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Life as it is...




Summer is drifting away, but autumn has yet to show its face. These shoulder months are delicious in their gentle fragrance and promise of change, movement and new arrivals. Everything is potential; the extreme heat of summer has burnt out and cooler days bring an unquenchable thirst for rain, but what lies ahead? Who knows?

Before sunrise I sit outside listening to sheep bells clanking in a nearby field; the cockerel crowing in the distance, a bird flying by so close I hear the beat of its wings, the chirrup of songbirds chattering in the trees. I savour all these sounds emerging from the silence; stars still twinkling and daybreak yet to arrive. The mornings are fresher now and often accompanied by mist that rolls across the countryside and lingers into dog walking time. Perfect.



One of our cats has taken to coming for a walk with us. Who would have believed that my Springer Spaniels would have condoned the presence of a cat on their property, let alone journeying with them? But Tiggy has eased her way into our lives and walks with her muddle-coloured coat and amber eyes, bewitching even the ruftiest tuftiest of dogs. She trots along, scampering here and there, enticing the girls to chase her, they decline. I smile.


Maxi and Mini-mum also have a visitor. The boar from our neighbour is staying for a couple of weeks in the hope that by Christmas there will be the patter of tiny trotters once again. Together they amble around the barren land amiably enough, but nothing breaks the special bond between mother and daughter, not even a paramour. The pig pond is in heavy use as the days are still sunny and the pigs need their muddy sunscreen and refreshing water. There’s that word again - water - it seems to be an obsession!

And so it is, we are hoping for rain early in the season. It is the talk of the town, the village, the city and the supermarket: “falta de chuva” is muttered in every exchange, be it on the pavement, at the laundry, and especially in the countryside. It translates as “not enough rain” and it is a phrase on everyone’s lips. If you are lucky enough to have any spare, please send some over here!



Meanwhile, we will continue to potter about listening to and watching summer fade whilst waiting to discover what autumn holds in store.


“Dying in order to begin again is also a joy.

Starting over is a wonderful thing, and we are starting over constantly.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh


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