Part two …

After a very disturbed night of sleep, I was really quite relieved when the light started to creep in through the window and it was time to get up.  There had been a lot of strange noises throughout the night.  We haven’t been here long enough to identify what they were, maybe a fox or perhaps even rodents.  From time to time we have heard something walking about on the annexe roof.  Sometimes it sounds quite small and other times it is something that is quite heavy footed.  Mark usually hears it first and is spurred on to grab the poker and bash it on the roof.  This usually does the trick and wakes me up!  Last night Mark was sleeping peacefully oblivious to any creaks and sweaks and I saw practically every hour pass on the clock.  Convinced that there had been creatures in the roof and unsure if anything had been in the cupboards, I took everything out to check and disinfect anyway.  There was no sign of anything, so with our little room now spick and span, I turned my attention to working outside. 

Mark had been out some time, and had already dismantled the tumble down chicken coop next to the bathroom.  We are soon learning that hardly anything is thrown away in Portugal, with re-purposing being the order of the day.  In the chicken coop we found an old arga cast iron oven with a  little side door where solid fuel wood be burned.  Not sure if this could be used to heat the workshop he is planning on building it was decided to put this to one side for the time being.  We also found three rings that had once belonged to a wooden barrel, a french banner and a roof which had been cut off an old car.  The banner had to go, we could not think of anything we could use it for, the rings were put to one side for now not sure how we my use them.  The roof was also a keeper.  Mark had invested in an arc welder whilst in the UK and found that if using a metal welding bench a much better contact was achieved and the intention is to cut down the roof and use it for a welding bench.


It took most of the day for it to be dismantled, cut up for firewood or put in the courtyard reading for getting rid of. We managed to replenish the stock of wood that we bought from Pedro and this should keep us toasty for the next month or so.

It was a lovely warm sunny day so I decided to change the bedding and get this pegged out on our little washing line to dry.  The olive trees in front of the annexe were desperately in need of some attention and we set about cutting them back and attempting to open up the canopy.  The suckers from the base of the tree were removed as were the two empty water bottles that has been filled with sugar and water last year to attract the flies.  Although it sounds pretty horrible it certainly did the trick as both bottles were full of dead insects.  To one side of the tree on the raised bed was a clump of orange flowers with the rest of the bed full of rubbish, weeds and dead leaves.  I set about clearing this out.  The soil is very good quite dark brown and sandy.  I split the plants and unsure whether I was doing it properly replanted them in two rows around the edge of the bed.  I was surprised that for such delicate little plants there were really big woody roots and I wondered if they would take kindly to being disturbed.  To complete the look, I hung up the little gold bauble that Steve and Angela had bought for us and re-set the wire mushroom that Twiggy had made.  Pleased with the result, the little plants were give a good drink of water before packing up the gardening equipment.


Wanda spent the whole day outside with us, running around, sniffing out new smells and when she had had enough decided to have a sleep on her sun bed!

Dinner this evening was stew and spicy potatoes which we had taken out of the freezer in the morning.  We decided that we would have a lovely hot bubble bath as a treat for our hard days work.  Hopeful that the gas bottle would rise to the challenge, we turned on the taps and added the bubbles.  It soon became clear that the gas just wasn’t up to the task so two minutes later, not to be deterred from our reward we were boiling the kettle and eventually had the tub filled.

Raphael sent a message to let us know that his team would be arriving first thing tomorrow to start the preparatory work for the new roof.  We were so excited to hear that.  It will be a big day tomorrow as we have our appointment in Castelo Branco at the notary to sign the deed of sale. Not wanting to sleep late tomorrow, we turned in early setting an alarm and hoping for a good nights sleep.


Published by vinhadasalmas

a couple of fifty somethings who want to start a new life in rural Portugal

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