Good news

Genuinely good news, at last. The onshore oil-drilling contracts are to be rescinded, and the Attorney General’s Office has declared that the holder – Sousa Cintra – is not eligible for compensation for alleged expenses, in spite (or because) of his ‘increasingly eloquent illegality’. Land-based oil and gas exploration across the Algarve finally looks like it will not happen. Whoever’s been slapping those ‘Fracking’ stickers on the Stop signs around the place can stop it (while being secretly glad that they did it). The sea – and the 14 contracts dished out there – remain a major concern, but this is a real step forward.

Here at home the council are still digging up the riverbed. They used some of the gravel to plug the gullies that had appeared in our dirt road after heavy rain. I’m grateful for that – it was not easy driving Rollie over them – but I have a better solution in mind. Next week we hope to start looking at the prospects for permaculture on our hill. Once we begin to develop the hill, one of the many advantages – as a result of having more trees and small plants, and more mulching – will be that its soil will hold more water and there will be less run-off to carve up the road in the first place.

The weather is chilly and the old men who sit on the bench in the village wear blankets over their knees. Rather touchingly, they had two between five, so two pairs of knees were under a red blanket and three pairs under a beige one. Husband always greets them when he drives past. He’s planning on being able to join them in years to come.

Short but sweet this week. I will leave you with a list of the birds that are keeping us company in and above the garden these days: red-legged partridge, song thrush, jay, blackbird, azure-winged magpie, black redstart, robin, crested lark, stonechat, crag martin, Sardinian warbler, chiffchaff, blackcap, goldfinch, serin, meadow pipit, white wagtail, long-tailed tit, great tit, house sparrow, little owl, kestrel.

First grapefruit from the tree, for breakfast

On filling up at our local petrol station and stopping for a galão in the café, which came in this Renault 4 mug

Estrela often stops by our place to get some dry bread to chew on



  1. BeckyB

    Fantastic news…..huge thanks for the leading contributions you both made to get us this far x
    PS how sweet was the grapefruit?

    1. Edith (Post author)

      Sweet enough! Hope all is well in the UK.

  2. Hazel

    Great news on the oil! And I liked the list of birds — on which news from Muswell Hill! We have had waxwings over the past week!!! Our road has been stuffed with twitchers taking photos of them and staring at them through expensive-looking bins. All we have to do is draw the bedroom curtains and there the darlings (the waxos, not the twitchers)sit, warbling away on the tree. Just for us!! xx

    1. Edith (Post author)

      How wonderful! Your road is a birdwatching destination all on its own. Lucky you. xx

  3. Patricia Roberts

    Wonderful news very well done all of you, it just shows what can be done when a few dedicated people get together. I am so impressed with what you have all done.

  4. Fiona

    Fabulous news about the fracking and well done for getting involved in the protests which no doubt helped, Did you really pick a grapefruit off your tree in January? That’s incredible. I am very envious xx

  5. fatma

    Yes, good news on the oil exploration. Full marks to the Portugese! As I said last week, it is now international news, and on many online petition sites. One of them, Change.Org, tells me it is not however all over – “Portfuel is NOW stopped. Now help us to STOP the consortium Galp/ENI drilling in April/May in the Alentejo Basin off the Algarve coast, and the Repsol/Partex contracts.” The fight goes on!

    1. Edith (Post author)

      Dear Fatma, you are absolutely right and it’s good to emphasise it. Some people don’t want to celebrate this at all, given the contracts to drill (and possibly frack) at sea that still exist. Others say it is a shallow vote-winning tactic ahead of the local elections (in which I am registered to vote, by the way). For me, it’s the first tangible success and I do celebrate it! But la luta continua! When are you coming back to visit? xx

  6. fatma

    Indeed, every hard won step forward is a cause for celebration. And it is heartening I think for the international community as well to see a government of a country actually taking some well, finally sensible decisions!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: