Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ode to Moonbeam - by Effie Starlight (that's me, Eloise)

Here I am again and I know you guys are probably thinking “humph, I bet she’s not going to finish her blog again. Humph.” Ah but oh no I’m going to finish my blog, and that’s that. Probably because I had already written it out before but let’s forget that. Anyway, what I am doing is a poem and I wrote ‘poem’ because if I had written ode you mightn’t have understood!!! Ok let’s get to the blooming point, and if you know me I do tend to jibber jabber!!! Finally before I jibber jabber more I’ll start writing… well technically I have already started writing but… oh here I go again jibber jabbering!! Now I think to myself am I actually going to start my poem?

Anyway, I am going to right now!! So ‘então’ (so!!) lets get started!!

Moonbeam Pocahontas ("Jerry")

There once was an old lady who lived in Bacelo
Spent all her whole life wanting to play the cello
She had 60 cats yet she still wanted more
When she said to her friends “I’m so bored im so bored!”
Then her friends said to her “get more cats get more cats!”
She got lots more cats til she had 603!!
So they lived all their life, poor "Tom and Jerry"!!
By me.

Well hope you liked it you ought to because I have only done like 3 and a half blogs in the whole of the poopineurope tour so you better be grateful!!! Only joking!
So where was I oh yes oh no I forgot again oh yeeaaaaaaahh!! Its "Tom"'s b-day tomorrow and since we don’t have a oven (yet)
So when we went to shantii b’s place mount of oaks they made a lovely crumble any way that’s not the point the point is the thing that she cooked it in takes an awfully long time but never mind so now the point IS that she made it in a solar oven so now for "Ts b-day we are making a solar oven and in about 10 minutes so I better start writing ah yes but it wont be in 10 minutes for you lot he he he!!

Now I am having a little trouble with what pictures to use so well actually I know now!!! So maybe just maybe you will catch me into another blog but like I said maybe!!
But ah well bye for now!!

When the weather outside is sunny - by Falcon

Sorry guys for not writing a blog in ages it’s been a while but I finally got round to it. Hope you missed me coz I'm here now. Last time I wrote was a long time ago so there will be a lot to write (some times though its hard to write a lot)

Sunshine Dundee (Peter) and Memphis Bellows (dad) rendered the house of Hari (Portugal is getting to me!) first of all with cement for the structural strength of it (just saying the way Dundee does don’t worry if you don’t have a clue when I’m writing this) and then in Hydraulic Lime for the eco way and because lime breathes (yeah, just blame it on the Sunshine). After that we painted Hari’s house (took me a while to write that in the ‘correct’ manner) and scraped all the lime of the bare stones (Sunshine’s good but he likes to leave a good mess). Now Casa de Hari (three different ways, I should be in the Guinness World Records) looks like a Moroccan house (when I read back on that I feel like I’m a commentator on a T.V. DIY program (with the dodgy American advertisement accent)).

Sunshine left for home and we looked after Bacelo (like a bunch of 16 year olds would when they have a house to themselves). Pocahontas Moonbeam came back with her big strong crocodile wrestler (ha) and brought Dirty Hari and Barry Blue (the cats’ new names) back with her. The princess had arrived with her boxes of ‘one-more-things’ one for during the day, one for midnight, and 5000 for 5 in the morning (I don’t know where she gets all the ideas from. She probably has the boxes in the attic somewhere)! With all the cats and Slinky Belita Heidi Rachelle Winter the new kitten arrival who thinks she’s a dog (poor soul. 5c fine if I said s*d), Angel ran off for a while just coming back for food (don’t worry; she’s lying next to me now).

We started working on A Casa do Putos (the house of the kids), not A Casa das Putas (big difference between Putos and Putas one means kids and one means prostitutes the problem is they sound very similar when said with a Portuguese accent so we’ve decided not to use them as it might give the wrong impression of the type of tourism project we are making here!).

We signed up for school and people here go into school a year later so we’ll learn everything we already know again but in a completely different language. The veggies are coming along and our courgettes are bl… let’s say really big.

I’ve kind of got a reputation of winning in this town of Olieros, after wining a diving contest at school with a backwards dive off a 2.20 meter diving board at the Praia Fluvial (beach river directly translated), and I won the most original photograph in the competição de biodiversidade de Olieros; Flora (flower) e Fauna (creature). All 11 of my photos were shown in the best of all the photos.

We have been going to Shantii B’s and we have learnt a lot from the amazing hippies that go there. It seems that whenever we go there a question gets answered. If it wasn’t for Josh and Rosie Mother wouldn’t have discovered how to grow such gigantic veggies.

Our friends hawk-eye millions, cashmere snaps, Morton twinkle-toes, and Thumbelina goldilocks (Jon, Caroline, Maya and Violet) have just left for Lisbon after staying here 10 days. Jon is an artist and Caroline is a photographer (hopefully they will stay here. They have already found a place that they like). Jon has been drawing like mad and Caroline has been taking photos while teaching me how to at the same time.

It always seems like such a lot to write about but it never ever is it just seems to flow. Ate Já.

P.S. I promised Anoushka (tooshi) Jago that I will write something about the Jago family in here. We are missing you guys loads and you gotta come out here PLEASE!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Feira and Friends in August

August in Zion has been full throttle. Fortunately, it’s not been anywhere near as hot as we previously imagined it would have been. Temperatures in July reached into the scorching 40’s in some afternoons. Now it’s topping out at 30 and much cooler in the evenings, dropping down to a chilly jumper wearing 15 or so and was even 11 degrees this morning. But the sun continues to shine gloriously on lifting our spirits every single day.

Restoration work has been progressing at both Moses and Bacelo at quite a pace now we’ve found a rhythm for our work together. Sunshine, River and I spend our mornings at Moses, come back for lunch, rest in the afternoons and help out Moonbeam at Bacelo in the cool of the early evening before dinner. Blues boudoir was finished off and we all decorated it in a TV Makeover show style in just a few hours in readiness for the Purdays arrival. It’s a magical little guest room created in the place where this estate had their bread oven (‘Forno’) in years gone by.

The chicken shed roof is on too reusing the old tiles from a fallen down roof on another building on the property. After rendering it this week, the already ginormous ducks (I know they’re not chickens) will have a new home. Both projects were most satisfying to see completed finally.

Down at Moses, we’ve covered both houses with black plastic in preparation for the Autumn rains that could begin early this month. Next we will turn our attention to the renovation inside – installing joists and lintels for taller doors (you should see the scars on my bald head!) and removing a couple of internal walls which will increase the space available in the kitchen and living room. We also want to start experimenting with earth renders and plasters. The company who landscaped the massive 5 new terraces have also now finished and we’re ready to start building the yoga sala, grey water planting system, the tennis court and earth ship greenhouses. We hope Oleiros council will be able to support our project by covering the new winding road with bricks. Yellow bricks. A magical yellow brick road!

Cuppa tea geezer?!...

First week in August saw the onslaught of the summer festival week in Oleiros – the Feira Pinhal. Hundreds of very cool exhibition style stands in the town square, including a Brazilian percussion stall where we’ve equipped ourselves with maracas, shakers, wooden frogs, a small jembe drum and a didgeridoo. The festa also had a program of entertainment every evening until the small hours. And fireworks, wonderful fireworks. Here a just a couple of short film clips from the night time. An amazing drum extravaganza from an energetic and often comical Portuguese teenage drum corps with accompanying synchronised fireworks, and secondly a more sedate traditional cultural dance for the oldies.

Go on! Bash dem bongos youngstas!...

Take your partner by the hand….

On the final Sunday, the Purdays flew in. Just in time for the biggest firework display of the lot at 2am on Monday morning called “and the winner is….” Brilliantly choreographed to the music from famous oscar winning films. Truly spectacular from the firework factory based here in our own sleepy town of Oleiros. A great welcome to Portugal for the John and Caroline and their kids (this pic is their eldest Maya), and an apt celebration of how we all felt because they had, at last, come to see us here.

Everyday Ellie and Josh have been superbly looking after and playing with 20 month old baby Violet and our 5 year old god daughter Maya. Swimming in the wild river, the open air pool and down by the river beach. We’ve had a week of late nights talking and sharing over bottles (or more accurately boxes) of wine, port and another sweet local brew made from a

type of cherries grown here called Ginga (‘jeanjer’) made by Laurinda who runs the café in the next door village of Abitueira. It’s been such a blessing to catch up with these cherished old friends and watch them visibly relax and soak up the abundance of this place. We’ve even showed them a few properties around the valleys here to whet their appetites for the possibility of perhaps joining us in our endeavours in Zion one day. Watch this space. But just in case they do make the jump with us, we have given them new Zion names too.

John is a talented artist who’s been

teaching in London schools for the last 4 years. As everyone knows it’s difficult to both teach and paint. In just one week here though he’s already drawn or water coloured over a hundred pieces in his scrap book. His eye for detail and panache at capturing the essence of things and in particular portraits of people is astounding. So his Zion name is Hawk-Eye Millions. The insightful eye of a peregrine mixed with the prolific potential of having a million ideas inside him. And to us, he’s already worth millions of pounds whether or not he ever sells a single one of his paintings in the future.

Caroline is a professional photographer and like all mums with small kids trying to eek out a successful career in a big city, is experiencing the pressures of that kind of life. We love Caroline for the mixture of her softness, her compassion, her creativity and her toughness. She is like a fine, expensive tactile fabric, but one that can be destroyed if it is not cared for in the way it deserves. Like Cashmere. Cashmere Snaps. Cos she also has a prolific potential awaiting her in the place that one day we hope she will, like us, call home.

Tomorrow they leave us, and with them they’ll take a piece of our hearts, and likewise leave pieces of theirs until we can be together once again. Oh Lord, hear our prayer.

Finally a promo for mum and dad who fly out to us on Sep 2nd. Hope you like the accommodation folks. Kids are ecstatic with excitement at the prospect of your arrival. Us too, obviously. Travel safely to your new bolt in Europe. Sorry it took us so long to give you your first one.

The new log cabins by the river beach Campismo in Oleiros...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wishing on a Wind Turbine

Just a quick video this week from River, shot on top of the hills on the road to Madeira that we took returning from Serta yesterday after completing on the purchase of the house called Moses originally bought by Michelle last year. River's excitement expressed is mainly in part because the new road and terrace project is almost complete on the land at Moses. It's been an absolutely massive landscaping adventure, carving out huge chunks of the hills to make 5 terraces and an interconnecting winding road that will form the bold sculptural structure for the breathtakingingly beautiful gardens River is planning to create there pver the next few years. Next week I will ask Falcon to take some his fab pics. The views are resplendent and the potential feels boundless. Tonight we are off to celebrate with thousands of others at our town's local summer Festa in Oleiros. So, enough from me. Over to the one who still never fails to make my heart skip. What a privilge to share this life with such as she. Speak River.

Wish upon a star (or at least every time you find yourself under a windmill)...