Strolling through September

Strolling through September

A surprisingly cool September. Building-wise a tad sluggish, slowly but surely, step by step. Having said that the photos taken over the month do seem to show some progress. All the internal walls have been covered. They are now lined with a double layer of silver thermal insulating material (a kind of posh bubble wrap) and bricked over, both downstairs and up.

The only wall to remain uncovered is an original external wall which separates two rooms, one which is part of the extension, so it has now become an internal wall.

We are certainly getting a better understanding of the space. It doesn’t matter how many times we look at the plans, or measure the floor, it’s not always easy to get an idea of how it will all look in the end. Once the internal walls go up it will feel like a home. One thing is for certain: the house is the opposite of the tardis. It looks enormous from the outside but the thickness of the walls means it’s quite small inside.

The external areas of the house are also being worked on. The extension is being plastered, and the grouting around the original stones is being chipped away. This will be re-grouted. The thing to notice in the pic below though is the olive tree: look how it has sprung back to life after being a bare tree trunk!

They have also finished adding an extension to the walkway in front of the house. This faces south and is now big enough for a couple of chairs to enjoy the winter sun. A ramp has been added too; all new builds in the area have to have wheelchair access. This is admirable of course except that there are steps into the house and the wheelchair access bathroom is on the lower floor…

Meanwhile Richard has been strimming the lower field which seems to be covered in apple mint. Walking over it releases a lovely smell, and the bees are happy with the flowers, but the roots create a thick matting over the ground. The previously strimmed brambles and vines have reappeared. We also planted 6 new trees: one acer, three pines and two elders which I had taken as cuttings a few year ago, the last time I made elderflower cordial. They seem pleased to be out of their pots.

A surprise visit from friends down south meant the opportunity to show off Ponte de Lima, walk along the lovely river and take a stroll around Braga. It may be Portugal’s third biggest city but many of the streets are pedestrianised and it has lots of charm.

As it’s only a 30 minute drive away we are considering watching SC Braga when they take on Real Madrid in the Champions League. If we can navigate our way around their website that is…

Richard bought a bread maker. It took a few goes to get it right but now we have the smell of fresh bread in the kitchen once again.

We had our annual mini trip away to Spain. We returned to Galicia, this time to A Coruña in the north-west. We enjoyed lots of walking, sight-seeing and breathing in the sea air although no swimming this year. A stroll along Europe’s longest urban seaside promenade ending with a visit to the aquarium was a highlight.

Betty came too of course, and was completely shattered at the end of each day. The views along the coastal route were spectacular. We also loved Fragas do Eume, one of the few temperate rainforests in Europe. In fact there was too much to explore in such a short amount of time so we look forward to returning.

Despite the possibility of rain we had lovely weather the whole time enabling us to indulge in our favourite pastime: eating seafood al fresco washed down with the local Albariño.

So onwards and upwards we hope for October. Temperatures are forecast to be in the late twenties / early thirties so we may well get our Indian summer after all.

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