Saturday, December 17, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
It is a gloriously sunny day today. Though the calendar tells us that Winter is fast approaching I have been working all day in shorts and a t-shirt. I am alone, well without human company. Just me and Moses and our new puppy Safira. Angel my wicked cat is around somewhere, probably trying to tease hibernating voles out of their holes. The children are already at school and Memphis has gone to work on the roof of some friends. It is a good day, a quiet day. (photo Yulia and Safi on yoga retreat)
It has been almost a year since my last entry and I know some of you have been wondering where is Von, thanks for the emails. To be honest, I have been working and this year has flown by. We have had the great pleasure of housing, feeding and watering a number of Woofers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), visitors, family and friends. A great deal of work has gone into the vegetable production and with thanks we have eaten well all summer and into the autumn. (Bill, Becky and Ollie round the Nov 5th bonfire)
We are still learning the art of organic vegetable growing, and believe me it is not without challenge. This year we have met the challenges of tomato ad pumpkin blight. Little horrible bugs I have never had the horror of meeting eating the broccoli. I have had to sow all of our winter veg twice due to some naughty get away chickens and a frisky puppy, even now the horrible caterpillars are munching away on my lovingly watered and fed cauliflowers and nothing organic I seem to try really works. Right now I am preparing to begin the disgusting task of picking the buggers off one by one, perhaps this will be futile but gardeners are known for the obsessive love of perfect plants. (Entry in our Guest book by the frisbee throwing wwoofing gals of Kansas)
I know the caterpillars will be back and we will laugh through this just as we have learnt to laugh at all the trials and tribulations we have had here so far and press on regardless. (Jonny battling Memphis at scrabble)
On the lighter and brighter side, the chilli peppers have been sublime and after two years of trying to grow perfect chilli peppers, the chillies this year have been my crowning glory! Hallelujah red hot chilli peppers by the basket full. It is still warm enough for the Calendulas and Californica Eschlotzias to be flowering. Their iridescent orange colours are greatly welcomed at this time of year. Strangely enough my Red hot Pokers are rising valiantly out of their sword like home of leaves , their conical flowers just beginning to bronze, I look forward to their ever increasing reddening, perhaps we will have Red Hot Pokers for Christmas. (Eloise and Joshua, the most established of all the plants in our garden)
The Olive harvest was speedily completed with the help of one of our very much appreciated German Woofers, TK, big thumbs up to TK! It was great fun being up in the trees with you. We are now pleased to have our own Olive oil again this year, only half that we made last year as the trees are semi biannually producing. 1 year bumper, 1 year low.
The other big news this year has been yoga. After thirteen years of grabbing practice time when and if I can it has been wonderful to wake up before the sunrise and practice. I believe this is how I have managed to keep sane, this year, mind you. Before we came here, yoga was largely about the relaxation of the body, busy Mums need to find ways to relax. This year however, it has been wonderful, delightfully centering to simply be within myself, despite all the plants that need watering, and the clothes that need washing, and the hurts that need cuddling and the house that needs cleaning and the people that need feeding. It is from this state of stillness of meditation that all else has been given invitation to flower. Or, maybe I am just middle aged and needing to be still a great deal more. Either way I can safely say that meditation is a revelation. If you have never tried it, do, it will change your life.
This year I have also had the pleasure of teaching our first yoga retreat in Portugal and also teaching some Woofers. How wonderful to wake up in the morning and just watch lovely young people stretching, earnestly trying to relax. Very sweet. I hope to do more of this as the years unfold here. It is a beautiful place to meet oneself face to face. There is something about yoga that invites the bubbling up of the naughty happy child within us, and it is that child that will bravely go forth to face the most gruesome of challenges, such as horrible caterpillars.
My first Christmas present has arrived from Memphis, a tractor load of goat poo! Hooray. Not the glamorous handbag or necklace kind of present, but it is just the thing to put a smile on my face. Big! Big! Big pumpkins next year. 2012 big! (Memphis relishing the battle with Jonny)
I guess one could say we are simply living a normal life now. The builders have long departed. The furniture, paintings and photographs are largely in place. The days are now made up of morning yoga, gardening, cleaning, sewing (I learnt to sew this year, thanks Aunty Sally). The nights are still nights of bonfires outside and music but all in all it is just life. There are still an infinite number of projects we hope to complete, chicken houses and barns and the little Adega at the end of the hill. All in all this Winter 4 are still bobbing and jumping and jiving their way through life with all the enthusiasm we can muster, maybe we are getting older but some meditation and silence is creeping in there too.
Off to finish the Christmas tree. Happy shopping to all… Thanks for the new tunes Ian, digging the classical music. However, I must say that Chase and Status are wonderful for chopping firewood too, thanks Aunty Helen. Getting older is better…
(Josh on da karaoke)
Peace and Love