Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mid March

Back home and getting down to organizing and clearing the garden.  With our good weather of late, the flowers are needing to be watered .  We haven't had rain for so long.   The weather man tells us that we will be having some rain this week.   We will be welcoming it.   Living in the country and agricultural area, the animals, fields newly planted with feed need rain. 
 
                                                      Blue skies.
                                                   these pots waiting for more flowers.
                              small rose bushes- i bought three to see how they go. Its time for sprucing up . painting the garden chairs and getting the outside cushions ready.   Can't wait for the warmer days of Spring.

 Some new flowers in my pots, I bought from our local green grocer. He has decided to start a little section with smaller plants.  They have given more of a spring feel around the quinta.   The  rose bushes are   showing their new leaves and are looking healthy.   Can't wait to see my first blooms.


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The horses are well .  Pedro moved them to the west side field yesterday.  We should get more growth with the rain.  Good for the horses too.



Freddy is happy again with a new yellow tulip plant.  Its the first year, I have bought tulips for the garden.  They are delicate and new to me. I buy them when possible for the vases.    I am hoping to get more bulbs planted for next spring, and hope they do well in the Alentejo weather.


Wishing you all a happy Sunday with family and friends.  
To friends in England, happy Mothering Sunday. We have different dates here.

Val 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Gatsby wedding..

Retro wedding with a flair of 'Gatsby era'
Oliver and Pierre.
    Saturday's wedding ceremony ,was a wonderful setting . With guests from England, South Africa, Holland ,Spain and Portugal. All good friends . Were  there to witness the union of Oliver and Pierre. 
Oliver is on the right of the photo.. He is my D.I.L - H's brother. 
 Oli , has been part of my family since he was 10, growing up with my boys. Living not far from my home in Cascais.  Heleen my D.I.L ,Oli's sister married my son Manel.  Both families are very close , and both families with 4 children each.. when we are all together, you can imagine.!!!

  It was a small elegant ceremony, with around 100 guests.  All good friends, some with their partners. Others that had been at school with Oliver and Pierre.. Then on to University.  
Their story is a true story of love and devotion to each other. 
Both met while on holiday in Cape Town.  Pierre is from Cape Town.
One of the happiest weddings I have been to.  It was heart warming to see such beaming smiles on both  their faces. 
It was fun from the start.  What made it even better, was that most of the guests knew one another.   laughter and tales of "how they all met".  
Champs, wine stunning hors  d'ouvres -  .. The courtyard of the new hotel "Hotel Santiago de Alfama"- was a buzz of excitement.  Everyone looked stunningly dressed  with diamonds and pearls , long silk flowing dresses ,short shimmies ..  I don't think I have seen such beautiful dresses -  The men dashing with their tucks and hats and spats. Oh what fun. Everyone was in high spirits .

Our dear  Heleen excelled herself.. she and Manel did a wonderful job for Oliver and Pierre.  It was perfect. Heleen and staff did the decor.. and Heleen did the flowers herself.


 

                                                                'Moi'- getting ready in the hotel.
In the courtyard.. cant miss me.  Filipe thought I would look great with the red head gear.     -    How could I not have a smile on my face.. here I am in the taxi going to the ceremony..  a mixture of retro and Cherokee.!!!! ):-  it was truly such fun.
                                                                      Fil, the mob guy with his doll!.. roped in my grandchildren ,little Max learned fast.
      With my darling Didi.   ' You look stunning grandma'..
The mob gangster Fil - holding me at bay.. watch it lady or else.


Come on everybody.   Its time to party.  Manel , hired three  tourist trams for all of us to see Lisbon by night, eventually arriving at the dinner venue of the most Elegant restaurant next door to Chiado16.  traveling in 'retro' style too.  
  The city lights accompanying us along the way. balloons on each of the trams . giggles.  laughter,singing and good cheer.

                            Getting on the trams
Oli and Pierre in front of the trams.. Oli's eldest brother drove them in the Lancia,  Heleen and Manel were driven to church in it, for their wedding.  Spruced up with a different color..it was ready again for Pierre and Oli.


                                                                  You can just make me out sitting at the front of the tram.   Miguel was crooning to us all, with his usual charm.
 All of us , have our stories to tell about weddings we have attended.  Weddings are days to remember.! I am sure you all agree.

         I am glad to share a little of Oliver and Pierre's Retro Gastsby affair and their union.
    Ending with dancing the night away... I hopped into bed at 3.30 in the morning, thought i was having a dizzy spell ! Ahh! of course it was the champs.
   For the rest of the younger guests.. they went on to a disco .. till dawn.

Maybe some of you dear  blogging friends have stories to tell about weddings that you have been too.!

Wishing you all a wonderful week.    Thank you for stopping by.. and thank you for all your comments on my last post.


Val.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Reasons why !

Vila Nova da Baronia

Vila Nova is within a triangle of three villages.  Vila Nova - Alvito - Viana do Alentejo.  Vila Nova was a village in 1280.  The lands around belonging to the Senhor's - Barons of the lands given to them  by the King.
It was officially  named a village in 1801 , with 704 inhabitants.  
 Our main municipal buildings being in Alvito.   
Today there are 1,245 habitants in the village.


The reason and choice behind coming to live here . Its simply a  beautiful  area.  With its vast spans of big estates .  Producing - cork and excellent  olive production,sheep & cattle
 Small little farms  have popped up in the last 40 years , producing their own produce,self sustaining.
We are still very lucky to be able to buy our local produce in the little market, fresh eggs and chicken and meat.
  Alentejo is the biggest province and the richest in Portugal.

Manuel was born in Alentejo.  This is one of the reasons we chose to live  here.    It also reminded us very much of the area that we lived in , in Southern Africa.  He is buried in Viana. Alentejo was the love of his life and we are grateful to be part of it now.

We have a good climate - milder winters than most of Europe.  Spring is delightful ,with a subtle hint of warmer breezes -  Hot summer days with warm balmy evenings ,sitting outside listening to the crickets calling their mates . We are outside most of the time for a duration of about 6 to 7 months,enjoying the garden and time with family and friends. 
   - Autumn brings changes to the countryside.  And the cycle begins again.

















 Monday drive around the outskirts of the village with my friend Dita,arriving back to her place for a lovely cup of herbal tea and homemade biscuits.
  We often take a drive through the little country lanes. It brings joy and peace and we  enjoy seeing the little houses and the big farmes dotted around . Dita was born in the Village and we chat about this and that and stop to say hello to the cows and sheep.   Medicinal therapy.

 .. So dear friends.. some of the reasons" Why i live here."-

Today our temp. is 17 to 18 and will be climbing.. cold in the morning and evenings sill. but we can feel spring is here.

Wishing you all the rest of a wonderful Thursday.

Thanks for all your kind comments on my last post.

Happy days Val.

Monday, 2 March 2015

work around the quinta.

                               Its a very miserable day today.   Raindrops are falling very lightly. The sky is dull and grey.   I dont like this weather.    However, it seems that towards mid week, we will be getting some real sunshine and warmer climate.  Hope the weather man is right.!!
                             A couple of years ago, I decided to plant my Hyacinth into the ground of one of my rose patches.  It didnt do too well, last year.  This year its blossoms are so lovely and scented.  Its really nice to see them still blooming at the beginning of March.  I will definitely be planting more into the ground for next year.
           New leaves and buds on some of my geranium plants . Spring is upon us.
                                   I had every intention of moving my Narcissus into pots closer to the cottage. But with all the work thats going on, just didnt get around to it.  There is always so much to do around a garden, small or large.
                     I  have pruned all my rose bushes now.  New leaves are growing ..next step fertilizer.
                       Some of you may remember that I had a green awning on rose cottage.  It was over 4 years old and was getting worn thin by the hot sun and the rain.    I decided to put a permanent pergola structure onto the front of the cottage . The structure is of wood, in keeping with the cottage.
   Pedro has started working on the structure, and its coming along. I do believe, it will look so much better.  Less rain falling directly in front of the cottage patio.   As Pedro cant come every day.  We will get there.  The windows and the doors are ready for the studio.  Still a couple of months work.
                                        The under boards of the beams, will be painted pink, like studio.

Its been mainly building work around the quinta.. plus getting all the trees and bushes pruned.   At the moment it looks very sad.   Hoping within the next few weeks things will be looking better.

Great to have Nina and Filipe with me this last weekend.  No cooking.  We went out for our meals.
The new week starts again.

Hoping you have all been enjoying life!

Next weekend, I am off to Lisbon for a Gatsby wedding.  Been sorting out my outfit.
Had a rehearsal for Nina yesterday.   Got the thumbs up.  Feathers and all that jazz.

Looking forward to catching up with you all.

Wishing you a happy week. Val