Sunday, December 30, 2012

Capoeiro in Alentejo!

We moved out to our 'monte' four weeks ago, when R came back from his apple picking in Gloucestershire and we are so happy to be living on the land. The weather has been beautiful (between storms) and we can sit out on the patio and let our eyes wander to the far away horizon. I love to be able to spit apple pips. Or cut my nails, and just let things fly out into the long grass and Bermuda buttercup which is growing everywhere at the moment.

Here is a huge caterpillar I found the other day.

We bought five young hens and a galo from the market last weekend. I had spent the previous day building a cosy capoeira (hen house) out of scrap wood. It looks hideous but it will keep them safe from foxes and dry and warm. I'm quite proud of it. I was shocked to discover that all the bought food for chickens is GM!!! Which makes me realize that probably all the meat we eat is grown with GM feedstuffs... Oh dear. I intend to wean them off it as soon as possible. Rob has been grinding wheat for them. Much nicer.

On Christmas day I got in the mood to build the patio a bit. I went up to the old windmill, which is being done up to be a holiday house. They don't need the old mill stones, which they had to break in order to get them out of the mill room upstairs, so I took some in the wheelbarrow and they are now on the ground outside the front door. So I spent Christmas morning doing that and then Rob cooked up the food and put on music and we had a lovely simple, peaceful day.

Every morning when I wake up I look out the windows to see what it's like. Sometimes the whole world is a sea of mist and we are the only visible things. Sometimes all the surrounding hills are only visible from near the top upwards. I rush out and take a photo.

We don't have broadband internet up at the land, yet. No 'facebook', no emails to check, no radio 4, just the sound of the fire in the stove and the wind roaring around the house. We come into 'town' (Sao Luis) to wash our clothes and our bodies occasionally, as I haven't got the washing machine up here, nor the hot water for the shower, but everything else works beautifully. In the evenings I have been knitting fingerless gloves, using homespun wool and handmade knitting needles. As I finished a pair this evening I thought : These could have been made five hundred years ago. I'm not sure why that idea pleases me but it does.