It doesn’t feel like 2013 is one of those years where things work out very well. So far, anyway, everything has been soooo hard – things just don’t go quite right, machines break, dogs are sick, the whole enchilada.
So we try our best this year to make the most of our little successes. Yes, the summer has been rubbish, so that our summer crops are way behind. Yes, we’ve had to replace many of our original machines/furniture, but they do look very nice. Yes, we’ve had to paint the whole interior due to a very damp winter, but hey, the house is looking fab.
And we are becoming more and more true to our original thoughts behind ‘downsizing’ to a simpler life, which is most definitely A Good Thing. When we moved to Spain, we gave up most of the fripperies of a successful life – the big house, the fancy cars, the exotic holidays. Those things just cannot replace what we were so sadly lacking – the time to enjoy life, the control over what goes into our bodies, the enjoyment of living mostly outdoors.
Our first summer in Spain, we started a little vegetable garden, and our gardens have grown in size and ambition every year. We now have 3 gardens – one near the house with squash, lettuce, and herbs, one further down with tomatoes and peppers, and one by the forest for everything else. It takes a huge amount of time to maintain them all; with the constant weeding and watering, we reckon we spend at least a day a week on them.
This year, we’ve taken the control over our food one step further. We have just started making our own cheese, and most recently of all, our first attempt at making our own sausages.
Is this cheaper, you ask? No, most definitely not, but it does mean that we can decide on every single ingredient that is used in these basic products. After all, we don’t spray our fruit and vegetables, so why should we eat artificial ingredients/colourings in our cheese and sausage?
And, just as with our home grown vegetables (and associated products that we make from them, such as ketchup, puree, curry sauce, jam, and so on), we have found that the taste of these home-made items is out of this world. The ‘store bought’ varieties, no matter how carefully you choose them, just cannot compare to food lovingly made at home, from the very best of ingredients.
At long last, and 10 years after we first started, we feel we are beginning to achieving what we set out to all those years ago.