Thursday, 28 June 2012


One of the barriers I have had to break through since my move to Galicia is a lack of confidence in my own abilities. I think that this is endemic in the lifestyles of many. The current system educates us to be 'consumers' and that means that we are sold gadgets and services that we are told we can not do without. Unfortunately it starts young, with the education system only giving us a limited skill set in preparation for the job we will later have (if we are lucky). We are told that we should buy ready prepared food, buy everything ready made, leave everything to the professionals.
It took me weeks to pluck up the courage to have a go at my first attempt at plumbing. This involved fitting a desperately needed outside tap pictured below.
I was frightened that I would create leaks where none had existed before. I soldered several joints and it has proven to be a brilliant success. In a similar vein, Tim knocked in some fence posts for me and I created the turkey run out of scraps of chicken wire and old electric fencing tape. It had to be high because they are good fliers when young. Below are the turkeys in their run from my bedroom window.
My neighbours here are typical of many Galicians, they have multiple skills, many still grow their own vegetables, kill and process their own meat, make wine and distil a strong spirit from the skins and pips. They keep ancient tractors on the road and some still use working horses and oxen in the fields. Their skills with orange baler twine are legendary, using it to hold up trousers, secure fences, weaving it into ropes with multiple uses and even using it as a lead when taking the house cow out to graze in the evenings.

I just need to take inspiration from my small successes and get on to the next task, there is no substitute for just having a go.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


The season of plenty has started here. This morning I harvested my garlic, and given the rather extreme weather we have enjoyed, I am very pleased with it. This is it drying in the sun before storage.

I also had raspberries, strawberries and gooseberries for breakfast (with yoghurt) and planning on a mixed herb salad for lunch. No doubt if any of the ducks give me trouble today I shall be having one of them for tea.
One of the downsides of the current hot weather we are enjoying is the fruitfulness of the flies. A friend is very well organised, there are fly screens on every door and window and the swatter comes into play if an intruder manages to bypass the machine gun towers. My house however is a prime target with its productive feathered and furred inhabitants. I am forced to rely on sticky fly papers and the help of local spiders. Another great excuse not to dust away the cobwebs.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Home Internet Access

At last, yesterday two nice men fitted us with a satellite dish and now I can access the net whenever I want to. Tim and I had gone down the Movistar dongle route which gave us such a poor intermittent signal that it was unusable. We tried another company, Intermax who promised to cover our area, but on arrival it seemed there was no signal. Finally the satellite company has worked. We asked for a phone as well and although we have one, we have to wait an indeterminate length of time to be allocated a new phone number. These seem to be as rare as hens teeth and you have to wait for someone to die before you can take over their phone number.
Having the Internet opens up many possibilities for us. The main fantasy is that we win the Euromillions lottery, but failing that....Tim might be able to get a job in IT working from home. I really miss the snoring and the toilet seat being left up.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Brief Rabbit update

To my surprise I discovered that the pregnant rabbit gave birth around Sunday night or Monday morning. Rustling in the straw gave it away. I don't want to disturb them so I don't know how many there are but I have seen one briefly emerge, pink and rat like. Having got her on Sunday from the local market it was much sooner than expected. The escaping male is now happily living free range in the stables and courtyard. Seeing him kicking up his heels and running in the sun (when we have some) is lovely. He is fed in the stables and has his open hutch to sleep in if he wishes. Life is riskier for him but he is happy and that is life....

Monday, 11 June 2012

Rabbit Mania

Finally the pork mountain is reducing and we shall soon be needing an additional source of meat. Still no pics sorted due to technical difficulties but we have three beautiful rabbits. My daughter has named them so it might be harder to slaughter them. If they breed well and are not too much trouble perhaps I might not have to do the deed for a while. The male is silver and 5 months old, we should have called him Houdini as he has escaped three times since we got him (less than 24 hours ago). He is called Shadow and is in the flimsiest cage. We had to make do with scrap wood and rotten storage boxes covered in wire which he has the knack of stretching. I will either save for a commercial wire cage or see if he is ok living loose in the stables. I am just not sure if he will get on with the broody ducks. There is also a wild rabbit coloured mature doe who is pregnant and called Juno. Finally the totty element is covered by a very pretty beige female who is 3 months old and who needs a bit of maturing before she can be mated. She is my daughters favourite and is called Honey Bunny. There is a home-made outdoor run which they can take it in turns to enjoy and trim my grass at the same time.

I have just enjoyed a couple of weeks with my visiting children. We swam in the sea in our underwear as the day was unexpectedly warm. Probably a horrifying sight but we were past caring. My vegetable garden progresses well with fresh peas, mange touts and the first pick of fresh strawberries of the year. The taste of sorrel has been a revelation, potatoes are emerging and lettuces are madly maturing. I have to fight ducks for them as they can stretch their heads through the chicken wire for a surprising distance. We also went to a wonderful  musical evening at a friends house with a home-made stage and great local music. The evening was full of fun and laughter and a mix of locals and ex-pats. Between bands everyone spontaneously sang Galician songs and danced to Galician bagpipes and tambourines. The sort of night when its so good to be alive and among friends despite the drizzling rain. A world away from tweeting to virtual friends.