Tuesday, January 25, 2011

update 07 26.01.2011 Last Summer

At the end of June Mooch, Becky and the dogs went on a mini camping trip to Serra de Estrella in Portugal which is about three hours drive away. It was a fantastic break and we freshened up in various river pools and took in massive views over half of Portugal. If you are looking for somewhere rural, cheap, isolated and refreshing for a holiday, give it a go… we love it! The break was well deserved after much work in the huerto and escuela (Becky´s full time work as an English teacher at least affords a 3 month summer holiday). Anyway, shortly after that we were joined by new volunteers Ebony, Doug and Janet. Ebony from Melbourne and Doug from NZ had travelled from Australia and Janet from the US of A. Aside from general work here at Pan de Trigo the guys spent a couple of days with us in Alburquerque, in the scorching midday sun, painting the newly finished patio white, which is kind of akin to torture. At the end it looked fantastic… good work people!

Now then, we are lacking a detailed account of what was happening in the huerto at this time because, apart from not having a camera, Mooch was busy wrapping the project up ready to let the house to our first customers, who were due to arrive towards the end of July for the (not quite but almost world famous) Contempopranea Festival in Alburquerque… Becky said that everyone was very busy, in fact when Mooch returned Doug proudly announced that he had finished strimming, and he meant it… he had strimmed everything… a job normally reserved for donkeys or sheep. By this I am not implying that donkeys and sheep have the uncanny ability to operate an industrial strimmer, just that he strimmed what they would otherwise eat. Either way it was a huge job, thanks mate! Meanwhile Janet was continuing her journey across Europe, partly inspired by the vegetarian fare she ate here, and has since taken to photographing every amazing dish she prepares and sharing it on Facebook… I can feel a book coming on Janet! Ebony and misses Mooch continued enthusiastically with weeding and general jobs around the farm amidst the madness of the football world cup, balmy temperatures and impending festival madness.

Spain won the World Cup and we all watched it in the Plaza de España in Alburquerque. They deserved to win and it was fantastic to share that with the locals and our volunteers from other parts of the planet. At the end of July Mooch worked on the pop festival as a roadie/ stage hand and ended up being pulled in to do live translation for a national radio interview with The Primitives (remember them?), which meant that the whole of Spain was able to listen to a rather sketchy traducción de Mooch! Still, that effectively put me well and truly on the radio map… local show, national feature… woohoo! (err let´s not get carried away Mooch)

Just to bring us back to all things agricultural, you can see we grew sweet-corn, well it looked like sweet-corn, and it grew very quickly, but even the chickens had second thoughts about eating it. Oh well, there´s always next year. We almost forgot to mention that Eb and Doug crafted us some fantastic steps and a stone bench between the huerto and the garden, hopefully one day they can enjoy it again. And just one thought to leave you with, well one image really… Mooch in all his fashion glory sporting broken wheelbarrow and curious hat, another normal day in the garden.

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