For a brief moment…

rusty mixer

For a brief moment earlier this week I could see an end in sight for work at Quinta do Cabril. The eternal struggle of man to create a place of shelter could one day be over. One man battling to keep the veracious forces of nature from the delicate skin of his family and have somewhere to store his neatly folded pillow cases.

My international team of builders were hard at it, insulting each other in a strange mix of Portuguese, German and English. Render was going on walls, wires were going in walls. There were pipes being fitted and screws, nails and staples being put in the correct orifices. Harmony and tranquility – in a bangy, smashy, shouty sort of way.

Apart from a small glitch when Fernando threw himself head first down the stairwell for no apparent reason everything is going swimmingly (don’t worry – there was a large stack of timber below that broke his fall).

I didn’t surf today. Bleh.


  1. Did you issue Fernando a hard hat? And put up warning signs at the top of the stairs, saying “Caution. Stairs.” ? What’s litigation like in Portuguese labour markets?

    1. Quite frankly he’s lucky I haven’t sued him for getting blood on my nice pile of new timber.
      And I didn’t sack him…

      1. Having taken my life in my hands and wandered round a Portuguese timber yard, I don’t think there’s a direct translation of ‘Health & Safety’ in the Portuguese mentality.

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