Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Guest accomodation Video


We've had another wonderful houseful of guests over here for Rick's 50'th birthday and Ishbel's moving here! (congratulations you two!)
We've had a brilliant few days- and while things are quiet (and to delay the housework!) I thought I'd do a quick video of how we are getting on here.
Please excuse the wobbles and quality (and the fact i didn't straighten the quilts properly- you didnt notice? oh you will now ;-)  - as you can tell I'm certainly no camera-woman! but this will give our friends another small update of life at Velagota  :-)




Guest Side Outside area

So- we finally were at a stage when we need to tackle the 'other side of the house'. 
Guests arriving means we needed to open up the area outside the guest suite- take out some pine trees, build up the retaining wall and level the ground. Plus we needed to create an access into the guest suite, without having to traipse through the main house

'before'

Tree felling

Filling and Levelling

'before'


'after '

After- A fab (and shady) area to sit now


with a glass of wine of course...
 So we still have to landscape this area - and we have some great ideas, but that will have to wait for now

Early Summer Garden

April, May and June have just been wonderful here- it's been a pleasure to be outside in the evenings pottering in the garden. We've planted a new orchard and got the vegie garden going again.

The only place to be in the evening, when its hot

The New Orchard- apples, pears, plums, nectarines, cherries and peach


A good year for plums!

Veg garden


Rosa 'The Generous Gardener'

A bit of Pik-a-Nik'ing Booboo

Occasionally people ask us if there's anything we miss from the UK- Paul's reply  (apart from proper beer obvs) would be Crumpets and Scotch Eggs!
So we tried to make them- OK so the first attempt at Scotch Picnic Eggs were a bit rustic but they tasted delicious!


 and Pauls crumpets were pretty darn good too!

http://britishfood.about.com/od/eorecipes/r/Recipe-Traditional-English-Crumpets.htm

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring and Pig butchery


 After weeks and weeks (and months!) of rain the sun has finally appeared! 
The Trees are full of blossom, the air is full of the scent of mimosa and the birdsong is wonderful.
                                               
This weekend we put the remaining two wild boar pigs in the freezer.
Again, it was quick, methodical and no stress for us or the pigs.
 A quick lunch, in between work, of orange and mustard marinaded Pork kebabs.
 Butchering:
we do this the English way- it's quite different to the way the Portuguese make their cuts (who usually remove all the pig fat/skin and make a lot of small pieces). We end up with a varied selection of roasting joints- rolled loins, and chump ends, legs, hand and hocks, belly, chops, bacon, and of course, lots of sausages!
 Bagging and Labeling for the freezer

 Paul's busy making sausages today- Port and Apple, Balsamic Red onion, Herby and a spicy Italian style.
People often ask us how we can rear an animal and then eat it. The answer is simple- knowing that our pigs have had a wonderful, outdoor, happy life means we know where our meat has come from, what it ate, how it was slaughtered (quick and stress-free), and it tastes even better for it.
We don't get any pleasure from the slaughtering but we get a lot of pleasure from trying to use every single bit in a respectful (and delicious) way.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Christmas '13 and a rainy day project


We've been busy as usual, working hard to get the guest suite up for our Christmas houseful!

 We're almost there now - close to actually having a dust-free house rather than an ongoing building site!

Christmas with all the family was wonderful. A couple of weekends before everyone arrived we dispatched one of our pigs (they are about 80% javali or wild boar- not especially big, but that suits us in a way as they are easy to deal with.
                                                                         sausages!
On Christmas day we did a four bird roast (duck, chicken, goose, turkey)



 We've been talking about making a piece of art for the house entrance and on one particularly wet and miserable day thought it would be nice to do something as a family.
We picked up some acrylic paints from one of the local chinese stores and brought in a piece of plasterboard.
We each took it in turns to draw around each others silhouettes with a pencil onto the board.
 then we all took some brushes and colours and filled in the shapes
 none of us were quite sure what the end result would be like, but we were hoping you would be able to make out our shapes at the end
 we couldn't imagine how amazing the final picture would look
  it now has pride of place on the wall 
 and we have a lovely lasting memory of our family Christmas
 If you look closely you can make out most of us in some form or another!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Progress at Velagota

We've been working hard on the house, trying to get it finished for Christmas. Lots of things happening, and we're not quite there yet but we've done really well.
Our mission should we like to accept it is to get a fully fitted guest suite up and running! (consisting of two bedrooms and shower-room). We've had some help with the plastering and friends have helped us paint and tile and we're nearly there!!


 
We've also plastered and painted the atrium
 
 
Built a Pump House and installed the borehole water system
 
and started on our main living area floor
 

 
(oh and plastered the staircase!)
 
so now its final touches and preparing for Christmas!