Another early morning alarm call, another hard frost and another beautiful day. The builders arrived early to continue taking off the roof tiles and removing the wooden slats. A couple of friendly blokes. They declined our offer of hot coffee – we heard that the Portuguese think the way the English make coffee isn’t quite right – too much and too weak. Mental note to get the Tassimo unpacked and give that a go.
Mark spend the day working on the land while I set up camp in the annexe with Wanda. I cranked up the laptop and got stuck into admin stuff that was outstanding. I managed to take photographs of the missing paperwork Oscar has asked us for and got that emailed across to him thanking him for all he has done. I do feel for the guy as it’s taken two years to complete something which we first thought would only take two weeks. I don’t think for one moment that he could have done anything else to move this along any quicker. I also believe that if the sellers hadn’t appointed their solicitor in Fundao and given him power of atourney, we would still be dancing around.
Mark was extremely productive and did a fantastic job strimming, clearing the Sistas and freeing a little fig tree from the vines, brambles and weeds that were choking it. Still so much to do, but looking so much better.
Raphael and Antonio had called by earlier in the afternoon to check on how things were going. It would seem that the orange trees in front of the long house are not doing too good and are going to be in the way of the equipment. After a bit of discussion, it was agreed that one of them would have to go, but we also received some advice that now is the time to be cutting back the dead wood from other trees as it is sapping the strength from the healthy bits. We added this on our to do list and shuffled it up a bit on the list of priorities.
By the time that the day was drawing to a close, the roof tiles and wooden slats had been removed from the first two sections of the house. The Ecositana crane had arrived and was sat ready and waiting to start moving the old tiles to an area where we can revisit them when refurbishing the annexe as we may be able to re-use some of them. The sand and gravel was piled on the driveway This will be used with the metal rods to create a metal and concrete beam to strengthen the top of the wall before the roof trusses are added.
Linda and Andy had invited us over for dinner so Mark packed up his tools, I shut down the laptop and we checked our mailbox before we headed off for Lourical. It was a lovely surprise to find Christmas cards from Mark’s mum and Dad and my friend Nadene along with a New Home card from Mark’s sister, Paula. There has been some sort of postal strike back in the UK and so a delay in things getting through to us. All seems to have cleared now so perhaps we will be getting a bit more delivered over the next couple of days.
Dinner was delicious with great company and the added bonus of eating at a table that wasn’t two feet away from our bed. We chatted about Brexit, Covid, our future grandson and plans for the next couple of months. It feels very real now and starting to feel like we really belong here. We’re going to register Wanda at the same vet that Andy and Linda use for their two dogs and we have made an appointment for us all to go together on Friday evening. we arranged to meet up at Lardosa so that we didn’t get lost finding the vets and said our goodbyes and left. It was extremely cold by the time we reached home and we were amazed at how clear the sky was. There was hardly any light pollution at all and the starts were so bright. Once inside the annexe, we were thankful that our morning routine includes setting the log burner. This was lit before sorting out a 6am alarm and turning in. We’re so very busy, and loving every minutes but the days fly by so very quickly. We’ve already been her a full month.