WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Most precious

Having sent a small parcel to Olympia some time ago, something to say thank you.for her kind comments and care she takes in reading and commenting on my posts.
I find her to be of such a sweet nature, always positive in everything she writes and her posts are always interesting.    I was delighted to receive on Wedensday a parcel in return.
 Something I was not expecting.

 I would like to share with you what Olympia sent to me. :- Olympia's blog is "OLD THINGS" she writes of her beloved Greece and her hometown.
Her land in the country, where they plant olive trees and spend time with family and friends.
Maybe you might like to pay her a visit.

I carefully opened the   thick brown paper parcel all tied up with string, and inside beautifully wrapped with orange ribbon another paper paper parcel.  I couldn't wait to see what was inside.
As soon as I saw the Helenic stamp,  I couldn't mistake that the parcel was sent from Greece.  
                                       Here is the beautiful checkered soft fawn and white table cloth ,were the threads have been removed to add a touch of class. It will be used well and my white china will look great on it.
                                       wondering what these little red boxes contained.  and the paper napkins all carefully folded into little parcels.      There inside each one are  filled with flower seeds and pumpkin seeds all sorts of seeds for me to plant for the next season.  What elation.
                                                          The boxes and seeds are carefully put away now, until next  planting season.
                              Here is where  the "precious" part comes into this post.!  Two of the most intricately hand crocheted cotton squares.  Not just any squares.  very special squares
                              The fabric, is made of beautiful white cotton and  is made from  Olympia's wedding shawl of over 31 years ago.
 Its a Greek custom for the priest to place a white shawl over the back of the man and woman during the wedding ceremony giving them his blessings.    The fabric is usually about 3 meters long.  Most of the women , after their marriage, make a dress with the material.
 Olympia decided to keep hers.   One day, her mother asked her " are you going to make a dress with the shawl"!  Olympia had decided she was not.   Her mother then said to her," then I will make a table cloth and some napkins and other little embroidered things with it."  Olympia has had them all these years. Putting some aside for her children.
 When  Olympia told her mother, that she had received a gift from Portugal.. Her mother said to her.
" Ok. now you will send a gift from your bridal fabric in return"
  Just look at the beautiful  handy work of Olympia's mother.    I think them too precious to use other than to add to the decoration and show them off  on this lovely tablecloth she sent me.
                                                      I cannot tell you how I felt upon reading Olympia's letter and reading the story . I cried as you can imagine! I have never received such a "precious " gift.     Only an angel would think of such a loving thing to do.
I will treasure them with all my heart.  Thank you dear Olympia and special thanks to your mother. I congratulate her on her beautiful work.

Now I invite you to tea with me and Olympia.
Wishing all my dear blogging friends a very happy weekend.


  1. A big THANK YOU and a sweet smile!

  2. What a lovely gift from dear Olympia, a special gift sent to you with love for you to cherish.

  3. What wonderful wonderful gifts.

    I know Olympia through blogging
    and she is a very lovely lady.

    I am so glad that the two of you are friends.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend Val

    x Fiona

    ps it is pouring with rain here and I'm sure you
    are basking in sunshine!!

    1. Dear Fiona,
      thank you so much for your comments.
      Sending you some sun from Alentejo
      xx val

  4. That's so lovely! Nearly heartbreaking! I have felt since long that Olympia is a special person and I think she sent it to someone who appreciates it a lot! BTW: Have a look at my blog... more surprises... Lovely weekend, Christa

    1. Am overwhelmed Christa..
      I cannot believe that i won the Avoca cookbook giveaway.. I am so happy
      thank you so much.
      Can't wait to make some of those wonderful recipes.
      I am grinning like a chesire cat.):
      Thank you Christa

    2. Dear Christa,
      wishing you a wonderful weekend with P.. good weather, although I hear its not so good there in Switzerland! Nina say's its raining in Lucern.
      In reply to Olympia.. I indeed feel that she is a special person.

  5. I saw that you have win the Christa's Avoca Book ! Congratulations !
    I am so glad for you !You can cook especially and then you'll post the recipe ! Please , help me I must learn to cook something else even Greek foods !
    Have a lovely weekend

    1. dear Olympia,
      Can't wait to post a meal from my new "Giveaway" the Avoca cookbook.. I am still reeling with happiness.

  6. What lovely special gifts you received Val. it must have meant a lot. I love that blogging introduces us to some really thoughtful and lovely people from all parts of the world. It's a great place to be and I'm glad I'm part of it.

    1. Dear Patricia,
      thank you so much for your comments. I agree with you. I myself have enjoyed reading posts and blogs from such wonderful blogging friends that i have made over the past year.
      I too am glad that i am part of it. I have learnt so much.
      Happy blogging days

  7. Dear Val,
    Olympia is one of my sweetest bloggy friends. She is so special, and she teaches me all the customs and traditions of Greence. It is all so interesting to me, as I am part Greek myself, and I hope to one day visit there. What a beautiful story about the crocheted napkins that her mother made. She is truly a blessed friend.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  8. I believe that most of us who follow Olympia, through her posts can feel she is a wonderful person. I am happy to be amongst her blogging friends.
    I did not know you were half Greek ..i hope you get to visit Greece someday Sheri.. Its a wonderful country.
    thank you.

  9. Val: You talk about my post and it taking your breath away, I have to tell you that your's did the same for me today. First of all, everytime I open your blog that beautiful horse amazes me and now this beautiful gift you have received and the way you write about it. That is such a sweet thing to do by your friend Olympia and what beautiful linens her mother made out of the wedding dress. I wouldn't use them either but they do look beautiful with the tea you have set out. I think I will pay Olympia a visit and I want to thank you, also, for your kind and sweet words about the kitchen and the collectibles. There were a lot of them, weren't there. Someone said they all seem to have such memories and meaning attached to them. I guess, maybe, that is why I keep putting them back. Anyway, it sounds better than saying I'm a hoarder and can't get rid of anything!!..Happy Weekend to you..Judy

    1. Dear Judy,
      Our treasures will always be with us, they hold memories for us. I have so many now, that i dont have place to put them. Your kitchen is beautiful and wish you lots of happiness in it.
      You collect.. you are definately not a hoarder.
      I am pleased you liked my post on Olympia's gift.. she is a very sweet blogging friend.
      Do go over and meet her.
      Happy weekend to you Judy.

  10. Hello Valerie

    Congratulations on winning the beautiful Avoca cookbook from Christa.
    Your generous gift from Olympia is so beautiful and so meaningful. What treasures. I cant wait to see an Avoca dish served on your white dishes with the beautiful tablecloth. Enjoy

    Helen xx

    1. Dear Helen,
      Isn't it just exciting .. I have never won anything in my life. I can't wait to read the book.
      Make one of the splendid dishes.. with a touch of Irish flair!
      I loved the posts Christa wrote on Avoca.
      thank you Helen.
      happy weekend to you.

  11. Dear Val, I am drinking tea from a white teacup as I read this lovely blog post. What a delightful gift your have received - so beautiful and full of history and special memories. I love the drawn thread work in the tablecloth, and the napkins are just perfect. Olympia is a very special lady. Happy weekend to you xx

  12. Hello Patricia,
    Thank you for your lovely comments. It was a delightful gift, very unexpected. it will be treasured always.
    Sending best regards to you down under.

  13. This is a beautiful post Val and proves how wonderful blogging can be, bringing friends together from around the world.
    The gifts you have received are absolutely gorgeous.

  14. Thank you so much Annie,
    I do so agree with you.. How lucky to have such wonderful blogging friends.
    We keep learning each day.
    happy weekend.

  15. I'm glad to have found your blog through Betty at Gum Leaves. I can see that I'll want to come back, as there is a lot of interesting writing here!

  16. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Such a lovely package to receive. I hope all is going well with you and that you have had a wonderful weekend.

  17. What a lovely gift of friendship, Val, but also a little piece of her history in those lovely napkins. That certainly does make it precious.


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