Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hi Ho Hi Ho, It's off to WWOOF we go.

What a wonderful thing is Wwoofing. It has been so lovely working, eating and spending time with the Wwoofers that have come to Moses this year. Linwei, Peter, Liz and now Julie and Damian. A beautiful exchange of energy. They provide manpower and good company. We provide hospitality and great food that Arlene is cooking up every day.

This is Moses, our 3 bedroom cottage that we first restored and lived in for 18 months as a family while we were restoring our farmhouses up the hill. We are renting this cottage out for holidays and retreats later in the year, but for now it is providing super Wwoofing accommodation.

Here's Peter the Hungarian. "Egészségedre" amigo! We miss you already pal, and do so very much hope that we will meet again. Hopefully we'll go one day to your place in the Hungarian mountains and you can arrange a pálinka tasting tour, like the one I subjected you to around the Adegas of our local villages. I look forward to bouncing little hungary hungarian peters up and down on my knee while you catch a fish.

I am also most grateful to Peter for introducing me to the notion of Wabi-Sabi. The Japanese art of imperfection. In one masterfully hammered 9" nail in the roof structure of this new herb garden shed, his only nail in fact, he managed to reposition the perfectly vertical door post to a most imperfect 20 degree angle. One nail and his mark is left with us for us always to remember the man and smile!

Liz left us on Thursday. She threw herself into anything we asked her to do and to listen to her evening pre dinner piano recitals waft through the house out over the terraces was simply divine. 2 new hedgerows on the terrace (where we are slowly creating a cricket net garden) and one new line of conifers and rosemary bushes on the path down from the farmhouse. Thanks Liz. Thanks for the pictures too and the song you wrote for us. Fabulous. Hope all goes well in Morocco and beyond.  (Follow Liz's travel blog here.)

On Monday an English couple, Damian and Julie, arrived from a 3.5 months trip round Morocco and wanted to stop at Moses to repay some of the generosity they received over there. They've industriously cleared one section of forest from the rock roses, small pine trees and straggly cuttings of the gorses and lavenders, enough for Liz and I to shred 33 bags of woodchip . Our own pot pourri for the dry toilets. Nice.

They've helped plant trees including three beautiful living sculptures on the water garden terrace above the sugar maples at the top of the land. In 3 big holes that River dug out last year, there are now several huge upturned pine tree roots. 3 or 4 birch trees are planted right next to them at angles from the centre. Over time we hope the birches will thicken and mold into the roots, creating a strange gnarled sculpture all by themselves. It felt like a big Art Attack in the forest. Like an installation in the wilderness. One that wont be ready to truly appreciate for another 15 years or so. Just when the maples start to leak their syrup.

And as they had the know how, we let them prune the old pear trees in the kitchen garden. Yesterday it was a bit rainy, so Julie linseed oiled the stairs in the house and Damian lime painted red the courtyard walls, digging up the old fig tree for good measure. It's all go, every day.  All those little jobs that are on our endless mental lists of things to do here. Well, with these lovely wwoofers, it looks like we might get a good crack at getting quite a bit of that list done. How do you spell relief? WWOOF.

At last the hammock Michelle gave us a few years back is up on the yoga eternity deck. My days. No better way to relax as the sun goes down. We've also had a couple of yoga classes from River on this deck, when the afternoons have been sunny enough, it can be mid twenties. Delicious temperature to unfold our mats and ourselves.

Kids are good. Been a bit end of termy poorly with snivels and coughs. But as they say round here, "é normal, é o tempo". Ellie had a music concert at school this week for their Founders Day. Played the Titanic splendidly with her class on the recorders. Josh got himself elected President of the Pupil Association as well to boot. Cinco estrellas filhos! Make us proud dont ya just!

Far from the maddening chaos of rising global revolution, crashing economies, earth expanding quakes, radioactive volcanoes, we know how extraordinarily lucky we are to be here, living simply like this, in the middle of the Portuguese forest mountains and valleys. Yet our hearts go out to all of our fellow earthlings who are suffering unimaginably at the moment with what looks to all intent and purpose, like a vortex of death and destruction over our planet.

Hang on in there fellow earthlings. Hold tight. It's gonna be a bumpy few months ahead. Somehow we gotta come out the other side of all this in love. And if you have not yet done so already, sell all you have and buy land. Love and land. That'll do.

In respect and peace


1 comment:

Liz harrod said...

You guys are spectacular!