Sep 30, 2014

Time flies when you're havin' fun!

Since the last post the summer months have FLOWN by! We had plenty of visits, unexpected help, mud hut building and YES lots of delicious organic FRUIT AND VEGGIES! We have very much missed the company of our co-community dwellers - Marcia and Eric since July - but this has been a special summer are a few highlights. 

Click below to read more!



John and Maria stayed with us for more than a month - helping in the garden and with all other tasks. While doing so, they amused us with funny storied and musical interludes. We wish them all the best. 

Dear friends, Tom (aka BT), Hannah and the 'bump' who live in Edinburgh came to visit at the start of the summer. 

Since they came by car they were able to take home treasures from the garden and our olive oil for themselves and for other friends. Our time together was really special, chats by the pond and sharing our passions for community, diversity and gardening. 

For us here when kindred spirits pass by it brings to us such energy and a sense that we are not alone on the journey...that we are connected to a vast web of relations - people doing amazing things in the world!

It had been a few years since Hannah had been on the land so she noticed quite a few favourable changes. We send them much love and best wishes for the healthy delivery of their baby in the coming weeks!!



The Dog 'palace' was completed in July - made with earth bags and rendered with clay and lime. Having started the project over a year ago, both us and especially the dogs were happy to finally enjoy the luxury home - it was cool and fresh for them in the heat of the summer. Thanks to all who helped in various stages. For more pictures of the making process on Barbara's facebook page - click here


The 'Njango' .... By the pond we needed shade for the summer and potentially a place for mediation and relaxation. This African style hut has a reciprocal roof - again a new technique to the Mount of Oaks. A full set of photos of the construction can be viewed by clicking here.

At the stage when we needed help for moving the construction on to the next level - ie making the walls....a miracle couple turned up. Sylwia and Michal are travelling from Poland on their way to Africa in their van. 

 Together we had several weeks of sharing skills, dreams and delicious food together. You can follow Sylwia and Michal on their travels via the Rainbow Truck blog - which can be translated into English. Currently they are in Morocco. They posted about their time at the Mount of Oaks. If you ever meet these two on their journey you might feel like we do - blessed to have encountered them and glad that they have such adventurous spirits


In July and August we had special days with friends and family. We celebrated the birthday of Cleo - she proclaimed Barbara as her older sister a year or so ago. The day was beautiful. A meeting of friends, fun in the water, homegrown food and music by Martine and Paul. 

Fernanda visits from Angola

Barbara's mum stayed with us several times while she was in Portugal this summer. The most significant dates were for her birthday and for the birthday of Acácio - who sadly died in December. 

We had shared such great memories with Barbara's parents and family the previous summer by the pond - so it was really fitting that we made some new memories there this year around the fire place..... 

.....and in the Peace Garden Barbara created in the Spring. 

Fernanda planted more flowers and spread the ashes of her dear husband, a moving and extremely fitting ritual for all of us. Our loved ones live on in our shared memories......

We also had fun times with nephews, Keanu and Eric. Eric especially is a real joker - just like his dad, Jorge!!  


Goodbyes are never easy, but the last days of Fernanda's visit were spent in Porto having a laugh! 

 The Garden....

Thanks to an improved irrigation system, superb organic seeds and some tender loving care the garden this summer has been outstanding - a mixture of companion planting, Xico's poo and a little more experience delivered beautiful crops. In a few snaps it is difficult to convey how proud we were of the produce - but here goes....

Preparing for an Adventure....

Soraia, our trusty 1991, L200 Mitsubishi van got some attention as we prepared for the overland trip to Germany for Marcia and Eric's wedding. 

We were able to leave the land in the very capable hands of a helper called Paula from Ireland. She was an absolute star - looking after the garden and the animals all by herself for a few weeks!!

On the way north we passed by Andrea and Sven in Biel, Switzerland and Susanne Bosch at the beautiful Hof Gerina in Stockey. 

Not only do we share a love of donkeys, but much more as well. Gertrud who co-built Hof Gerina is really interested in community living, health and well being - and a keen gardener. It was great to meet her and see where Sus is now living. 


Weddings are so often a wonderful excuse for families and friends to gather and celebrate - we (and the dogs) were delighted to be part of the festivities in Eric's homeland. 

It was a joyous occasion and we experienced east german hospitality at it's best! An event we and all those present will never forget. Blessings to you Marcia and Eric for the years ahead..!! 

We left Eric's village to head north - to Leipzig - brief encounters with Juran, Uli and Brother Clemens...

Then north again to be with Anne, Joni, Emma and Elias.....we were also able to spend time with butterfly Uli, Jo, Katrin, Sara, Maren and Jim, Bernhard - such precious moments! 

All in all we had a wonderful trip - connecting again with very precious people in our lives and in the life of the Mount of Oaks. This trip reminded us how even though we are living in a remote piece of the world our web of relations is strong and deeply rooted in the heart. We felt this also on the last pit-stop in Duruxa with James, Joao and Ousa, Goa and Mali...

What's coming next.....?

 We are counting down to our first PDC (Permaculture Design Course) in the Portuguese language which begins 11th October. 

Until then we are preparing the space for the influx of interesting people and idea sharing. 

After the course there will be a national permaculture, transition town and beekeeper meeting happening in Fundao - our local market town, about 15kms away.  For more details here is the link.

Mount of Oaks is part of the programme - we will update you on how that goes in the coming weeks. 

Appreciation and Gratitude

We returned from the trip to Germany to discover that Paula had made us a mandala outside our bus - full of intentional blessings. This beautiful creation just about sums up our feelings that the moment - GLAD TO BE ALIVE!

Thank YOU for taking the time to look over this update. We have been pretty rubbish at keeping in touch this summer. In the heat of the day it is not a pleasant thought to go work on the computer - but we do send love and greetings to all of you who support us near and far.  

In peace and love, 
those at the Mount of Oaks. 


Mark said...

What abundance! Thank you for all the news and the wonderful photos. You are often in our thoughts. Mark and Adrian xxx

M said...

Great photos Emma, looks like a good summer. Hugs, M xx

sylwia i michał said...

:-) be blessed girls. We love you !