbreak almost literally on our doorstep- but also played havoc with the Casais agriculture. After a great early potato harvest (which I for one, just didn’t understand, given that the dry spell had initially delayed planting, and continued throughout the growing season) we had ruination of the milho (corn) tomatoes etc., a personal battle just to stave off `dry-out` of our garden flowers (grass we abandoned about May), and just recently flowering blooms and a bumper olive harvest -which we’re still collecting but hope to transform in to at least some olive oil. We continue to be warned that olives, growing individually on two-year-old wood, really only crop about once in four years, and notwithstanding that we had previously purchased the three trees surrounding our land (to add to the one in the garden) the Bankhead sustenance effort has been considerably boosted by an estimated further twenty trees on our new land. This was really our pride and joy for 2005 (until Jason announced -and, last week, duly arrived with- his new girlfriend) and you’ll presumably already be tired of hearing about it.

Oh O.K.

In no small part thanks to that prolonged heat and sunshine, our acre–and-a-half field is now in as good shape as I had hoped in my wildest dreams that it would be coming into the winter. The principal objectives of clearing both the (level) meadow to establish the boundaries for ploughing -which a neighbour will do with one of those new-fangled tractor things in the Spring- and at least part of the sloped shrubbery that runs down on to that land were accomplished and exceeded. Furthermore, a fair amount of clearance has recently taken place in G`s upper pen, already containing most of the aforementioned olives and intended eventually for a vegetable patch. The really heavily wooded centre thicket is for the future, along with some sort of smallish cabin to provide a balcony, consumption of evening planters for the use of.

But as I think I`ve said before, the only way to really appreciate it all, would be to
Come out and see for yourselves…….so it’s your shout

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