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.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A few days around Val's place

Sunday saw the arrival of an old family friend from  Peter from England .  He went to school with my brother in law,  and they have stayed friends throughout all these years. My sister and his wife , going on holidays together.  He has known me since a young girl. He became a widow 10 years ago. And travels around to see his son in Virginia usa. His other son in Australia and travels Europe in his caravan.   
  A month ago, he phoned to tell me he would be passing by, on his way to the Algarve. He usually goes away 3 times a year.  His last time here was about 4 years ago. Since then, he has exchanged his caravan for a larger one. 
  Upon his arrival I took this photo.  I saw him entering the bottom gate and thought he was having difficulty. I walked down to say hello and wish him a Happy New year , and told him I was pleased to see he had arrived safely.   I then said to him. Peter, do you think you can get your caravan through the gates. His reply" dont worry, I have an automatic drive for the caravan".  I suppose many of you will know about this gadget..!  but it sure was new to me. 
He unhooked the caravan and then with a remote -marched the caravan back, clicked again a couple of times , hitched her up again and drove up the drive. What a fantastic gadget this is. Makes light work in moving a caravan.

                       Pete driving up the drive with his van.
Sunday- Peter and myself went to sunday mass "Epiphany" Sunday to celebrate the arrival of the 3 Magi.  It was such a wonderful mass. We now have a new priest. And he lit up the church with his charisma .
 While going up to the alter, to kiss little baby Jesus after communion.  There was a sudden thud from the back of the church... The priest stopped ,(holding baby jesus tight to his chest)! looking down the isle..everyone had turned around, i did the same and  there was our dear friend, who of course isn't familiar with the old church, had fell off the step onto a painting plaque of Jesus surrounded by angels .!  I ran to his aid.   Where the ladies of  the  church had picked him up and was helping him.  He wasn't hurt. "just a little cut on his forhead and pulled a nail a little. "go on he said.. I am ok. go and kiss baby Jesus!. And the ladies continued to make a fuss of him.
On our way driving home.  We had such a laugh about it.  Peter said.. "oh dear, maybe its my punishment for not going to kiss baby jesus.! After which he added.. "Gosh,and another thing, I have never had as many women around me all at one time." Seemed like they thought i was going to die.! ): We spent the day laughing our heads off.
   In the evening we were invited to Petros christmas eve dinner and another christmas was celebrated.(my dear Ukranian friends) Lots of great food and celebration..  A very happy Epiphany sunday.    Peter is fine and is enjoying his stay in the warm sun.
 This morning the sky was a lovely bright blue .. We have been having lovely weather .
                      Buds are starting to show on some of my plants already. This "bottle brush" tree is full of buds..I can imagine in a few weeks it will be a show of bright red.

                                     New shoots coming through on the roses.  They are ready for manure and feed now.. with our next rains, they should start growing quicker.   New shoots, always give me a feeling of hope and something good to come.!

                           This geranium, has not stopped blooming all year, and is still giving me flowers.
                                              Here on this !!!!! flower.. you can see the morning shadows
                                   10.30am.. Shilah and Pascoa.. basking in the morning sun. They were as still as statues. See the shadows of the horses.
                               Turned my camera onto Jeffrey-Cassidy.  He was digging frantically near the inner fence.. there was definitely something there.. The rabbits are having their babies now.  Its hunting season.  I have made wood hides for them.. and I dont allow the hunters on my property.  I am pretty sure though the dogs can smell them.  
 Its been a very pleasant few day's here around the Quinta.. The fields are still full of the little yellow flowers and now the white daisies are showing their heads.

It's a time of the year that is enjoyable here.  Our weather is good to us. But rain will come eventually.

I hope that you have all had a good time, ending off the first week of the New Year.

Happy days.


  1. Dear Val , you had wonderful days with your friends !I love the idea that he travels with this caravan !Your space looks like a spring blooming !Here the weather is sunshine but with freezing temperature !
    Have a nice week !

    1. Yes Olympia.. Its really nice. I have never done it.. Only sailing.
      but its like a yacht on land.
      Slowly the flowers are growing
      Its lovely weather.
      sending you some my sweet friend.
      val x x x

  2. your friend knows how to get attention. :)

    love your beautiful place and your horses and dogs. :)

  3. ):): it really was funny (after the fact)..
    Thanks Tex. We both love horses.

  4. Dear Val, Happy New Year to you! It seems like ages since I have commented on various blogs. What a great story to reminisce in years to come.

    1. Thank you June,
      nice of you to pop over and read my post.

  5. I am more than a little envious of the sunshine! We are having heavy rains and grey skies. The roaring fire in the grate helps, though, as in this weather I need to snuggle in and feel cosy.
    Your story of going to mass and your friend's accident will be told, I'm sure, every time you meet again!

    1. Dear Pondside.. I will post you some sunshine. Its not very very hot, but it is nice at the moment.
      Yes.. a story to be told for years to come.

  6. A lovely post Val. That caravan gadget is amazing; I have never heard of that. So funny (in hindsight) your friend going down in Mass - thankfully it was nothing serious. Your weather and the garden do look lovely, especially for mid-winter. I thought you might be having snow. My geographical knowledge is not so good. The flowers look like it is Spring already. Enjoy your guest! xxx

    1. Thank you Patricia.
      Yes.. this gadget is amazing. you can aparantley have them fitted to the undercarriage of the van. Pete found out about it through the camping magazine..
      The garden is not bad at all for this time of the year..
      We dont get snow here.. only up in the mountains.

  7. I have no idea what can the gadget Pete had. I've never seen one before. Your flowers are lovely. Have a good day. Sandie

    1. Hi Sandie,
      thanks for popping over. No I had never heard of this gadget.. its operated by an automatic commando . The gadget is fitted underneath the caravan.. its amazing. like a small hydrolic type thing.

  8. Val, as much as I love our CT weather, seeing. Your sunshine, green grass and flowers makes me appreciate knowing that Spring will be here....in March! Glad to got to spend time with old friends...that is always so much fun!...:)JP

    1. Hello JP. Not long now before spring.
      At the moment the weather is good.. but we will get showers

  9. I am caught up with your posts which I enjoyed a lot. It looked like you had a great time at Christmas – having your family around makes it always perfect. I can’t believe that your geranium is still flowering – ours stopped a while back. I hope this New Year will be everything you hope it will be – Happy New Year!

    1. Had a wonderful christmas Vagabonde.
      It truly is a gift , when our children and family are together.
      Yes.. I have still a few flowers still blooming..
      Happy New Year to you..

  10. Hello Val,
    Everything looks so pretty and fresh around your place. Hard to believe it's winter, but I know you still expect cold weather and it's always good to have the rain.
    Hope Peter has recovered from his mishap at church. He will be able to tell that story for years to come:) Great idea with the remote controlled caravan. Havn't heard of that!
    Happy days,

    1. Hi Betty,
      Its all very green now at this time of the year.. We will have cold weather...its raining today.
      Peter and I have had such a laugh about his mishap.):
      posted a video about how the remote works.

  11. Val, your Quinta is so beautiful. It appears to me that it is continuous summer there. (I'm sure not though). Sounds like you had a good time with your friend. I can see you would have to laugh when he slipped, but poor thing must have been embarrassed. Thank you for your kind words as always. We only live at 2400 foot elevation so we really don't get too much snow usually, just enough to be pretty for awhile..Happy Wednesday..Judy

    1. Hi Judy.
      Thank you for you comments and coming over.
      Its not continuous summer.. but we have a mild winter..snow for a while sometimes high up in the northern mountains.
      Loved your post.
      We still are laughing about Pete's sunday mishap.

  12. Val, me again. I forgot to mention about the remote for his trailer. I know you call them caravans. I have never heard of that. Very interesting. Must be a big time saver..J

    1. Hi Judy..
      Yes it is a caravan. I posted a video this morning showing how this gadget works.. amazing.

  13. Dear Val, I watched the movie you posted today. What an amazing device. I loved that you shared this wonderful story with us. No wonder you have so many lovely friends. You are a lovely friend yourself. ox, Gina

  14. Hello Gina,
    Yes, i think that the device is amazing.
    Peter and myself had a good laugh these last couple days.
    Thank you dear Gina for your sweet kind comments.

  15. What a wonderful story to start my day off, Val. I have been sick with the worst flu bug ever, but feel a bit better today. Peter sounds like such a dear friend of yours. I always delight in seeing pictures of the acreas around your home. Val, me and my husband are pondering whether or not to stay where we are or live closer to the mountains where we have room to roam and have dogs and animals. There is a sense of peace I feel in the mountains, but at the same time I don't want to be too secluded either. It seems that you are so happy where you live. It makes my heart sing whenever I see pictures of your land and your horses and your dog (and the red flower caught my eye). Have a blessed Wednesday, Val.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  16. Happy New Year, Val!!! It has been non-stop for me since our family moved to our new home right in the middle of December, but little by little I'm starting to visit my blogging neighbors again and enjoying my creativity too.
    Your pictures are amazing as usual...so dreamy.
    Looking forward to visiting again.

  17. hello val, a dear and quick hello!

  18. It sounds like you had a wonderful visit, Val. The images of your home at this time of year are so comforting.... here it is freezing with snow and rain! It's nice to pictures of flowers!!


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