Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Val's alentejo blog: Christmas time

Val's alentejo blog: Christmas time

Andy Williams - White Christmas

 Some festive music for my lovely blogger friends i have made this year... enjoy it... i am..

Christmas time

Having my tea this morning.  Thoughts of christmas time with my parents came to mind.   As a child, my mother turned our house into a magical place.   Our beautifully decorated christmas tree fascinated me every time it lit up , its still ever vivid in my memory.   we would all hang something on it and remember the christmas before, there was always warm comforting laughter and happiness in my home . ..  The shops full of wonderful tempting goodies -mum  would fill her basket with when we went shopping,an abundance of delights.   Always a new dress for  me for christmas morning Mass.   So many fond warm memories i have of my childhood and christmas time.
Especially waking on christmas morning and looking out the window ..there lay the snow thick and white on the ground.. and i would go out after lunch to build a snowman with my father. It trully was wonderland for me.

My mother Ellen, would always bake two christmas cakes.  She baked them them in october..each day dripping a little brandy into the bottom of the cake.   The reason that she made two was, we would always want some before christmas.. She would ice the first and put it away and we would have slices of christmas cake for tea.  Not to mention the abundance on our christmas table on christmas day..
I cant forget to mention the mince pie and milk for father christmas..

Years later..i used to wonder, how could father christmas come down the chimney when the fire was lit.!!

So, after my tea this morning.  I decided that i should start getting my christmas decorations and goodies out.
While typing this, I know that i have two jars of fruit mincemeat and a christmas pudding, in my larder. I can tick them off.

I remembered that many years ago i painted little naive side plates for the mince pies, for my grandchildren.. i had forgotten them at the back of one of my dressers.. i took them out on sunday.
I continue the tradition of decorating the house on the 12th of December.   One of my many boxes of decorations.    I  always feel like a child,when i open the boxes.   Sometimes forgetting what is in each one..So its an added delight to see all the bobbles and bells once again. I will get the others out tomorrow..

I am not sure when you decorate dear friends.. but hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

Enjoy your day.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friends are for keeps

Its a wet November Sunday.
Today is the birthday of a friend. I was out in the garden early this morning, wellies and clippers in hand. I cut the last few remaining rose buds of the season, to give to my dear friend, along with her birthday present.. She like me, loves roses.
My friends are dear to me, and I treasure their friendship .
Friendship is love and love is forever. We can always count on a true friend. My friends are always there for me, and i am there for them, thats such a heartwarming feeling. I have friends, that go back many many years. My life is richer knowing such wonderful people and them allowing me to be part of their lives. They truly are a part of mine.
A few of my dear friends live far afield, but they are in my heart and weekly e mails..and every few years a visit,further bonds the relationships.

A true friend is for keeps. They lift you up when you are down, listen to you, encourage you with your ideas and dreams,follow your childrens progress. I am now watching my friends grandchildren grow.
We are rich and blessed with our dear true friends.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"The train"

A train journey can be exciting, for me it always is.  My highlight of going to lisbon, is to have dinner with my son's and family.      I get a bubbly content feeling when i am with my children.    I get to catch up on their lives and happenings.     Sitting  around the table of an evening, we exchange the events of our days, mine in the country and theirs in the city.     We do however all catch up once in a while, when my eldest son comes to his country home next to mine.
Living in a small village as i do, every day stories  and tales are told, and when they are  retold three fold or more,  you can imagine, the stories become , somewhat eleborated .   Chuckeles of laughter fill the room, everyone is happy.   There is always a village  tale to tell. or events of daily life at the hotel - . As always, a  super meal and an excellent red wine.. we chat and laugh till the evening closes.  Eventually with my head on the pillow.. I fall asleep contented and warm.. another wonderful time in Lisbon.

Leaving my station, it takes 2 hours for me to get to Lisbon.   My book in hand.. I read and nod off until my final destination.

Leaving slowly the Province of Alentejo, with a few stops along the way, we eventually approach the 25th of April bridge.  The bridge spans from the southside of the Tejo to the North side of the Tejo..  The 25th of April bridge, a great feat of genial Portuguese and American engineering.

I am always awake , when we go over the bridge.  It never ceases to amaze me.  The view of Lisboa is spectacular.

25th April bridge Tagus estuary .Lisbon. The statue of Cristo Rei in the background.

The train tracks on the underside of the 25th april bridge.
Always a good feeling to be back home.

Have a wonderful saturday.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Farm life

As a young girl, my life was divided between.. my family and friends , my sport, and my hobbies.
Raising a family of 4 children was the best thing that happened to me.  They brought me joy , they gave me love and lots of happiness.

And i continue to fill my diary with wonderful happenings and memorable days with them.
All grown now, they have their familes and I get to play grandma..

One of my sports was horsriding.   Twice  a week a would be off to the stables.  As the children grew, they too would go with me.  They started to ride at an early age.    My youngest son still rides most weekends. My grandson Tom joins him and is a natural. My grandaughter Maria too. She just loves to ride with her dad.  Riding is in the blood i suppose.!

Before the rain set in, as the clouds are gathering again, earlier this afternoon.    I went to see if the horses had water.. indeed they did. Still a full trough , from yesterday's rain.
 I decided to see where they were.. I couldnt see the horses.. So went for a walk with my four little companions.. Jeffrey.Cassidy, Hardy, Bonita, and little Buddy.

The clouds forming.. Possibly in for a rainy night.  

 Clouds over the cottage and fields

 Pascoa and Surprise.  She is named surprise as we did not know that Pascoa was pregnant.. she kept it to herself. !! Sure was a surprise to us all. 

Duncinea..she likes to be alone, but usually when the female wants to be alone  its a sign she is pregnant.!!! could it be another surprise.
The horses are luso arab horses..with some Isabela.. They are very hardy and live all year around outside.