Scrappy shearing, gardening and the generosity of neighbours

Once again my heart is warmed by how generous the Portuguese are. Within a day of getting to Portugal my parents had their neighbours popping by and welcoming them back. They brought fruit and veg around, such as these oranges:

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These were promptly squeezed into orange juice! Mmmm!

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One of our closest neighbours, Amelia, made a beautiful table decoration for us. The Portuguese are very famous for their embroidery and there’s actually a place in Peniche, a seaside city on the Silver Coast, where you can watch people making embroidery behind a huge glass window. It’s like a living history museum.

When we first met Amelia, three or so years ago, she didn’t speak a word of English and my parents only knew some Portuguese pleasantries, but her and my parents still managed to understand each other. This year she told us that she’s actually learning English just so that she can talk to us, which we’ve told her is the wrong way around because my parents are supposed to be learning more Portuguese!

photo (76)In other ‘news’, Dad got up close and personal with Scrappy-dog, who had his long coat shaved off within the first few days:

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He looks like a dead dog in this picture but he actually enjoys the attention so much that he falls asleep and starts snoring. With his heavy coat off he’s like a young dog again, but he’ll never learn to not fall asleep in the baking sun:

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Scrappy: Wuuuh?

Gardening has been Mum’s main focus for the past few days. She’s very keen to bring the garden and the living space back to life. When they left last year it was so beautiful and this year it will be beautiful again! Here’s last year:

10639710_281113392091899_3835609300983066245_nMum has planted some veg and is also starting off her herb garden again.

photo (76)She also made a trip to the garden centre, which turned into a bi-weekly outing last year, and the shop owner was so pleased to see her that she took Mum by the hand and lead her to this plant, she told her that must buy this plant because it is ‘magnífico’! Needless to say, she did!

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The jasmine plant is also budding:

photo 3 (5)The first week back in Portugal has certainly been a hot one. They’ve seen the temperatures soar up to 30c and my parents have been able to sit outside well after sunset. After a long Winter in England they have quickly settled back into living their Portuguese dream.

Tags: culture, dogs, garden, gardening, neighbours, Oranges, outside living, Peniche, pets, Scrappy, vegetables

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Comments

    • Brad Smith
    • April 29, 2015
    Reply

    You have awesome plants. Lucky you are you have that kind of neighbor.

      • Laura
      • April 30, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Brad, thank you. The 6-month Portuguese course that I went on has really paid off and meant I can really talk with the neighbours. This generally means more cakes and vegetables! :)

    • Katharine Fod
    • December 19, 2015
    Reply

    We are looking to move to Portugal in the New Year with our two collies and your blog is such an inspiration, not to mention a confidence booster for the ferry trip!

      • Laura
      • December 20, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Katharine! Thank you, that's very kind of you to say. I hope the move goes very smoothly for you. Please drop me an e-mail at [email protected] if you have any questions at all and I will try and help :)

  1. Reply

    Good to have such neighbours! Portugese are great people!

      • Laura
      • March 7, 2016
      Reply

      They really are genuinely kind people, we're very lucky :)

    • Eddie
    • September 16, 2019
    Reply

    Laura,
    I have read your blog on a number of occasions and found the information helpful, I have purchased a property near to the town of Obidos, of which I am just awaiting the renovation work to commence. the Planning Application has been initially agreed, I am now just awaiting the actual Building licence for the main work to commence, although the Builder has been carrying out remedial work already that does not require a licence.
    I am travelling over to Portugal in the next couple of weeks, just to see how things are progressing.
    I found your blog regarding the “Guttering” interesting, so will be asking Tiago (Builder) his opinion, fortunately I have I have had a great deal of help from the Estate agent I purchased the property from with regards to translating my queries and am having a meeting with both as soon as I get over.
    Like you and your parents I have found the local people to be so friendly and helpful. It is my intention on this trip to also get to know the village far better.

      • Laura
      • September 19, 2019
      Reply

      Hi Eddie, thank you for your kind words and for reading my blog. It sounds like you’re absolutely on the right track and taking the right steps and have the right people helping you. Brilliant. My only advice to you is to have a healthy amount of scepticism when it comes to builders, as there are plenty of them out there trying to take advantage of expats. Make sure that the work is being done properly to the standard you expect. I know I’m probably teaching you to suck eggs, but we’ve had many expat friends here taken advantage of. In my opinion, the best way to get to know the village is to take a walk every day and say hi to the people you pass and perhaps stop in for a coffee at the cafes. All the very best :)

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