Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category


Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

I had been thinking for some time on how to tackle the issue of refrigeration on the quinta. An early experiment hadn’t been encouraging. It’s all very well using a zeer pot for a few items (I have one in the yurt made from 2 large plant pots), but when there’s volunteers or guests staying, it’s a lot less practical. I found myself torn between the desire the keep it low tech and cool things naturally, and having the convenience of somewhere I could easily store more sensitive foods like meat and even indulge in the occasional ice cream. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I have two cats and a dog who do. With the price of pet food rising while the quality plummets, I’d also been thinking about making my own animal food. This would be a lot more tricky without a fridge.

Zeer pot used for refrigeration in the yurt


Wash day

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Yesterday I did the laundry. I put the laundry in the washing machine, added laundry liquid, switched it on, and went away while it did its thing.

And was almost insanely pleased with myself.

Ancient washing machine


Stove ready

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

It’s been raining, so work is inevitably progressing at a slower pace than I’d like given the urgency in getting the yurt dried out. A couple of days’ work now has the stove stripped down, rust removed, corroded and sheared bolts replaced, and reassembled and tested.

L Lange & Co wood burning stove

It goes! With no leaks.


The posts that got away … No 2. Footwear and things not to do when working with big dods of wood

Sunday, July 5th, 2009
Don’t wear these



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 …



Parting shots

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

I have to return to the UK now after this all-too-brief visit. Here are some images I’ll be keeping in my head as well as on this blog.

Morning oaks

Young oaks silhouetted by the rising sun. (There are almost as many oaks as fruit trees here.)