Week 28: Connected

Estrela. She’s uncertain of herself unless she has Lordy at her side

Estrela. She’s uncertain of herself unless she has Lordy at her side

The river is back

The river is back

The point at which, one day, we decided to turn the car round and not ford the river after all

The point at which we decided to turn the car round and not ford the river that day

Telecoms engineers were to come again on Saturday. The new appointment was prefaced by several mobile phone calls and text messages, and the engineers turned up very promptly at nine in the morning. They looked like another uncle–nephew combination, but as they were less forthcoming with familial information and world-views than the previous pair, we didn’t find out. ‘The connection isn’t complete. We need more cable to be installed. We’ll come back later.’

Fair enough. We decided to go for coffee and pastry, and to check emails. The road up from our valley – the long way round, when not fording the river – is a 2-kilometre dirt track. Until this day, we’d never passed anyone coming the other way. Today, we saw a truck up ahead. We pulled aside and waited for them to bounce past. They had two telegraph poles in the back. This looked promising.

On the top road, we saw our two engineers coming back. In the Portuguese style, both vehicles stopped dead in the road to discuss the matter. We had plenty of time to go for a coffee, they said. They didn’t need to get back into our house for an hour or so.

More and more promising.

A bica, a sticky pastry and many emails later, we went home. On the way back down the dirt track we saw the truck we’d seen earlier, and a man up a telegraph pole fixing a cable. Excitedly, I took a photo, then we drove by – over part of our cable, which was lying in the track – and carried on down. The linemen were not far behind us. In no time at all, our landline and wifi were operational. This small miracle was delivered very calmly by the engineers and the linemen, who did not apparently think it was miraculous at all. Our internet connection is slow, but I’m still very happy. And in the end we didn’t have to ask our agent to work on our behalf either. It all just happened.

‘I am a lineman for the county’

‘I am a lineman for the county’

They left with the same number of telegraph poles they arrived with, so I guess we had the complete set already

They left with the same number of telegraph poles they arrived with, so I guess we had the complete set already

Olive harvest

We have one olive tree dropping fruit. The other olive trees don’t have fruit. I don’t know if they are taking a year off, or fruited earlier, or don’t fruit at all. Eleutherio isn’t interested in the olives, so we decided to harvest them ourselves. I started picking them by hand in a manner probably reminiscent of Margot Leadbetter mucking in on The Good Life. I got to about two dozen olives when Husband declared me to be too much of a townie, and came to the rescue with plastic sheeting and big sticks to knock the fruit down with.

The easier way

The easier way

The harvest

The harvest

The nicest olives picked out, ready for brining (not enough for oil-pressing)

The nicest olives picked out, ready for brining (not enough for oil-pressing)

7 Comments

  1. Hazel

    You need a few goats now — make a spot of cheese, yogurt . . . Think how lovely it’ll be to hear their bells tinkling as they forage (and watch out for the washing line — goats ain’t fussy). Those pics make me dream of going back into farming. With a horse. Am much impressed by the olives! Save some for when we come! xx

    Reply
  2. Marlene

    What a wonderful story for today (as always)!

    I’m tempted to share your blog with all and sundry! You’re such a good read!!

    You have to carry on. I am going to be very sad if you stop writing.

    Reply
  3. fatma

    No more excuses to run down (not literally, as yet?) to the local cafe for a sticky pastry then? Well done! It’s good to be connected! I’m loving the photos. keep them coming!

    Reply
  4. Clare

    Every week you tempt with news that ‘deserves’ my comment (I try to resist) and this week is no exception. How thrilling to have your first olive harvest. Once ready, they – or rather, you, second-person plural – deserve a martini to go with, shaken not stirred, of course.

    Reply
  5. Patricia Roberts

    Great blog. I see you have a wee doggy friend. I like the lineman of the county! Lovely harvest. Margot indeed.

    Reply
  6. Sue

    Oh I just love the photos. The olives can surely go into husband’s lovely bread.x

    Reply
  7. Philippe

    These olives would look great in a bread 🙂

    Reply

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