FOR ONCE, STUART MANAGES TO AVOID PUTTING HIS HIGH HEELED JACK BOOTS INTO THE POLITICAL SLURRY OF ENGLISH GOVERNMENT
a) I haven't watched TV for a few days
b) The dog ate the Sunday Times
b) The dog ate the Sunday Times
c) Jacqui Smith is on holiday (on the tax payers expense)
d) All the above and life is just too short..
I actually put my boots on and followed the dog around a really beautiful valley East of Sao Bras, an area called Carrasquira. Dotted, hidden in trees were several wooden huts, all with solar panels, some with chimneys, decks, shaded terraces. With one or two poços (wells) nearby, not a bad place to live - but there was virtually no growing of vegetables or fruit trees, and with a long trek to any local market not the ideal place to live.
Two houses like these plus solar panels and well for 90,000 euros?
All the soil has been washed or eroded by wind over the last few hundred years into a rich alluvial soil in the bottom of the valley, where vegetables and fruit trees abound... all owned by the local Portuguese without a Brit of German to be seen. Think there might be a lesson there!
The shepherd tracks up to the summit were littered with wild flowers, all blue, I guess from growing on the shady North side of the hill. On reaching the summit, I came across the only fence in the whole area and was stopped from continuing by this stupid line of steel surrounding Stalaghouse 16, a massive monolith of a villa all shuttered up and probably guarded by evil vultures. What is the lure of owning something so big that it would take you a week to open all the windows? Unless you live in the basement, of course.... must be Austrian owned.
A nice few showers has kept the garden moist, the fruit is growing on my trees and my peas are running amok. I bought half a litre of seeds about four years ago for 50 cents, and the ten I planted six weeks ago are dripping with pods. So easy, so little watering needed. It is a critical time for the new fruit trees, they need a lot of water to stop the fruit from dropping. Whilst wiser to concentrate on getting the tree stronger by removing the fruit.
Heck, life is too short, the fruit is staying. Death isn't something we're born afraid of, it's something we learn to fear. Children have no concept of death, from five to eight, they have a vague understanding of the finality of death and only from nine onwards to they understand that one day it may happen to them. My awakening came at the age of eleven when my gran died. She had always terrified me by leaving an empty bucket by my bed when there was a loo just down the hall and force feeding me vast quantities of toast (She once fed me 12 slices in one sitting, but I should explain she was so slow in cooking them that it kind of encompassed breakfast lunch and dinner in one go..) I was amazed that not only was the mass feeder no longer around but my Dad ended up with an extra house - shame we can't have loads of grans!
Mind you, it was only a stones throw from the pub - not a five km hike like the wooden house above!
P.S. I lied about the sleaze. Print this coupon and cut it out. Take it to your local massage parlour and tell them Tony the Greek gave it to you. See you next week, Stu x