Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nearly Done

 Finding the level and tamping like a zombie. Barrow loads of gravel then weed barrier, then replace the earth that was dug out. It's nearly finished and beginning to look very nice.
 Out for a walk with the girls. Splashing in puddles is good fun.

A huge rainbow over our patch of paradise.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Digging, Planting, Dreaming

R has been digging. Seriously digging. New project. On the steepest part of the land.
 Favas are coming up on the terraces I made last year. Small pepper tree beside a bucket.
 I have dug some new terraces  and Isabella helped me plant the garlic. Hopefully there will be enough to last the year. The system of using black plastic over the brambles and other tough weeds works a treat. After nine months the weeds are dead and the ground is soft and crumbly. A treat to work the ground. No chemicals needed.
Portuguese saying 'No dia do Natal, os bicos do perdal', which means on Christmas day little partridge beaks (garlic) will appear.

The holy trinity. An enxada, a fork and a rake. I call my enxada a one-woman plough. When you get the hang of it, it is a very useful tool. At the moment I am using it to dig out the floor of the studio in order to put down gravel and then more mud tamped on top. That's proving to be not so nice and crumbly, more rocks and the occasional root.
Look how green everywhere is!
 Isabella demonstrating how to sit next to the fireplace on the bench with your back tucked into the warm cob. (It takes a while to warm up, but once warm it lasts)
I like the way the sunlight is reflected onto the other side of window and thrown into the room.
I love my studio. Whenever I open the door and come in it smells nice. Almost perfumed. The earth, the wood, the cane. I am looking forward to the floor being finished and to have my sewing machine, spinning wheel, easel, etc ready for creative activities.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Winter Time

The days are short and the nights are spent cosy by the stove, knitting, cruising the 'net, watching the puppy play fight with Bonnie. I might even get the spinning wheel out.
We had a lot of rain and our big water tank is now full. Everywhere is very green and parasol mushrooms are popping up all over the place. And the sun has come back. So nice to sit on the step and feel the winter warmth.

R is back and he has cut down (severely pruned back) the olive that blocked the view and the sun. He has also dug holes for the new fruit trees and nut trees that we bought from Agroforestry Research Trust. Such good quality trees and service. It might seem mad to order trees from England, but we are really pleased with the ones we got last year. Well worth it.
During the really foul weather, when we had strong southerly winds bringing a lot of rain, I was worried about the studio. Every morning I would look down the hill to check it was still there and not melted into the ground. I can't believe how sturdy that building is. It's completely dry inside, and warm. I love to go down there and just sit in the winter sun and tell myself I did this!

The Studio

Cosy and Dry Inside
We had Billy and Geena over for a brief visit. So lovely to see my boy and his lovely girlfriend. We had lunch on the patio and all took turns to hold the puppy.

Puppy Love!
Bonnie and ?
I hope there is someone who is looking for a delightful little dog to come and live with them as he is getting to be the right age for giving away.

Still short of feathers for the Christmas presents.... I found the evidence of a fox taking a neighbour's duck up by the windmill. Lots of feathers!