Oh what a glorious time of the year this is! Spring. Our citrus and fruit trees are blossoming. Pesky flies. Buzz. Buzz. Non-stop buzz. Pollen. A-a-aaa-tishooo! Oh, and lots more birds than usual are singing in our garden. Tweety-tweet cheep-cheep. It is also much warmer now. Our property is south-facing, so there are some areas in our garden where it feels like you’re sitting in a pizza oven. Okay, pizza-nating here, but we’ve just been at a pizzeria with our dear friends. Pizza was hot, piri-piri hot, so there. Anyway, you get it, we have a hot garden. Zzzztt.

When it’s hot, you hydrate. There we were, sitting in our pizza oven, enjoying some cool refreshments and minding our own business when a relentless bzzzz-bzzzz-bzzzz flying object thought it was a good idea to swim in a glass of beer. So it was too hot for you too, eh Mack Fly? It fell through the foam, so we could not see it unless someone takes a sip, but wait, lo and behold, there it was, crawling back out. It flapped its wings and flew into our winter garden, why there, Mack, why, then fell down on its back and started spinning like crazy. Was it drunk?? Was this the last dance before nirvana? Then it stopped. Sleeping? Comatose? Dead? Whatever, one less buzz-buzz to swat. To our amazement, fifteen minutes later it “woke up” and flew away! You go Mack! Whoop-whoop! Yeah, some of us are entertained by such nonsense. Buzzhaha-haha-buzz.

This morning we had a bit of a drama. Winter garden. Breakfast. BANG! What the dot-dot was that? A little bird had crashed into a large window. Poor little thing kami-zanged right there, fell down, had a poop, then just sat there motionless for a couple of seconds. Then it tipped over, bum in air and head buried in the grass. Was it dead? No Schatzi, it would’ve fallen over if it was dead. But it has fallen over! Nooo, it’s still on its feet. Should we do something? Should we be worried? Yes, we were now very worried. We asked doctor goggle, yes, spelling mistake intended, but found too many conflicting information. As always. So instead of, as per goggles, putting it immediately in an organic cardboard box (uhm…where do you find such a thing?), or call the wildlife veterinarians (more goggling), we opted for the wait and see. Wait two minutes then see what happens. It was still standing. A good sign, yes? We did not want to disturb it either as it might have stressed it out more. A while later he lifted his head. We now knew it was a male blackcap bird. He sat there for another ten minutes before flying into the forest. Will it survive? Sincerely hope so! Oh, and there’s a large bush about two metres away from where he landed. This bush is filled with birds, like a bird sky-rise appartment building. Did he belong to any of them? Hmmmm…

Eurasian Backcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

Food and Fire

Phew! What a week! Busy. Busy. Busy. Today we planned to have a slow and relaxing day. Eat breakfast. Dawdle. Take a shower. Dawdle. Dally. Go out for lunch. Dawdle. Dally. Dilly-Dally. That’s it. Day over. But noooooo. Our village had other plans. 

We were on our first dawdle when the doorbell rings. The police. Oh holy number two, what have we done?! The one still in pyjamas opens the door. Bom dia. He smiles and Bom dia’s back. He smiled. We’re good. He says something then realizes that lady with uncombed frizzy hair does not understand (lady sort of understood but was too busy spitting on hand to comb down frizz), so he switches to perfect English. This is a fire drill. We should evacuate our property and go down to the lavanderia, the village communal laundry. When? Right now, Senhora. 

The lavanderia is not far from our house, but it still took us almost ten minutes to get there. The pyjamas. The hair. The Senhor of the house. 

Our village is very proud of the fact that we have had no forest fires, especially last year, when it seemed like the whole of Portugal was burning. Here they are very vigilant and exercises like today are done regularly. Everyone helps where they can. We even had a visit from a very important minister. After his speech, he came to chat to us, also to explain what he’d just said because he saw a neighbour trying to translate for us. The press was also there, so let’s wait and see if we appear in the newspapers, hee-hee. 

When the drill was over, one of the villagers invited us over to his place to have lunch with his family. Obrigada! It was still an hour away, so we went home and undawdled. At one o’clock we were there. On the dot. Eye roll. We took one of our homemade orange jams as a thank-you-for-having-us gift, and some leberwurst. Our host could speak some German, so he explained to everyone what it was. We in turn were offered to nibble on delicious roasted pumpkin seeds while waiting for the meat to braai (grill, bbq). There were at least thirty family members from all ages there, all very warm and friendly. What an amazing time we had. We ate, we drank, we talked. We met the architect who designed our house, also the one who built it, and heard a few titbits about the original owner. And yep, all are related to one another. We love this village! By the way, the leberwurst was a hit.

A few hours later, after lots of slurp-slurp uhm…wine, meat on soft rolls, juicy orange cake for dessert, we toddled home with such joy in our hearts, oh, and a big bag of oranges. What a wonderful day!