Sorry guys for not writing a blog in ages it’s been a while but I finally got round to it. Hope you missed me coz I'm here now. Last time I wrote was a long time ago so there will be a lot to write (some times though its hard to write a lot)
Sunshine Dundee (Peter) and Memphis Bellows (dad) rendered the house of Hari (Portugal is getting to me!) first of all with cement for the structural strength of it (just saying the way Dundee does don’t worry if you don’t have a clue when I’m writing this) and then in Hydraulic Lime for the eco way and because lime breathes (yeah, just blame it on the Sunshine). After that we painted Hari’s house (took me a while to write that in the ‘correct’ manner) and scraped all the lime of the bare stones (Sunshine’s good but he likes to leave a good mess). Now Casa de Hari (three different ways, I should be in the Guinness World Records) looks like a Moroccan house (when I read back on that I feel like I’m a commentator on a T.V. DIY program (with the dodgy American advertisement accent)).
Sunshine left for home and we looked after Bacelo (like a bunch of 16 year olds would when they have a house to themselves). Pocahontas Moonbeam came back with her big strong crocodile wrestler (ha) and brought Dirty Hari and Barry Blue (the cats’ new names) back with her. The princess had arrived with her boxes of ‘one-more-things’ one for during the day, one for midnight, and 5000 for 5 in the morning (I don’t know where she gets all the ideas from. She probably has the boxes in the attic somewhere)! With all the cats and Slinky Belita Heidi Rachelle Winter the new kitten arrival who thinks she’s a dog (poor soul. 5c fine if I said s*d), Angel ran off for a while just coming back for food (don’t worry; she’s lying next to me now).
We started working on A Casa do Putos (the house of the kids), not A Casa das Putas (big difference between Putos and Putas one means kids and one means prostitutes the problem is they sound very similar when said with a Portuguese accent so we’ve decided not to use them as it might give the wrong impression of the type of tourism project we are making here!).
We signed up for school and people here go into school a year later so we’ll learn everything we already know again but in a completely different language. The veggies are coming along and our courgettes are bl… let’s say really big.
I’ve kind of got a reputation of winning in this town of Olieros, after wining a diving contest at school with a backwards dive off a 2.20 meter diving board at the Praia Fluvial (beach river directly translated), and I won the most original photograph in the competição de biodiversidade de Olieros; Flora (flower) e Fauna (creature). All 11 of my photos were shown in the best of all the photos.
We have been going to Shantii B’s and we have learnt a lot from the amazing hippies that go there. It seems that whenever we go there a question gets answered. If it wasn’t for Josh and Rosie Mother wouldn’t have discovered how to grow such gigantic veggies.
Our friends hawk-eye millions, cashmere snaps, Morton twinkle-toes, and Thumbelina goldilocks (Jon, Caroline, Maya and Violet) have just left for
P.S. I promised Anoushka (tooshi) Jago that I will write something about the Jago family in here. We are missing you guys loads and you gotta come out here PLEASE!!!!!!
Restoration work has been progressing at both Moses and Bacelo at quite a pace now we’ve found a rhythm for our work together. Sunshine, River and I spend our mornings at Moses, come back for lunch, rest in the afternoons and help out Moonbeam at Bacelo in the cool of the early evening before dinner. Blues boudoir was finished off and we all decorated it in a TV Makeover show style in just a few hours in readiness for the Purdays arrival. It’s a magical little guest room created in the place where this estate had their bread oven (‘Forno’) in years gone by.
The chicken shed roof is on too reusing the old tiles from a fallen down roof on another building on the property. After rendering it this week, the already ginormous ducks (I know they’re not chickens) will have a new home. Both projects were most satisfying to see completed finally.
Down at Moses, we’ve covered both houses with black plastic in preparation for the Autumn rains that could begin early this month. Next we will turn our attention to the renovation inside – installing joists and lintels for taller doors (you should see the scars on my bald head!) and removing a couple of internal walls which will increase the space available in the kitchen and living room. We also want to start experimenting with earth renders and plasters. The company who landscaped the massive 5 new terraces have also now finished and we’re ready to start building the yoga sala, grey water planting system, the tennis court and earth ship greenhouses. We hope Oleiros council will be able to support our project by covering the new winding road with bricks. Yellow bricks. A magical yellow brick road!
Cuppa tea geezer?!...
First week in August saw the onslaught of the summer festival week in Oleiros – the Feira Pinhal. Hundreds of very cool exhibition style stands in the town square, including a Brazilian percussion stall where we’ve equipped ourselves with maracas, shakers, wooden frogs, a small jembe drum and a didgeridoo. The festa also had a program of entertainment every evening until the small hours. And fireworks, wonderful fireworks. Here a just a couple of short film clips from the night time. An amazing drum extravaganza from an energetic and often comical Portuguese teenage drum corps with accompanying synchronised fireworks, and secondly a more sedate traditional cultural dance for the oldies.
Go on! Bash dem bongos youngstas!...
Take your partner by the hand….
On the final Sunday, the Purdays flew in. Just in time for the biggest firework display of the lot at 2am on Monday morning called “and the winner is….” Brilliantly choreographed to the music from famous oscar winning films. Truly spectacular from the firework factory based here in our own sleepy town of
Everyday Ellie and Josh have been superbly looking after and playing with 20 month old baby Violet and our 5 year old god daughter Maya. Swimming in the wild river, the open air pool and down by the river beach. We’ve had a week of late nights talking and sharing over bottles (or more accurately boxes) of wine, port and another sweet local brew made from a
type of cherries grown here called Ginga (‘jeanjer’) made by Laurinda who runs the café in the next door village of Abitueira. It’s been such a blessing to catch up with these cherished old friends and watch them visibly relax and soak up the abundance of this place. We’ve even showed them a few properties around the valleys here to whet their appetites for the possibility of perhaps joining us in our endeavours in
Caroline is a professional photographer and like all mums with small kids trying to eek out a successful career in a big city, is experiencing the pressures of that kind of life. We love Caroline for the mixture of her softness, her compassion, her creativity and her toughness. She is like a fine, expensive tactile fabric, but one that can be destroyed if it is not cared for in the way it deserves.
Finally a promo for mum and dad who fly out to us on Sep 2nd. Hope you like the accommodation folks. Kids are ecstatic with excitement at the prospect of your arrival. Us too, obviously. Travel safely to your new bolt in Europe. Sorry it took us so long to give you your first one.
The new log cabins by the river beach Campismo in Oleiros...