Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Feast Your Eyes

I've given this post the title 'Feast Your Eyes' because it feels like an abundance of good things that are going on for me at the moment! :)
 First, here's a photo of the kitchen I have built. Small but functional.  The shower and washstand at the back , that's the bathroom.
 I found  a huge CENTIPEDE in the sink, this morning...

I've picked some more olives and put them in brine.

It is the season for the local indiginous grape, 'morangeira' which is irrisistable in fruit form and in wine... and also the time for diaspeiro... which must be the fruit of the Gods... what is it in English? Persimmon? perhaps. But that name does not express the sheer slurpy pleasure one gets when just biting into the flesh and sucking in that sweet gluey stuff. YUM!


To round off the week, here is a view from the top of our land.  That is a feast for your eyes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Another week in Sunny Alentejo

I had a few days of feeling 'constipado', which is the Portuguese for having a cold, but am now in fine form once more.

This week I have Nuno and Tiago helping me finish the dome.  It got caught in the rain and some of the mud had been washed off, so I covered it in a tarp and then it started to get really wet inside... So I was feeling a bit anti-dome... but since it's been hot again, 25+ degrees, the mud has dried, and now with the help of Nuno's cement mixer, we have recovered it and have begun rendering it, using a lime/earth/sand mix.

I have also been putting up shelves and tidying the building site, and painting the bedroom floor with a mixture of linseed oil, turps and red pigment. A lot cheaper and a lot less chemical than the floor paint that one usually uses, which is so noxious.

The beaches are empty but the sea is warmer than in the summer so it is really nice to go and hang out and watch the surfers.  Yes, this is the season for the dolphin-boys and girls, in their sleek wetsuits, riding the waves. I'm a bit of a seal: I prefer to loll on the shore and get washed by the waves as they sweep over the sand. There are a lot of huge pebbles, all beautifully rounded by the fierce Atlantic, and I like to take a few back with me, to put in the garden or in the house. I don't take the huge ones.  Too heavy and rather embarrassing to be caught lugging one into the car!  Maybe on a dark and stormy night...

The brambles are coming back. They look like nice green grass untill you go close up and see... Soon they will have to be slashed once more.

Here's our little beach babe.

The olives are turning black and I have started to pick and pickle them. A quiet, peaceful job.  The small, wild olive trees have small olives, but without any bugs. I wonder why that is? The bigger trees are not too badly bugged, but still, each olive has one, which distorts the shape a bit.  They're ok and I'd rather have the bugs than put toxic chemicals on the trees.

I'm going to Britain next week, for three weeks. Really looking forward to seeing everyone!