Well, may I be the last person to wish you all a Happy New Year. I had it in my head that I would get a blog post out soon after the New Year but, true to form, what happens in my head doesn’t actually happen in reality. So, there we are, late as usual. Still, better late than never. It’ll have to be Happy Friday then.
After all the rain we’d had the weather bucked up just before Christmas and we basked in sunshine throughout Christmas and the New Year period. Christmas Day was spent on the beach with coffee and egg sandwiches! We like to take our simple life to extremes sometimes.
As a bit of a change, we’d had a couple of trips down to Portimão before Christmas where we stumbled across a Waitrose/Iceland in one of the retail parks. Alas, they’d run out of Ginster’s pasties but fortunately pork pies, mince pies, custard creams and bourbons weren’t in short supply.
On the way back, just as we were coming into Aljezur, we were stopped by the police for a document check. We often see the GNR on roundabouts or at the side of the road pulling people over to check they’re all legal. In Portugal and some other European countries you need to have the paper documents in the vehicle ready for inspection should you be asked. Normally it wouldn’t have been a problem as all the documents for insurance and the like are in a folder in the van. But, as we weren’t going to be using the van on a regular basis we’d decided to take them out of the van for safe keeping. So, the one and only time we have ever been stopped in the nearly four years we have been travelling we didn’t have the documents in the van. It hadn’t occurred to either one of us to take them with us on our little outing to Portimão. After numerous apologies and fiddling and faffing Tim was able to come up with a PDF document of our insurance which the officer accepted.
I’d already mentioned the custard creams and bourbons were really daylight robbery compared to the price you’d pay in England but if we’d had a hefty fine as well on top of that it might just have spoilt my Christmas.
Time is marching on and we’re more than half way through our four month ‘staycation’ here in Portugal. Following the frenzy of concerts and socials in the run up to Christmas it’s all been quiet for Tim on the band front and I think he’s starting to climb the walls. I think he’s hankering after a shed where he can do, I don’t know, man stuff. During our extended stay here we have had numerous conversations about what our ideal life would look like in the future and it turns out a shed cum workshop is high on the list of ‘must haves’ for Tim. He likes to fix things and there haven’t been a whole lot of opportunities going on in the way of things to fix. My bike could do with looking at as I think some bearings have gone somewhere on it as it’s started to make a clacking noise as I ride along. I’m sure, if we had a shed cum workshop, the back wheel would have been whipped off by now but, as we haven’t, I’m still clacking along. Fortunately, there’s some fencing that needs doing at Donkey HQ so Tim will be busy with that for a few days at least.
Several donkeys have been out on various excursions over the last couple of weeks so reinforcements are needed. Like children, when they get bored they get themselves into trouble. Over the winter period there’s not so much going on with treks, people coming and going and so on so the donkeys are at a bit of a loose end.
From time to time, if a friend or neighbour offers some grazing land some of the donkeys get an opportunity for a holiday. Just before Christmas we had a lovely trek of five or six kilometres to drop four of them to a friend’s for a three week holiday.
I’m sure they enjoy the change and the opportunity to have a bit of peace and quiet away from the main herd.
Treks are thin on the ground at this time of year but there have been one or two. We took seven donkeys out a couple of weeks ago and it was Isabella’s first trip. She carried the luggage and took to it like a duck to water. Having had a previous job in agriculture carrying the pack lunches can’t have been particularly arduous for her.
We dropped the three older donkeys in at ‘donkey day care’ and then continued on into the hills for a two hour trek.
Meanwhile back at ‘Dog HQ’ we’ve continued to take ‘our three’ out three times a week.
Alas there were a few new arrivals over the Christmas and New Year period.
I have my eye on one but Tim says NO!
Ah well there’s still a bit of time yet!