Back-to-back meetings

I spend the day in back-to-back meetings, first with the accountants then at Quinta do Centro with a charming, petite chemical engineer called Cristina discussing the construction of our ETAR (Estacão de Tratamento das Aguas Residuais) or sewerage plant. The weather is cold and wet, the serra shrouded in cloud, and the meeting lasts all afternoon. By 4.30pm, with the discussion centering on the treatment of solidos (solid waste), I am cold and downcast. I am cheered by the suggestion that we put piranha fish in septic tank to deal with the solids! Then onto another meeting about potential European Union funding. The good news is that funds are soon to be available for equipping adegas, with up to 40% paid by the EU. The bad news is that the bureaucracy in Portugal is such that we will have to employ a consultant to claim the funds, at a cost of €10,000! We spend the rest of the day weighing up whether is it is even worthwhile submitting an application.