So work is all dandy…what about home life??


 Well, the salmon shack is coming along slowly but surely….I’m just off sleeping on the floor (beds are a bit hard to come by), sitting on plastic garden chairs (tables and chairs not the easiest to find either) and using bedsheets in place of curtains (yes, you guessed it, curtains are a none starter!).


My ‘to do’ list got too long so I binned it in favour of just living with the basics for now and making improvements once operations are underway at work. Anyway, it’s fun; it feels like I’m on a permanent camping holiday! Maybe I should put up my tent in my living room just for effect – then my maid really would think I’d gone mad!


I’ve enlisted the help of my guards to plant some ‘erbs and the like in my back yard and every evening when I get home from work I head over with my watering bottle (a plastic water bottle with holes pocked in it!) to show some love to the wee seedlings which have appeared. A good friend of mine calls this “pottering”…I don’t think I’ve ‘pottered’ before in my life!!


The guards have been terribly enthusiastic thinning out and replanting the seedlings…although I hasten to add I think it’s with an eye on getting rich pickings when it’s all ready to eat.



My very own ‘cottage industry’ in my back yard!

I have been living on a great diet of papaya and corn on the cob both from my back yard. Everyone out here basically gorges on whatever is in plentiful supply until it runs out then simply moves onto the next crop being harvested! So for me it’s papaya and banana smoothies for breakfast each day!



Freshly plucked off my tree and left on my doorstep



Makes for a tasty breakfast smoothie! 


I take great pleasure from small achievements out here. For example, it is absolutely impossible to buy either curtains or the material to make curtains (unless you like the rather jaunty African block print designs!). However…Misshelen had a plan!


I spied some ok, non-garish looking material – ah ha I though, potential….it said on the packet it was a table cloth but hey…needs must and all that. It was worth a try. Lo and behold, it’s worked!


The neighbours must think a total loony has moved in hanging table cloths in the window and my dining room now looks a little like a circus big top! But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to make a place feel like home!


I’m going for comedy value with these rather circus style curtains

And my mosy humorous development…my linguistic skills in a rather funny version of “portospanglish”, having morphed my half-decent spanish with the Moz language Portuguese. Actually – I speak ‘landmine portuguese’ which means I can communicate no problem with our deminers but my vocab consists of slightly tunnel visioned words…I could ask you how many metres of minefield you cleared today for example but asking the way to the nearest train station or how much a pint of milk costs might be a little tougher.


Not exactly GSCE Portuguese but it does the job!



  1. Rebecca Neil said,

    May 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Hey Helen, your ‘pottering’ now!!Thats it your officially old. Just kidding, I think the curtains are fab, infact you may even have started a trend. Dad was looking on at your herb garden, he was most impressed, just think you too can share hot gardening tips at Christmas 🙂 Dad made me go for a 7am bike ride on the wirral way yesterday on a saturday, unbelievable!!! Mum loves your diet too papya and cob!! Right I’ll keep this short not to bore you, speak to you soon on skype- I have added you so will call soon love Rebecca xxx

  2. Duggers said,

    May 4, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Hello my Love,
    Just read your latest instalment, a girl after my own heart, I am currently pottering around my back yard growing, carrots, radish, cougettes and corriander! Stu politely follows me in to the yard each time I see a tiny shoot coming up!!!
    Also I love the curtains, well done you for thinking out of the box and finding a half decent tablecloth to double as curtains!!
    I made a skirt this week, its great seriously I recon self sufficiency is the way forward!!
    One thing I do need to ask you, Stu is currently doing about aid- short term and long term and I wondered if he could use you a little to teach the kids with!! I think some of your stuff on line might be great for them, just an idea but let me know what you think!!
    Anyway got to dash, I really need to set up a blog too, started my weekly floristry again last week (in prep for Sept) and so need to show you my pictures!!
    Will get on to it this week!
    Take care
    M xxxxxx

  3. Sarah said,

    May 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Hey Sis, your gardening skills are way better than mine. My little plants are nowhere near the size of those triffids in that allotment you have cultivated. Want a pair of gardening gloves and some secauters for christmas!?!?!

    Here’s to not feeling sick by the weekend xxx

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