Over the last few days, I have spent my time taking things at a little more leisurely pace. Tidying around and securing the place here in Portugal. The last few weeks have been a little hectic as I have removed 10 of the old windows, metal frames with single-pane frosted glass.
A simple antiquated design that leaves plenty of room around the outsides that left draughts and small insects’ free access. The apertures have now been altered in height and width to accommodate the new double-glazed units that I will be bringing on my return in less than 2 weeks.
I have also engaged in a little planting whilst here, namely fruit trees. About 20 in all, peach, nectarine, black cherry and plums as well as the usual citrus trees of orange, lemon and limes. The citruses grow in abundance here all over the land. It appears that most gardens or pieces of land have orange trees and there always seems to be handfuls of unwanted fruit at the bases of trees.
The trees are very young and in plentiful supply at the local markets. Budding 4-6 ft saplings are purchased for a very reasonable average of around 5 euros. So, after the strenuous work of planning and digging into the alkali rich ground, it’s quite compacted with limestone cobbles, it will be interesting to watch there progress over the next few years to see what fruit they bear.
I took a little time out yesterday to walk around part of the park in the town and to stop off at the aqueduct to view it from a new angle. It’s strange how things look different when viewed from different angles, or closer or further away.
So today I am on the train heading south about 100km to Lisbon, the national capital. More precisely to the airport. I have a flight returning to Manchester in the UK, whereupon it will be a short stay of about 10 days as I have a ferry booked from Portsmouth to Bilbao in northern Spain. For the return journey, my friend Dave and my dog Bertie shall be joining me.
The train trundles through the industrial area of Entroncamento and the suburbia of Santarem at a leisurely pace, passing vast vineyards and arable plains. One thing that really struck me about Portugal is how green and herbaceous it is. I suppose that I more imagined it to be quite arid and dusty but no, it seems like near enough every inch of land is green and something is growing.
With the ongoing panic across the world about the coronavirus, I wonder how the busier places will be. Like the airport and shopping malls etc., Being in such a peaceful rural area with no TV or radio can make you quite oblivious to the latest global hysteria. But much more than that I am “saved “ already from the perils of death, my salvation is assured in the trust in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died and rose again according to the scriptures.
Putting my faith in Jesus may not make anyone immune to any disease, for the body is merely mortal, but it is much more important what happens to one’s Spirit and Soul when the time comes. In the book of Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 1-2, it says “… let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
Where it says. Looking unto Jesus… some versions translate this as. Fix your eyes upon Jesus… Which I think much better describes our direction, our focus, our hope. That no matter what the circumstances or trial, fixing our eyes on Jesus will be the primary thing that we need to do.
I shall temporarily miss the warmth and light of the present climate. I believe it has been quite torrential rain and dark for the majority of winter back in the UK, however, spring can only be around the corner. So it’s off with the sunglasses and shorts and ready to don the woollies and waterproof coat.
Cheerio and God bless