Blogging the stories of our family life on a yoga retreat in the magical village and valleys of Amieira, Central Portugal. Everyday we are tending this beautiful land and its stone dwellings in our journey towards self sufficiency. Moses is the Portuguese name of this place, meaning many mill stones. And, providently, is also the name of our beloved golden retriever, without whom, we'd never have found it. We love you Moses.
So this is how the story goes. There was this cat, who lived with a sweet family in Oleiros, together with their dog. The cat and the dog become pregnant at the same time. The cat produces her kittens a little while before the dog gives birth, but disastrously suddenly dies in a road accident a few days later. The dog, while still pregnant, (hope you are still with me) heroically takes it upon herself to nurse the motherless kittens from her own teats, otherwise they would surely not have made it through their first 6 weeks. Raquel gets wind of the valiant tale and leaps into immediate action, galvanising the support of friends and family to provide as many good homes for the kittens as she can find. And so it came to pass, that Slinky, with the milk of her adopted canine mother still warm in her belly, found her way into the home and hearts of this crazy gang of English people in the village of Amieira. Although Angel is taking a little longer to get used to the idea than the rest of us. Bless.
That’s the top news story of the month. Below is a video of the wee thing in action in the garden which Von and "Tom" created outside Harry’s house last week after our stuff and plants finally arrived from London.
Second news item is that Josh and I made contact with the emerging cricket scene in Portugal. And we both actually managed to play a game last weekend together for the first time, on a sweet ground on a converted field, bought 2 years ago by a nice South African guy called Sandy. The pitch is only 90 minutes drive south of here in the village of Albegeria near Santarem. The teams seem to be a mixture of Portuguese, Sri Lankans and other South Africans but I will let you know more about the other teams when the league (yes apparently so) starts later in the summer. Before the big event we obviously had to have a knock about practice, that as you can see from the picture was on a makeshift strip outside Kahn cottage. Didn’t do us much good as we lost the first game of the season. But at least there is a season here. We both can't wait til the next game.
For the last few weeks, Von has been sifting soil to create the optimum conditions for veggies in the ‘horta’ , and I have been working hard with "Tom" restoring Harry’s house. Which, I am glad to tell you is now complete. Well, the building work is done. Now we just need to paint the insides and make it our home for the next year or so. We’ve had so much fun doing this restoration work that Von and I have decided we will restore our houses down at Moses by ourselves as well, with a lot of help from "Tom" and a little help from local builders and carpenters when we need them. So watch this space.
"Tom" just went back to England at the weekend to kiss his mrs and bring her back with him in a couple of weeks. It will be so nice to have "Jerry" here with us all. It’s not been the same without her here. Kind of like watching “To The Manor Born” without Penelope Keith. Anyway, comeback soon guys, we don’t like squatting here without you.
Finally, some friends of Ian and Merle (the tipi people), Elisabeth and her friend Oriel, popped over to see us in the week, and stayed with Eugenia and Joao for a couple of nights. We really enjoyed their company. Elisabeth is a Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner from Hereford with a 12 year old daughter called Tara and they are considering moving to these parts as well - or at the very least spending their summers here until Tara leaves school. More lovely people. And English too. Soon we will simply have to raise a union jack somewhere. Or maybe not.