Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Heaven at the finca

Thanks to one of our lovely guests we have this amazing image of the sky above the finca, my camera could never capture the glory of the milky way and is that Venus?

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Salvaterra do Extremo - a little village in Portugal

A forgotten little village in Portugal right on the border with Spain, the border crossing is a ford across the Rio Erges, a tributary of the Tajo. The village is built on the edge of the river gorge with amazing views into Spain including the Castillo de Peñafiel. Always so peaceful in the winding streets, nothing spectacular to see, a little melancholy with many houses in picturesque ruins and the graveyard with the the poignant words above the gate "campo da egualdade" once in there all men are equal.
 I wonder why we like going there? But it was a good thing to do on this hot, hot day, a picnic by the river with feet in the water.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Tapas on the terrace

We just had the April/May cooking holiday at the finca, lots of fun and time to relax on the terrace with wine and tapas as the sun went down.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Viper's Bugloss - Echium vulgare

This gorgeous wild flower is at its best right now in the pastures and meadows of Extremadura, it's a vision, lakes of purplish blue among the cork and holm oaks, cows grazing knee deep.
Other names for this wild flower include 'snake flower' and 'blue devil'. It was once used as an anti-venom for bites from the spotted viper.
"Bugloss" is derived from the Greek word bou (meaning cow or ox) and the Latin word glosso (meaning tongue). These refer to its leaves, which could be said to be shaped like an ox-tongue.
Viper's bugloss is loved by insects of all kinds, especially bees, hoverflies and butterflies. The Painted Lady butterfly is particularly fond of it.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

April lunch with jolly American group

We made a picnic lunch for a group of American foodies organized by Teresa Parker and Paul Richardson of  Spanish Journeys  
The group of 10 arrived in a very swish bus and we made ourselves comfortable at the holm oak copse of the barn, it was a perfect spring day with all the wild flowers waving in a light breeze, sunlight filtering through the trees, lots of lovely food made by us and wine provided by Paul from the bodega of Anders Vinding- Diers, Mirabel......delicious!!

The group were charming, mainly from the east coast area, lots of interesting chat and one can only marvel at their amazing itinerary, following the picnic they were off to Caceres to stay at the Atrio hotel and enjoy the taster menu of the restaurant, lucky them!

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Celebrating spring in nature and art

It's been a wet spring so far which means some damp and misty walks but also glorious wild flowers, not only some which we didn't see last year but also growing in rich profusion and a particular intensity of colour.
Lucy and I created a new painting when it was too wet to walk, inspired by our dark and starry nights, it's called.... La madre de las estrellas. The gold leaf was a challenge!
Maybe we will do one for every season.

Here are some random shots of the flowers shooting up every day on the finca.....

 The oak trees in the sierra are still bare despite the countryside flourishing around them

Monday, 12 February 2018

Lagos, Algarve

A fantastical group of wind driven installations on the roof terrace of the 16th century Ponta da Bandeira fort in Lagos by artist José Maria S. Pereira. In the background are the stunning bay of Lagos and Praia Batata.


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