29 Jul 2014

Sunset and the Moon

The light of day slowly fading away.   I took a walk around my inner garden this evening.  The day has been one of our hottest.   Approaching the 8 o clock mark.. I open all the doors to let the balmy night breeze filter through .  Within seconds the sun disappears .   Squinting my eye , there high up in the sky .  Mr. moon was showing just a little quarter of himself. 

                                                                     This rose bush is slowly coming back to life.. took this at around 6.30pm
                                                      The bushes still very bare.. I saw this one blooming .. Its looking good.  
                                      My first shot at the moon  29th July 2014
                                      Moon distance to the earth 250985 miles
                                      age moon    2.6 days
                                      moon phase size of moon increases
                                      percentage visable 7%


                                                      taken about 20 min later- through the leaves of my palm tree.
                                                                       Still a red pink hue from the sun.. reflecting over the sky.
Actual moon.-  (courtesy) during these last 2 days.

        The moon, has always held a fascination for me.  
 There is 10yrs difference between me and my sister. She being the eldest.   Went to bed later than me.  Being only the two of us.  I suppose you can say, I was a little spoilt, but much loved too.  I didn't like to go to bed alone.

My mother always had trouble getting me to sleep.      I would not sleep,  unless she lay down beside me.    I would lie there calling her name, until she came upstairs  to  tell me stories about the moon

My poor mum.. I must have drove her crazy.)
The moon often shining brightly through the curtain of my bedroom.  She would tell me such wonderful stories.  
Of the fairies , that lived in the woods near to us.  How they would come to visit and rearrange the curtains, while we slept, and dance to the light of the moon.     How they played with my toys and put them back where they were.    Slowly I would slip off to sleep and travel to never never land.  
I had a magical childhood.  Doting parents - Love was abundant in our home.  
As I was growing up, mum and I would often talk about my childhood and tell me all these stories.  Still held close to my heart.

I remember these stories when i see the moon.  I feel a warmth about me.! As though she was with me here right  in the room.

My children arrived,  and  magical tales to far off places I told them.    Of the fairies and the goblins , in the fairies in their finest silk of gowns, and how, like the fairies from my childhood  they danced  gaily to under the light of the moon.

  Then my grandchildren.  We have spent many a night awake,  me telling them moonlight and fairy tales of old.       Craving for more, i would see their little eyes close and they too travelled to never never land.  I would fall asleep next to them- counting my blessings and saying goodnight to mr.moon.
It's a beautiful evening here my dear friends.  I am outside sitting under the light of the moon.. the owls are hooting and a night bird here and there.

Maybe you too have some stories to tell.       There is a child within us all.   I am sure you will agree.

  I see the moon
  The moon sees me
  God bless the moon
  And god bless me.

                                     .................................................................................
                                                                             VAL

26 Jul 2014

Catching up

6.30 am.  When the mist is thick and heavy at this time in the morning.   It can only mean one thing.  A very hot day is on its way.   We have been having very hot days.  Not unusual for the Alentejo. With temp, up to 40ºc.  These last few days, its dropped down back into the 30's.   
Hat ready & sun cream at the ready.  
Pascoa came to say hello.   I can't put my hand over, as I will get a shock.. but she loves to talk to me.  They have so much food now.    Surprise her daughter, is not far away.   Horses , for me are such wonderful animals.  So intelligent . I miss my riding days.  Once upon a time, I would be saddled up and away into the early morning mist.
Pascoa chewing away.. she is so loving.
Getting more things done around the Quinta.   New gravel for my pretty long entrance up to the cottages.  Still in progress, but looking much better.  I have to do this about every 4 years.  The gravel just slowly disappears into the ground, with our heavy winter rains.
A sad summer show of my roses.  With our extreme heat.  They all just withered away .  I have given them feed and water twice a day.  Not all things are rosy around my garden at the moment.  It's going to be a hard battle to get them back to where they were.
Some more progress with my storage room.  The roof is on.  Its  now getting closer to plastering.. then the floor , then the door and window. 
To compensate for my roses.  At least I have some blooms in the garden.













Summertime we are all busy with outdoors, holidays , travel, family and catching up.

A big thank you to all my dear blogging friends, who left comments on my last post.
Time is of the essence, and these wonderful summer days .  I try to fill enjoying outdoor.. friends and this next coming week.  All my family together.    I am one lucky lady.

I am still on my blogging break.    Just a quick post to say hello and to let you all know, I am still here and not forgotten you ..

Wishing you all super happy summer days.

Val

15 Jul 2014

Hot summer days

 During these very hot summer days, lethargic is not the word.  Not only are we getting hotter days, but also hotter nights.  I have my aircon and fans going all day and into the early hours, thats when there is a little breeze that filters in through the open windows.  Sheer bliss.

I am out in the early morning to water the garden. Which I must say is sadly being affected by the heat.
My poor roses are wilting.

Our temperature here for this week goes from 21º in the mornings to 33 ºc.   Up until yesterday it was over 35º..

The dogs prefer to be inside, where its cooler.  Even in the shade its hot.
I do enjoy summer.   I always have.  Its holiday time, family time and fun time with friends.   I am not complaining.. however over 35º is just a little too much to handle.!

I don't have as much enthusiasm to blog during these days.

It's time for.

                                   Shady areas..
                                              Keeping as many flowers happy as I can.
                                                                See the haze in the distance.
                             Sun glasses, sun hat, long cool drinks, fruit , lots of water.. poolside towards late afternoon or early morning.

And lots of smiling.. keeps the heart beating and is food for the soul.

Taking a little break.  

Thank you to all my dear blogging friends for all your kind comments..  It makes blogging all the more worth while.

Happy summer days

Val



10 Jul 2014

Art and garden

A belated Birthday card arrived for me yesterday, from S.A  -Sent by a dear friend of mine for more than 40 years. We last saw each other on my 60th Birthday.  She never forgets my Birthday.  We phone each other, once a week.  I get to catch up on old friends.  And we exchange chats about our respective families.  
 Its so super to receive a card in the mail these days.    I don't know about you dear friends.!   I stopped sending cards years ago.  I do it all over the internet these days  !
This is the card I recieved-   Jack Vettriano .   
   I love his contemporary way of painting.  
                         His vision is amazing- The way he paints his figures .    Each having its own story to tell  . He uses great  choices of color - subtle , with a splash of color here or there.
Jack Vettriano - born  Jack Hogan .  Is a Scottish painter  and still exhibits today.  His last exhibit was of March this year.
 He received no formal training, and first submitted works to The Royal Scottish Academy in 1988- Both pieces were accepted and sold.
He writes, books, has calendars, and cards.
I find his art intrigues me.  Its risque , serious, dancing, beach scenes, w.w ll period.   I feel an energy from his paintings.   Passionate, happy go lucky and suave.  Something for everyone.
                                                  He paints for all kinds of tastes.    His use of light and dark is ever prominent in his works.

                                              This is his very famous painting that he painted  in the 1950's.
                                                                          ' The Dancing Butler '.. the painting tells it all.

                               .......................................................................................................................                           ........................................................................
               Photos taken this morning - My roses are blooming profusely- I have beautiful buds and blooms of white, dark red, red, pink, orange and yellow.  The orange rose here also has a mixture of pink.
                                                                      Simply beautiful white
                                            One of my larger yellow roses- caught the bee taking the pollen .. I thought it a strange kind of bee!!  To me it looks like a wasp..!!!
                                                     I think its a bee
           Sending sweet smelling roses to you all.     Thank you for all your lovely comments.
                                                                Happy summer days
                                                                         VAL    

8 Jul 2014

Summer days & garden

How does the song go " Summer days  -Aah those summer days."
Alentejo , in July and August becomes really hot.  During the mid afternoon, many people take their siestas. Its too hot to be outside. The workers in the fields, will be out before sunset to water and feed the animals.. In the afternoon, will be out later at around 7.  You might catch sight of a shepherd sleeping under a shady olive tree.     Today is one of those days. 
A true hot summer day. 
The sky is clear, the late afternoon breeze arrives around 6.30pm. Its a time for family. 
                                                                           yes ,  its me. ):-

Last week, I wrote that I was off to Lisbon.   My destination-  One of the central Marina's on the Tejo river front.   Maria my grandaughter, also came with me.  Daddy was waiting for us.  Maria had a dentist appointment in the afternoon.
When I arrived at this  dockside.. where I hadn't been for a long time.   I had to stop to get my bearings. While looking around for the road to take to the Marina.  There right in front of us, was moored one of the largest ships in the world.  M/V  Independence of the seas--
                                                            (courtesy)   This is her leaving or arriving at a port.  At first , it looked like a new building.  Upon looking closer .  I said to Maria.. "its a ship"-  I have been on a few ocean liners during my life.  Never one so big.  I don't think that I would like too either.!  
It takes 4.370 passengers.  We counted about 9 decks.   Imagine with the crews quarters and engine rooms , kitchen and more.  One wonders, how it can float!!!

We arrived at the Marina.  F was there to greet us and we walked to our jetty where  Ilustrious 6 is moored.  F  is now the skipper, after the passing of M.. and a fine skipper he is.  He was taken on board our beloved yacht "Scally" when he was just 2 weeks old.  Life at sea comes second hand to him . 
I am very proud of him.  2 months ago. He passed his exams for "Skipper Coastal".. come winter, he will be sitting for Skipper - Ocean. Following in dad's footsteps. 

                                             Maria   up front.   My cabin below.   We spent a few days on board and had a great family time.  Miguel and Sasha joined us for a wonderful pasta dinner, that F prepared for us. With a  couple of good bottles of red wine.  Merry and happy, we talked about and discussed  our sail accross the oceans on "Scally".  Another magical time to remember.
The last time I was on board was over two years ago with M.  We all raised our glasses in memory of an excellent first class mariner.. and dad.
There are two double side cabins and a nice big forepeak cabin.

Walking to the boat.. really super jetties.
               My next stop on Friday last, was our local nursery.. I just loved this little sunflower man..
I have had my eye on this beautiful sculptured turtle for some time.  Its all hand carved out of stone.  I would love to have it next to my pool.   Isn't it beautiful. Some artisans are so gifted.

                                                               See the two little frogs on the lilly pads.. they were making such a racket.  Golden carp were swimming around.  
The owners , told me that the nursery was up for sale.  They are going to retire.  Hope it doesn't close, as the next one is far away from me.

                                                            Some of the geraniums that I bought.
                                              I would love to have these orchids in my house, but i am not so good with indoor plants.  These were a lovely soft yellow.
Maria , took this photo when we were crossing the 25th April bridge, on our way home.
The statue of "Christ our Savior" - I have never been up to the top.  You can walk in the arms. I dont like heights that much.
 Thank you all for your super comments on my last post, about the Mongoose.
We do have many around here.  The one I showed you was the first I had ever seen.

They are not agressive  to man.  In fact, some people keep them as pets.  As the the Egyptians do.

Its been work in the garden since Saturday last.  Planting all the flowers and pruning roses . General things that gardens need.

Hope to catch up with all your posts.   On these wonderful summer days.  One just wants to be outside all the time.  I know I do.

Hope that you are all enjoying summer here in the Northern Hemesphere!!!

val