Archive for June, 2009

Yurt platform structure complete … well almost

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Another good day. Starting at 6.30am, constructed the last pillar of tyres, completed the drainage ditch round the circumference, shifted all the main beams into place (thanks to Pete and Pavlik for giving us a hand with those) with plastic sheeting between tyres and wood to provide a moisture barrier, put first coat of petrol/used engine oil mix on remaining beams and second coat of undiluted engine oil on them all, and cut noggins from our stack off offcuts from the woodyard.

Basic yurt platform structure almost complete


What's happening to the oaks?

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

(See what happens when it rains? Nothing to do but run the computer batteries down.)

Does anyone know what’s happening to the oaks around these parts? I was concerned to see so much leaf browning when I came back to the quinta this time, and have noticed it on a lot of other oaks in the area. A neighbour said it happened last year too. Whatever it is, it looks fungal. It seems to extend all the way up to the N17 with some really dead looking trees round Coja.

Oak fungal disease?


The water carrier

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

This is something we’ve been planning to do for quite some time.

The Water Carrier

After I first shook hands on the purchase of the quinta, I wanted to carve something for the place, and specifically for the niche behind the waterfall on the middle terrace. The idea was that it should carry the energy and intent that water should always run on this land (as it evidently always has).


Yurt platform progress day … um, what day is it?

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Yesterday was another reasonably cool day and I made great progress. Today has been warmer so worked from 6am to midday only and then took a break. Only 2 supporting pillars left to construct and two of the main beams in place. Drainage channel round the circumference partly complete.

Yurt platform construction


Yurt platform progress

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

We’ve been dead lucky with the cooler weather. Though today went a bit far and I ended up working in waterproofs. Hey ho, just another Scottish summer …

Yurt platform foundations


The yurt platform

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

We’ve got a good start into the main project for this trip — getting the yurt installed.

The wood arrived two days after we did from the local woodyard in Coja.

Wood arrives


Days at the river beach

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

It’s so brilliant, particularly for the kids (small and big), having this 250m down the hillside.

Benfeita river beach


Arganil market

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Oonagh with shades

Haha. This is me at Arganil Market. Liking The Shades? It’s great fun there because they sell almost everything! From Tools to Clothes And Even Kittens. Aaaaah.

There’s lots of Cafés there! I’m sitting at the usual one! The annoying thing about this Café is … they have their seasons all mixed up. They serve luke warm soup in winter and hot soup in summer?!?! Weird huh?

It’s always great fun there! Well… Shopping’s my thing. Hehe.

Well. You’ll Have To See It For Yourself! At the moment while I’m writing this blog I’m sitting at Benfeita café.


Strimmers at 6am

Friday, June 19th, 2009

No longer just the dulcet and idiosyncratically erratic tones of Benfeita’s church bells to wake us in the morning. It’s crazy buzzing 2 strokes revving around the valleys from first light. Some unseasonal downpours have meant that everything is growing with amazing vigour and terraces that were cleaned only a few weeks ago are having to be done again already. As for terraces that were last cleaned in April, well …



Bees on their knees

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

This is mostly a post from my other blog, made over two years ago now, which I got reminded of yesterday while upgrading the blog to WordPress software (about time! … a case of the cobbler’s bairns …). Since the publicity being given to the disappearing bees doesn’t appear to have moved on much at all from how it was then, I think it’s worthwhile repeating the post, with some updates, here.

Honeybee on wax flower