Rua Principal is not a salubrious address, it doesn’t even have a number, and we meant to change it by adding something Utopian to it. The house stands on a corner, half way between the ancient village of Rabaçal, where the recently restored Roman ruins and intricate mosaics attract archaeological students and visitors from all around the world, and the twisting climb to Chanca where jaded professional Portuguese go ‘to breathe’. It juts out importantly, as if to belie its small stature; just 78square metres in total. It is a friendly home, “A boa casa” the neighbours told us when we bought it as a ruin, and it has proven to be so.
We wake to the pitter - patter of sheep being herded to the fields, it sounds like the gentlest rain, but the sun forcing its way in through the tiny windows of the tin doors refutes it.
From the terrace we overlook Mount Germanelo , it is gold this morning, on other mornings it may be pink, it may be shrouded in mist or it might even be black, the mountains behind it sparkling in sunlight with the colours of a Renaissance painting …we never know.
I notice the strawberries are ripe, I have grown them in clay pots and they give three delicious crops a year. It is a real thrill for me, as I am no gardener and the climate makes it easy.
On hearing a high pitched cry, we look up, shielding our eyes to scan the vast blue sky until we see them; a pair of kites soaring overhead, and across from them a group of Hang gliders hover off the hill.
Bip Bip sits on the neighbour’s house; he is a little bird with dark blue plumage and orange beneath his wings. We don’t know what he is, but he still believes the house is his and showed great determination to stay when we first started renovating, insisting on building his nest in the bedroom, and even after we moved in he still tried at every opportunity. Now he just sits on the neighbour’s wall and shouts at us.
Ze’ walks past and calls out a cheery greeting, whilst on a neighbouring terrace Fernandez takes his shower and Donna Rosa informs us there is a two day cheese festival starting later in Rabaçal.
Rabaçal’s famous cheese is delicious and served with bread, the local olives and excellent wine, a feast, and all is grown and produced within a short radius of us.
A car draws up and our first student of the day has arrived for his private Tai Chi lesson, and so after a drink and a chat, we make our way to the olive grove for morning practice……….
Traditional Tai Chi
Golden Rooster School
Bawdeswell, NR20 4RX
Mobile 07946 397595
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