11 Aug 2014

Catching up- summer days

A few days away from home.  Feels like much longer. 
A week ago, I went to Cascais to have a mini holiday.  It was combined with me looking after my youngest grandson  Max.   I took him to the beach below the Hotel.. It took me back many years , to when I used to go there with my sons.
  I have posted about Cascais about 2 years ago.   It is where I used to live , many years ago.  Two of my boys, live in the area of Estoril.. its a station away.
It's known as our Riviera .      Some stunning homes along the Sea front .    Our Hotel.. is the one on the cliff overlooking the sea.    Over 40 years ago, it was a private home.   Then sold and was turned into a hotel.
                 Cascais Bay.- A familiar sight for me ... We used to anchor in the cascais bay..  Filipe now anchors there when he sails.    Cascais now boasts a Marina.    Filipe I know, still likes to drop anchor. He swims ashore.    Cascais is a lovely village.    40 years ago , when I first arrived . It was just but a small fishing village.   We built our first home here in 1974.      We rented it out to the German Embassy.   Returning to South Africa..   In 1982- we sailed the ocean's and came to live permanently in Cascais and the Bay was our last  anchorage after sailing from the East coast of Southern Africa to Brazil, Amozon, Fernando de Naronha, Açores Islands :-  Cascais.
 I took this photo early morning, as the beach lovers  were arriving, before the intense heat of the day.
                                       Taken at 7am.  Beach just been cleaned and tractor turned over sand. The sea is still. 2 people walking their dog.
                                            This whole coast line is beaches. This is a view from my bedroom window.Early morning.    Cascais village has grown.  It has many more shops.  Shopping malls. The population has grown.   It was full of tourists.  A beautiful place to spend a holiday.

                                                The Portuguese- O'Niel Clan's home.
 The O Niel's - history is very interesting.
(wikipedia) :-   A very well know powerful family.      This is their beach home.. just at the back of the hotel I was in.
                                                                      Stunning architecture.
                                    My bedroom..-  just before turning in for the night.
                                                                Hand painted tiles adorn the walls of the entrance.
      Also on the upper floor..       And    stairwell.                                                      



Always so glad to be home.


I hope all my dear friends, that your summer so far has been a good one.    I have missed out on some of your posts.
Still taking a break.   Will catch up soon.

Thank you everyone who left your kind comments on my last post.
Stay well and enjoy life-  Its short!
VAL

Its always so wonderful to come home to my little oasis.

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