Sunday, July 24, 2016

Very Hot News From Alentejo

The cob workshop I was going to be leading was cancelled due to heat. And it has been hot. The temperature has reached 40 most days. Inside our tin-roofed shack it has been mildly unpleasant in the afternoons, when the bricks just give up keeping us cool. Luckily there is the neighbours' pool and Rob likes to use his tank. It does make a difference when you can cool your body down to below the outside temperature!

I have been working in the new house in the village. It is indoor work. Plastering the walls of the bathroom with cob. I had the pleasure of Michelli for company and help some of the time. How nice it is to have the mixes ready to throw at those walls.

I am also going to do the basic electrics. The boxes and the tubes for the cables can be embedded in cob.

I think I will build a low wall for the shower area. I am also considering doing tadelakt (Moroccan waewrproof plaster) around the shower, but there is very little info out there about how, so I am going to experiment.

Sometimes, when it's too hot to do anything, I just go and sit in this house and think. It is a very good idea to spend time on a project doing nothing. Ideas come.

It's not all work. In the summer it makes sense to go down to the water. On Friday we all met up for a birthday party by the barragem de Campilhas. The water is warm and yet refreshing. The cork trees give precious shade. Bliss.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

To A Wedding in the Western Isles

I have been away, visiting Scotland. I had the pleasure of my oldest grand daughter for company. How lovely it is to travel with an eight-year-old. We drove to Lisbon in the early morning, got the plane to Edinburgh and then caught a train to Inverness. We spent the time on the train looking for rabbits (lots), sheep (quite a lot) and deer (some). There was even some patches of snow on the mountains. Arrived at my family's home around 9pm.

It is so green in Scotland, and the sheep are so white due to the constant washing from the rain! Not the dusty clay-red beasties we have in Alentejo.

We travelled over to the west coast for an Island wedding. Kilts and Scottish dancing, bagpipes and fiddles. Isabella was danced by her glorious big cousins. There was no darkness. We went home after midnight in the pale night light.

Now we are back in hot, sunny, dry Alentejo. I love Scotland, but this is my home.