Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

Going backwards

Some time ago I gave up trying to be sceptical about astrology. Every time I did, I ended up facing the strength of the correlations instead, and was prompted by this into a more thorough study and testing of it, and an eventual acceptance that despite everything that 20th century ‘logic’ might suggest, the damn thing works, and then some.

So somehow this was only to be expected. With the escritura scheduled during one of the 3-week periods when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backward in relation to the Earth (Mercury retrograde), there were reasonable odds on falling prey to the glitches, delays and complications with contracts and communications that many observe happen with above-average frequency during these times.

When Portuguese property changes hands, all owners have to sign their assent to the purchase. Quinta do Vale is owned by 2 brothers, and because each are married, their wives have equal title, so both brothers and their wives need to be present at the escritura. The daughter of one brother was taken into hospital 3 days ago and her mother had to go north to Braga immediately to take care of her newborn baby. Due to a misunderstanding, the family were also under the impression I was to be in Portugal for another week, so there was no sense of urgency or thoughts of a power of attorney which would have allowed the escritura to go ahead as planned (and which could hardly be expected to be uppermost in their minds in the circumstances in any case).

It’s very common in Portugal for property purchases to be plagued with things going wrong with the legal title, land registration, etc (due to complications arising from a combination of inheritance laws and under-registered land), so to have the escritura delayed for other reasons was not quite but almost a relief. Our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to the daughter.

We visited the notary’s office to devise a solution and came up with a novel idea which the notary is happy to accommodate. It seems particularly appropriate somehow, not to mention suitably mercurial. We’ll use communications technology (laptops and webcams) so I can be a virtual presence at the escritura and Cynthia will have power of attorney to sign on my behalf.

And as an extra precaution, we’ll be rescheduling the escritura for after February 1st when Mercury goes direct again.

(Mercury retrograde periods are also associated with times when long-held ideas are finally acted upon. We first arrived in Portugal last September at the very start of the previous Mercury retrograde.)

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