Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Olive Scarf for sale!

André, the only model in town, once again spared some time to wear an Esquilo. This week André was busy chasing an Egyptian Mongoose. If interested you can have a look at the full listing at the Etsy Store.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Friends with talent: Gutkin & Queener.

Back in 2013, August 9 to be precise, "A friend of ours Kent and his lovely parents came to visit us this week. I was very happy to learn that Kent knits. I gave him some burgundy, white and blue wool and he is going to make me a pair of mittens and a pair of knee high socks. I can´t wait to see what he comes up with." 

Well, last week I finally received my not 1 but 2 pairs of socks and gloves not mittens. As you can imagine I was delighted, because never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such wonderful things. I was particularly impressed with the patterns that Kent chose. The first pair of socks I have to admit are my favourite with the wavy design. The pattern is called Kalajoki and is inspired by a river in Finland. I love it. So clever.

This time Kent was accompanied by his lovely partner Yara and her lovely parents. All of them equally talented. But I leave you here with Yara Gutkin & Kent Queener, on the Piano. And as you will see Kent is not just a clever knitter. Enjoy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sad day on the farm.

Maria Augusta first arrived on the farm on the 15th of January 2013. She arrived alone (not a good idea) and was not well received by the other chickens that ganged up on her and gave her a hard time for the first couple of days. Soon she revealed her talents and her wit and quickly moved up in the pecking order. She taught the other chickens everything she knew and became popular for the knowledge and wisdom she brought from the outside world. She was also a bit of a daredevil that liked to use axes as perches, and also quite an actress, she even appeared in a video. And she was my friend. 

She enjoyed two wonderful Springs, many rainbows, worms, cabbage leaves and corn. Sadly, she did not make it to her third Spring and today I buried her and her last friend (known only as "The Other Chicken", who had a heart of gold) along with the Egyptian Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) that took her head and with it her life. It was a most tragic end for all. Maria Augusta will be sorely missed. She will not be easily replaced, although those that are not as soft hearted as I am say that about 6 euros at the market tomorrow should do it.

It feels like there is always something dying here. And yeah, sure, there are many things that grow also. Still, it does not make it easier to deal with this constant presence and reminder that nothing lasts forever. Whether it be of natural causes or at the mercy of another, nothing and no one is spared in this town, where every time I leave for more than a month I return wondering who may have died this time. It does not help that most of the town´s population is on average quite old and it does not make it any easier because they are my friends.

And if it is not others that are dying, it is you that cannot escape the same fate. But don´t be fooled, yours is a long drawn out anguish filled fate, often disguised as "let´s live the quirky and romantic country lifestyle fate". You would think moving to the country would be all fresh air and healthy until you realize that that pretty clay pot you use to heat up your ginger, lemon and honey tea in the fireplace has lead glazing and that in fact you have been drinking lead tea all along, and offering it to your friends as "the great cure all", hmmm… woops, sorry I didn´t know till last week! And if it is not the tea that will eventually kill you, then probably carbon monoxide poisoning, from all the time you spend by the fireplace, will do the trick. Or perhaps it will be aluminum poisoning from cooking with the old pots your in-laws kindly left in the house for you to use,… hold on a second, I´ll need to give this one a little more thought. Or perhaps you (not me!) will die because it is tradition, after years of eating plates of rice and some very sought after mushroom, with 2 scientific names (dodgy), the tricholoma equestre or tricholoma flavovirens, banned from consumption everywhere in Europe except for Portugal. 

All this talk is making my belly hurt. And I am sad.