Has been all change. I havenâ€™t got the crib out of the box and couldnâ€™t find the Christmas lights. Itâ€™s not really a problem as we are home and I have tonnes to do.
Been busy with the pruning some olives today and Christmas Eve. I have real cypress Christmas trees but saw no point in expending time and energy to decorate one.
This is my nominated Christmas tree instead. Holmoak (Azeinheiro). It was about my height in 2014 and is now over five metres tall with a decent spread.
I bought about 90 kgs of holmloak for firewood. 30 cents a kilogram. Burns slowly giving off a consistent amount of heat. I aim to get the rest of the firewood I need from around my property. I have enough trees. I am a bit late as the Stihl 370 chainsaw is out of action. I got the Wesco 8303 to help out. And it really does.
So we are home for Christmas. No traditional Goan Christmas sweets :). I did try to make some Perad (guava cheese) but it set too soft. I have to eat it with a spoon. Still very good. I hope to get it right next year. Made some very good guava jam.
So I got a traditional Portuguese Christmas cake (Bolo de Natal) and some Port :). The cake is covered in a variety of glazed fruit and has nut and raisins in it. Very good.
I finally ran out of fresh fruit this week. Ate the last of my persimmons. I now have stewed apples â€“ nice with some yogurt. The stewed apples are easy to do and definitely worth the effort. My tangerine tree has failed to produced this year. So looks like there will be no fresh fruit for a few months.
Been digging out my will olives slowly. The root ball is about a foot deep in the ones I am tackling. Then you have to severe the usually single, tap root. Itâ€™s what keeps the olive tree alive during arid conditions.
Thanks for reading. Thatâ€™s all for now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
This is a tribute to my excellent dog, Petit Gervais â€“ She was the runt of the litter and started her life as Pipoca (Popcorn) . She was the last pup of the litter up for adoption. She was a lively and inquisitive little dog if nervous. Pipoca suited her looks but not her character. I renamed her Petit Gervais after watching the excellent BBC production of â€˜Les Miserablesâ€™ in Portugal on RTP2.
She didnâ€™t have very a good sense of self preservation. Two weeks after I agreed to adopt her a terrible event befell her. I think she was hit by a car causing her hind leg to be irreparably damaged. I never saw either the event or her - as she crawled to her old home where my Portuguese neighbours found her and rushed her to the vet. When she returned home she was one less leg. Being three legged did not help with her nervousness. But she slowly overcame this and just before she was killed she trusted me completely and would always come when I called her and even learned to position herself so that I could lift her up onto the electric quadbike. By the end of her life she finally worked out my limitations and knew how to make her presence known to me to avoid being stepped on.
Her three legged
gait prevented her from walking on a lease as she bounced up and
down. One english friend suggested I name her Ping Pong. Bust she
could run as fast as my other dog, Bonji.
This year she learnt
to kayak with and loved it! She loved being on the sandbar whilst I
picked cockles. She also became confident in the water and learnt to
swim very well with her three legs.
Petit Gervais was a very good guard dog - of the alerter type.
This is probably one of the reason she was killed by poison on 5th October, (Bonfire night). Poisoned meat. From the security cam video footage, it was fast acting. Twenty minutes from when she came in to when she died. When I found her she has only two minutes left. I have a good idea why she was targeted. There are certain people who wish to pass through and around my property undetected. Hunting activities being one such a reason. The other is localized politics which does partly but not entirely encompass the hunter/gatherers mentioned. There are some very evil people here. I am not a good person but Petit Gervais was an innocent animal. I even used to keep her locked in at nights so that she wouldnâ€™t disturb the hunter/gather types.
I buried her in her blanket under the carob tree behind the house. Farewell Petit Gervais , Peeps, Pipoca. She was just two and a half. I now keep poor Bonji mostly tied or locked up.
Other stuff going on in October. Itâ€™s been pretty quiet. I stay at home mainly, pruning my trees etc. I replaced the batteries of my Solar P.V system but I have yet to finish the full installation. They are working fine as they are at the moment.
I have had a trickle of fruit coming through this month like apples, guavas and persimmon. The Persimmon was just one tree and I ate the last one today :). I have sold a few olive trees and aim to sell some more.