Saturday, December 4, 2010

Missing central heating in central Portugal


A couple of things you are always asked (and ask) when meeting new people is' 'why did you choose central Portugal?' another is; 'don't you miss the UK?'. Well my usual response is, 1) why not, it's cheap and the people are lovely. 2) I miss my friends but not the UK. Now I can add a new response to question 2. I MISS CENTRAL HEATING. I miss it a LOT.

It is freezing up here in the mountains, the frosts and snow has started early, just like the UK - not half as bad as the UK, but you lucky buggers have central heating, me, I have a wood burning stove and a boyfriend that likes to 'air the house' and a dog that likes the door open to come and go as he pleases. I'm sitting here now with all the windows closed, the oil heater plugged in and under my legs....Yes, Peter's out!

Despite the cold weather, it has been lovely here in Portugal and we've been getting into the swing of Autumn/Winter and a little bit of Christmas. We've been out exploring the area again, and found some wonderful places and met some new people with Portugal Friends.

Peter has been getting creative and made some beautiful Christmas wreaths for our house and the social club. Made from vines to form the structure and then decorated with leaves and berries (I wanted to add some shimmer but was firmly told no). We've got two up at the house and we've also given one to our friends Jackie and Richard.

Now Peter is not a fan of the Christmas Tree, while I love a good tree (I recall fondly a wonderful tree that Jen and I had in Putney, decorated in white feathers and white lights, eat your heart out Linda Barker). But of late, such is Peters horror at the thought of a Christmas tree, he has relented.

Hurrah.

But, it was to cost us nothing. We considered walking up the mountain to cut a pine down, but then hit upon the idea of using some of the branches of olive tree that have been cut for us by our neighbour when he collected our olive harvest. I made some dried orange decorations, raided the wood store for pine cones (collected in the summer as they make the best fire lighters in the world) and here it is:

But since then, our friends Jackie and Richard have bought us (well me, as they knew Peter would not get one) a fantastic tree! Peter has gone to collect it today and I'll have my very own Christmas Tree! Lovely lovely lovely gift.