Posts Tagged ‘Central Portugal’

Benfeita Wholefood Coop

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Benfeita Wholefood Coop

A few of us in Benfeita have got together to form a wholefood coop. Anyone within what you regard as a reasonable distance of Benfeita (where the orders will be delivered) is welcome to join.


Quinta wildlife #8

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

The number and variety of butterflies on the quinta is growing every day.

Wall Brown butterfly (Lasiommata megera) in Central Portugal

Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).


Getting uncivilised – another unnecessary road?

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

The Portuguese government are evidently planning to build a new road through Central Portugal: a new IC 6 highway, between the towns of Tábua, Oliveira do Hospital, Lagos da Beira, and Seia.

Petition against the project and details here.

O projecto de construção da nova IC 6, entre Tábua, Oliveira do Hospital, Lagos da Beira, e Seia.

Petição contra o projecto aqui.

Getting civilised

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

If there’s one thing I’m quickly learning about life here, it’s that you just have to go with the flow. Looking around the quinta at everything that needs doing I scarcely even know where to start — some brambles here, some bracken there … but aching muscles too accustomed to shoving no more than a mouse around all day are forcing me to slow down, just be with the land, settle in, inch a few root hairs into the soil. The soil smells delicious. The taste of the water is wonderful and has an energy and vitality to it that only water that hasn’t been killed by chemicals has.

After 3 days of trying to cram an ever increasing number of bits and pieces into the tent, I woke up this morning and moved up to the house, cleaned the dust, maize stalks, olive pits and eucalyptus leaves off the old table and set up a kitchen. With coffee on the brew, fresh orange juice to hand, and this for my morning view, I’m seriously wondering what else I need.

Morning view



Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Aonghas looking down the road towards Piódão, uma das mais bonitas Aldeias Históricas Portuguesas (one of the more beautiful Historical Villages of Portugal) which is roughly 10km as the açor flies from our quinta, though more like 30km if you have to rely on wheels and at least some tarmac to drive them on.

Aonghas looking down on Piódão


Hall of mirrors

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Creating this site has been an extraordinary process for a number of reasons. It’s not that I’ve finally taken the step of learning how to run WordPress blogging software on my own site, because that isn’t particularly extraordinary. Nor is it that I’m putting this site together before the formalities of the purchase have been completed, even if that is a bit extraordinary (and possibly more besides).

It’s this. To write something vaguely coherent about our experience, to boil it all down into a few (though doubtless still too many) paragraphs, I had to take a step back from it all.


How we got here

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

The older I’ve got and the more I’ve observed of nature and how humans play their part in it, the more disgusted I’ve become with so much blind stupidity and greed, and the arrogance, hubris and species chauvanism that supports it. But disgust has little to offer (apart from being an incentive to change), and to stay in that state is to continue to be part of the problem, not the solution.

For at least the last two years, this vision of us designing and building our own autonomous house and growing our own food has felt so electric, so imminent, it’s been like living with a massive thundercloud hovering in the air above us, only waiting for a lightning bolt to bring it all down to earth. I looked around for possibilities locally in Scotland, then widened my search to the rest of the UK, then France, Spain, Bulgaria, Dominica, Oregon, British Columbia, New Zealand … but for one reason or another, none of these places seemed either ‘right’ or possible. Portugal didn’t even appear on the radar. Yet the feeling that sooner or later we were going to get zapped just got stronger and stronger.