Friday, October 2, 2009

Houses built of flour

So here's an interesting thing. Close on a hundred years ago, a young man called Senhor Farinha, built a beautiful house out of stone and clay and wood, on a piece of land called Moses in the meandering valleys of central Portugal below a wee village called Amieira. He raised his family, grew all kinds of veggies and flowers and trees on terraces hand sculpted out of the mountain side. Sixty odd years ago he built another house, just above his first house, for guests and friends, we think with his brother, another Sr Farinha.

One of his daughters married the boy next door (he's actually the guy in the middle of the photo of the 3 paunches), where they still live to this day. After her father passed away 20 years ago, that daughter eventually decided to sell the family home and 2 years ago a young English family from London came and saw and fell in love with the house and the land and the people and moved into the village to start a new life.

After a year and half of dreaming and imagining and planning, this little English family began the process of lovingly restoring what Sr Farinha had first created. They had no idea what they were doing really but were convinced that in the process they would learn. With some help from their neighbour João and his sons Filipe and George, they raised the walls in stone and clay, cut down a few trees and made an old time wooden structure for a roof. Just 2 weeks ago a young man also called João, came to help restore the guest house. He was a professional with a team of lovely stone masons. And by coincidence his name, and that of his brother Paulo also on the team, is Farinha.

Yesterday, a mountain of gorgeous wooden pine beams and floorboards for the roofs arrived from a sawmill in the nearby town of Sertã, cut to size and delivered by another lovely young man who, oddly enough is also called João Farinha.

Farinha in Portuguese means Flour. Our houses here in the land of Moses were built, are being restored and probably will be added to some more, with the help of a lot of flour.

Well I thought it was an interesting story.

Bought a new video camera this week. Better quality than the last few months, although better quality means bigger file size, so might need to wait a wee longer for them to load up. Hope it's worth it.

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