Aahh… The simple life. Downsizing. Simplifying. Nature. Back to basics. That was the idea. Buy a house in the mountains in Portugal and live the simple life…
Well now. There’s a misconception if ever I had one! Firstly, building or rebuilding a house on very little money has turned out to be a seemingly infinite process. It’s not a project, it’s a lifestyle. As is managing the land with which it came. And making enough to live on is even more impossible.
I look back to my last years in England and remember the simplicity of it all. Clocking off at five-thirty, that was simple. Coming home to your rented house that’s sitting there as clean and tidy as you left it that morning, simple. Opening a bottle of bought wine and just making up a salad or something to go with the ready-made quiche from the freezer. Maybe stick some oven chips in too. And then relaxing. Aahh…
Now, it may not seem that way to those of us who have never attempted it, but relocating and simplifying is not that simple at all!
I have not had time to post my first entry on my new blog that a dear friend has generously assisted me in setting up. I am seeing her once a week. I’m supposed to go there this afternoon and I’ve got homework. She’s a teacher in Coimbra and I’ll be in big trouble if I don’t produce.
But down on my piece of land in the valley the wild boar are destroying everything and there’s a drought already predicted for this summer and the well down there is the only one that never runs dry and so it needs to be used for the kidney bean crop so it needs fencing off so we’ve had to go and buy rolls of fence and with the help of our friendly neighbour get some of his woodland cleared. Small trees needed to be felled, loaded on the tractor trailor and brought back here. Then they all need the bark stripping off them. Then cutting down to size and pointing… I’m sure back in the UK if I’d ever needed a fence I would have gone out and bought a fence. From B&Q or somewhere? And the kidney beans?
Lesson 3; part 2: How to make a post such as one’s ‘Introductory Post’ always stay at the top of the page.
Me: “Do I want to?”
Julie: “It’s called making it ‘sticky'”.
Me: “Oh, go on then, I can’t resist!”
(I would like to own up at this opportunity that despite two entire days of considerable perspiration and blistered hands, I had failed to fashion anything like usable points to the aforementioned fence posts, causing my neighbour Antonio to have to re-do all two hundred of them as he went, on grape vine tying day. He is usually a very good natured man. He has taught me most of what I know in both local agriculture and village sayings. The one he used on that day translated quite easily into something like ‘For the work you put into all of these you might as well have stayed in bed’.)