A January to forget

A January to forget

I know January is only two thirds over but we’ve had enough already! Although not as bad as the UK, we’ve had rain, rain, rain, culminating in storms this weekend which knocked the power and water out for three days. And there are more thunderstorms to come. Every cloud has a silver lining and I think we were lucky to escape much of the damage. We had an olive tree fatality and a tile off the roof but the polytunnel and the shed survived (thanks to a high quality build I reckon!) and the well is now full to the brim. And our chest freezers full of pork managed to avoid defrosting.

The local bus stop was not made of sterner stuff however…

ex local bus stop
ex local bus stop

However, our bees have once again absconded. They disappeared this time last year and it is just as perplexing this time around. Last week they were still out and about collecting pollen ( I posted photos here) and there is plenty of pollen and honey in the now empty hives. We think that living in rural Portugal we have ‘got away from it all’ but I guess even here we cannot escape man’s degradation of our natural resources. They are saying that the honey bees abscond because of pesticides and I have to say that the locals seem to use them indiscriminately here. Perhaps that is the cause, we just don’t know.

We also had a bit of a shock with Betty. Previously known as Lucky – as she was saved as a puppy wandering lost in the forest, she was very well named. She certainly has a wild spirit about her as she likes nothing better than to tear off out of the garden chasing after goodness knows what, only to come back three or four hours later covered in goodness knows what! However, she always comes back, eventually. Even if it is three in the morning when she announces her return by howling outside our bedroom window. This time was different. After she had been gone for two days we thought the worst. However, on the third day there was a scratching at the door. She was filthy and half starved but of more concern was a huge gash around her stomach. We think she had been caught in a javeli ( wild boar) trap, which is made of thin wire. We cleaned her up as best we could and took her to the vet. Suffice it to say, after a coarse of antibiotics (intravenously administered by our good selves!) and some tlc, she is already back to her worst.


Despite all the doom and gloom it’s not all bad. After all, during our electric-free nights, I managed to beat Jackie at scrabble and cribbage and we have our first daffodils of the year – in fact they’ve been in flower for over a week, as well as a clutch of pretty crocuses.


6 thoughts on “A January to forget

  1. so sorry to hear about the bees again this year, but unfortunatly this is no strange to me…some neighbours in my homeland they also can´t establish their hives and even the older producers have had many problems in the last few years. I don´t know why…
    My dafodils are still quite away from your´s in bloom. The last wind stom has make many trees to fall down in my area!

    Hope everything goes for the best!:)

  2. Hi Jaime
    I thought you were in Lisbon. No daffodils? Not so many trees down here but I hope to get a photo of our local bus shelter which has been uprooted!

  3. Hi Richard…yes I´m in Lisbon but my garden is in Alenquer (a bit further interior), where my mother lives, and as far as I know we still don´t have the blooms from daffodils…but maybe I´m wrong.
    Here in Lisbon it was by the thounsands of trees down by this wind…crazy.
    Take care!;)

  4. Glad to hear your dog is recovering…the traps and hunting do cause us a concern re. our potential move. Sorry about the bees.

  5. we have been following your blog for the last year, and enjoy reading your various accounts of how life is for you in pt, we have also picked up a few gardening tips!!!.
    thanks caz and rob

  6. Hi Rob and Caz
    Glad you like the blog.
    I’ve just had a quick look at your blog – you seemed to have shared a lot of the same experiences as us! I’ll return for a more in-depth look when I have more time but I couldn’t find out on my brief look where your place was.

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