September Update

First of all, thank you to those followers who actually emailed us asking if everything is OK. I guess, in absence of posts, some wondered whether we are still alive considering wife and husband (builder but nevertheless) are putting the new roof on their house themselves.

Well, we are well, thank you. And very touched that strangers actually care about us.

A few reasons I didn’t post: bad internet (we are working on Orange dongle which runs out of Mb well before 30 day renewable contract and refuses to work); visitors (a welcome distraction); rain (meaning we couldn’t work on the roof hence not much to write about).

Now internet renewed Monday (I am still in denial that we would need a land line one day as I hate Telefonica/Movistar – equivalent to BT in the UK) for the next 30 days, we are all connected with the world and can continue blogging. Lovely visitors have come and gone, we had lovely time, wish weather wasn’t so temperamental last weekend. As for the roof, we are almost there, finishing touches left. The main thing – after last weekend’s hurricane-like weather we are safe and dry, and roof is considered finished.

Mentioning weather, isn’t it strange, that we humans are never happy with it: it is either too hot, too wet, or too cold, or whatever? Because after very hot and dry summer anyone would be happy with a bit of rain. Not us: TOO MUCH RAIN. I have to say in my defence though, that if we didn’t have visitors camping in the tent in the garden, I wouldn’t be too bothered. But we kind of felt responsible for Galician skies opening wide open and pouring all this rain on their heads and the tent.

View from parking to the tent in the garden where our brave visitors camped.
View from parking to the tent in the garden where our brave visitors camped.

To be fair to the tent, it withstood all the horrible wind and torrential rain, and remained bone-dry inside. But when we drove them to the airport on Tuesday under non-stopping rain, I think they felt relieved and looking forward to the comfort of their home. Don’t blame them. They’ve been very brave!

As the weather improved, we managed to clear the terrace (see below), again team effort, took a few hours, I even washed it with a hose pipe at the end. Mad, I know. How very satisfactory though to reclaim the terrace back, even though after the roof job we’ll be starting on pointing and rendering walls using scaffolding to the full, and it will be more mess starting tomorrow.

Terrace reclaimed back after clearing the old roof rubble.
Terrace reclaimed back after clearing the old roof rubble.

This time of the year in Ribeira Sacra is very busy due to vendimia (grape picking). Hot and dry summer lead to earlier vendimia, in some places by 2-3 weeks. As you know, we have a vineyard too. We spent a lot of time and money bringing it back to life from years of neglect and brambles, and doing it organically. This is the first year when grape harvest is looking seriously good. After weeks of debates and discussions we came to conclusion that wine making would be too much for us at the moment, with renovation on full go. So we contacted our old friend Jose who has exceptionally good organic vineyard and offered him our grapes. He will bring his team and they’ll take care of grapes in exchange for some wine. Jose was very happy and well impressed with our grapes, as he is also a digger who saw our vineyard 2 years ago and landscaped our garden and parking. At least we won’t waste the grapes. Next year we’ll try ourselves. Grapes sorted, we can continue with a farmhouse renovation.

We have Mencia and Garnache grapes in our vineyard.
Of reds we have Mencia and Garnache varieties in our vineyard

Talking of harvest, tomatoes have gone crazy. We simply can not keep up with them! I froze bags of passata, and actually our lovely visitors gave us a new recipe for tomato soup, which is SO GOOD, you will never go back to your old recipe. I will post the recipe with pictures shortly, it is divine. I will be freezing tomato soup from now on!

Tomato harvest - two baskets in two days!
Tomato harvest – a basket a day

As you stand in the vineyard, there is a very good view at the property from the west – with our bedroom in the middle (covered by brand new roof!), and to be renovated rental accommodation on both sides. The ruin on the right (a future bedroom) will have the most spectacular vineyards view from each side!

On this note I’m leaving you with these pictures. Hasta pronto, amigos!

Farmhoouse from the west - middle part almost renovated!
Our farmhouse from the west – middle part almost renovated!
My crazy builder-husband on top of the roof, putting finishing touches.
My builder-husband on the roof, putting finishing touches
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