Thursday, 23 October 2014

Easy Living

After a good catch up with Gary and friends at Camping Asseiceira I headed over to Yolande's small farm a couple of miles away, tucked beneath the ridge where Marvao sits on its lofty perch. 
Over the next few days I picked up the daily routine regarding the care and welfare of 3 donkeys, 5 dogs, 5 sheep, 4 geese, 4 cats, 16 chickens and 2 ducks, tried to memorise a host of names and individual foibles and met a number of locals who are undertaking various tasks around the place. Much of this centres around restoring power and function to various systems such as phone, internet and wifi as well as well and borehole pumps, showers and boilers following a recent lightning strike that knocked out many devices and caused numerous short circuits.

I parked the van up in the shade of some olive trees and have a hook up to the bore hole cabinet for power, good clean water and thanks to a network circulating around the ring main good fast personal wifi access which has made keeping in touch with people and events very straightforward.
After a day or two of mixed weather with some torrential downpours things have setlled down with cloudless skies and day time highs of 32 -35 with overnight temperatures hovering around 15 degrees.
A hazard for the dogs here is the barbed grass seed which can get lodged in ears and eyes and indeed Cherry the Westie displayed a swollen paw one morning which resulted in a trip to the excellent vet in Portalegre. her almost perfect English was a bonus as the pooch was anaesthetised, the paw opened up and the offending item flushed out. Over the next few days we had to flush the wound through and administer painkillers and antibiotics and she has now made a full recovery - we have a follow up visit tonight which will be combined with a supermarket sweep at the large L'Eclerc that will see me right for a week or so
After treating us to a substantial meal out just across the border in Spain, Yolande has now departed on a much needed holiday leaving her good friend Coleen and I to adopt a relaxed routine enabling us both to leave the property as required - I have taken a couple of spins out on the bike exploring local trails and we both returned to her old house which is on the market pending her possible relocation to the UK. 

The days are filled with a host of minor errands - in Castello de Vide we shopped at the weekly market, dropped off dry cleaning, picked up some items from the small hardware store and joined a dozen or so others for a farewell meal as Gary's business partner Chris is returning to the UK for the winter - he lives near the proposed HS2 route and is busy battling bureaucracy regarding the devaluation of property prices. It was a lively evening with excellent food - I enjoyed the cuttlefish and a superb cheesecake washed down with plenty of beer and wine - all for the princely sum of £15.
A new cover for the well, lighting for the chicken run to try and provoke egg production, repairs and improvements to the goose shed as well as the construction of a new pedestrian gate have all helped the first fortnight to fly by and with a curry on Friday to look forward to all is well.
So far back in Shropshire the mail has produced no unexpected issues for either Mum's or my affairs and she is looking forward to a visit from her sister next week when I hope to Skype them for a catch up.
This morning I have checked in for my return flight in 3 weeks time, I will probably have a night in Lisbon as apparently it is an attractive city to visit, and will be leaving various items of value safely here as the van will be in airport parking for 3 weeks.

My location hardly varies at the moment but this link may indicate my occasional whereabouts and the following photos will introduce you to some of the new friends here and the superb local scenery.

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