Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Gardens of Abrantes Castle

After many months we finally got to meet up again with our good friends Francisco and Raquel (and baby Manuel) from the lovely old Portuguese city of Abrantes. It's about an hour or so from our place, but always worth the drive to see them. This time Raquel showed us, including new puppy Saphira, around the castle and gardens. Divine.

It was particularly inspiring to see many of the trees we have planted at Moses, and how they will look in 30 to 40 years time. We walked through the gardens catching up with Raquel and imagining the ladies that would have paraded around in long dresses and parasols next to the swans in the days when the castle was the centre of life in Abrantes.

And those flowers. And cacti. And prickly pears. Simply dripping. Thanks for the tour guys. Let's do another one somewhere else later in the summer eh?

Fishing season opened once more in Portugal on Monday. With license in hand (3 euros for the year!), I flew down to the River Zêzere a couple of times with our neighbours this week. Caught a few local tips of how to improve my fishing, although no joy in catching anything to eat, but what a blessing it is to sit and ponder on such beauty. I'm hooked. Will let you know when the fish are too.

This morning we said goodbye to two delightful French Wwoofer sisters, Laure and Emma from Bordeaux. They have diligently weeded and dug and planted and mulched beds for more tomatoes and cauliflowers. Merci! We now have a week alone until Bridget and Alison arrive at the end of the month. And not so long now before we head off to Glastonbury.

The Wwoofers have been fantastically helpful this year. Very much appreciated. And will be again for Olive and Wine harvests later in the year. But we sense that the time has now come for us to open up Moses for a retreat space. I've updated the Booking section on this blog with more details of the gardening, yoga, massage and acupuncture available here from September. If you're interested let us know. It should be a lot of fun and rewardingly hard work. Which is the reason we love gardening so much.

That's it for now. I'll leave with a quick tour of one of my favourite places in the parish of Amieira. The Olive Press. "Today on Playschool, we go through the round window..."

Peace and love as always


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