Archive for December, 2010

Paradise revisited

Back to Paraiso Bistro and this time we ordered dinner for 11, including some new arrivals. The bearded man next to Jaime is Bhakta, aka Charles Walker, author of a free e-book, The beautiful future, who arrived today, and next to him you see Ana, from Lisbon, who came for an introductory visit to Osho Garden. We enjoyed the vegetable soup, mixed salad, French fries and steamed veggies in the candle lit one table dining room.

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The Search

We spent Christmas day eating, drinking, playing and singing at Xicca’s place. After a few drinks Jaime suggested to go on a herb hunting trip near Corte Brique to collect local varieties for our herb garden and that’s how our plan for Boxing day was born. The search party had a happy ending in a pub called Paraiso with coffee, dried figs and Medronho, a local liqueur made of berries of the strawberry tree.

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Merry Christmas

Santa visited Sabóia today, but it was not Father Christmas but Miss Christmas who went around with candy and a smile. And her sisters too. Like I said before, girls rule Portugal. With my candy still in my pocket I passed by Maria, our builder’s merchant. This morning she showed me how she fires up her bread oven. In the afternoon I got a freshly baked bread. Feliz Natal, she said as she handed me the present.

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Space lift

Renewing the roof over our house and insulating it will change our attic into a warm and beautiful group room. It can be used for workshops and also serve as temporary accommodation for volunteers. It is challenging to do this in winter. In the picture  Tatiana, our construction coordinator, mopping some leaked rain water up before it gets a chance to infiltrate our kitchen again. We cannot change the season and the project must go on regardless of the weather. We want to create space for the growing number of volunteers who are coming to join us. We also offer other options besides this shared space, for details read our Private Space program.

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Paint it black

I wanna see it painted, painted black. Black as night, black as coal, sing the Rolling Stones and we follow it up. Black is beautiful. It also makes man made objects look smaller and  less conspicuous. Ieva is the first to paint her caravan, using a mixture of two natural products, linseed oil and pine tar, a traditional weatherproof wood preservative (and an antiseptic, flavoring, spice and scent) obtained by dry distillation of pine wood.

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Here comes the sun

I told you about the rain and the mild temperatures. We had again a rainstorm this morning and for the third day in a row the plasterers are unable to work because of the moisture in the walls. The only way to get rid of the water is by digging a ditch for a drainage tube so that’s what we’re doing here on this bright sunlit morning.  Click on the picture to get a closer look at the way Nuno is dressed. Do you see why we love to be in this country? In between the rainstorms it is almost like summer again. Last night we had a dance party under the sky in our garden. And now for some raw foodism. At right you see the raw vegan lunch that Anna made today at the request of another Ana (right in the picture), a friend of Tatiana who came for a short stay and is leaving today. Even the (cold) soup is made of only raw ingredients. Yes, it’s a bit extreme but life is not normal here, after a while you get used to that.

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Stormy Weather

A thunderstorm blew much of the tent from our roof in the night and dumped a lot of rain on our ceiling. It is made of concrete but not totally waterproof so the water found its way into places in our house that one prefers to keep dry. Fortunately the temperatures are mild these days so we are mainly inconvenienced and not suffering. We started making a new tent but the gale force winds prevent us from putting it up. Last year December saw the worst rains in half a century and this year seems to go for a revival. Our river, in summer a calm trickle has multiplied into a raging torrent that is going far out of its bounds, flooding the land of our neighbors. We are lucky that our house and most of our land is on a higher elevation. Meanwhile the local population is following our pursuits with sympathy but also some amusement. This is not a season they would choose for making a new roof.

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