My Last Full Moon From Here

Last night, we had the most amazing nearly full moon, with the exact time of the full moon in the early hours of this morning when all sensible people are asleep — the light was excellent so I took the opportunity to snap away at our last full moon from this house.

Continue reading → My Last Full Moon From Here

Prehistoric Portugal and the Iberian Mesopotamia

Hidden away in the cork forests and olive tree covered hills of Alentejo are some real historical gems — especially in the area around Guadaloupe near Evora which is known as the “Iberian Mesopotamia.” The most famous of these is the Cromlech of the Almendres megalithic complex — an ancient stone circle, and to the South the amazing passage mound — The “Anta Grande do Zambujeiro.”

Continue reading → Prehistoric Portugal and the Iberian Mesopotamia

The Bramble Diaries: Alentejo Shed Kittens Update

Here’s an update on my new friends: Cats from that Red Other’s Alentejo Shed!

Nimbus — he is all legs and climbing all over the place.

Continue reading → The Bramble Diaries: Alentejo Shed Kittens Update

The Bramble Diaries

Remember me? I am the Alentejo cat that might be getting new pets — the tall one and the red one.  They have been coming to see me most days and have been leaving me food.  I was very glad of it when it was raining all the time — they even left it on the porch so it would keep dry for me.

Now it is sunny, and I have spent my time trying to catch these two birds on the fence — so far they have eluded me! They are crafty; they steal my cat food and fly off just as I pounce.  I am patient though and, like me, they hang around most days.

Continue reading → The Bramble Diaries

Alentejo Landscapes in Portrait

This was a photographic challenge — to share my backyard/neighbourhood landscapes in portrait format instead of traditional landscape format.

This first view is across the fields towards the small mountain range called Serra do Cercal, you can see the aqueduct which is part of a huge irrigation project in the region crossing the valley and the fire breaks in the forested mountain slopes behind.

Continue reading → Alentejo Landscapes in Portrait

Exploring Portugal: Alentejo and Beja

Beja is the administrative centre for Southern Alentejo and it was administration that took us there today. Mr P had to renew one of his residence permits — there are several — so he could renew his driving licence.

Beja has been a strategically valuable population centre since Celtic times. It was named Pax Julia by Julius Caesar in 48 BC. Emperor Augustus renamed the thriving town “Pax Augusta”. Next to take over the region were the Visigoths, the town then fell to the invading Umayyad army in 713. This was the start of approximately 1000 years of warring between Christians, Muslims and the Moors. The inhabitants of the city have been massacred and the buildings razed to the ground more than once in it violent history. In spite of all this destruction and reconstruction it retains a certain historic charm.

Continue reading → Exploring Portugal: Alentejo and Beja

Alentejo Staples: Wine, Olives, Bread, Cheese, Porco Preto and Eggs

Food in rural Alentejo revolves around these six ingredients: wine, olives, bread, cheese, porco preto and eggs. Almost every household will dine on a combination of these for at least one meal a day if not both.  Wine drives the Alentejo economy and the stomachs of its workers, from simple house wines to celebrated international award winners.  This is my Christmas present to myself — a presentation box of five reds from the renowned Cortes De Cima.

Continue reading → Alentejo Staples: Wine, Olives, Bread, Cheese, Porco Preto and Eggs