The Oak Walk

Cabin from side 21 Feb 14This last week the weather has been truly astonishing and unpredictable, but you can expect winds in winter and particularly February.  The rest of the year can be so calm and hot that you actually miss the wind.

Storm clouds Maroma 27 Feb 14 (4)For most of the days it has been bright and warm, but our windy friend dear Mr Hyde comes out in the early evenings and does his best to keep us up at night.

Storm clouds Maroma 27 Feb 14 (5)I know it sounds ridiculous, but the winds have been super strong, maybe on a par with the worst I’ve ever known here, so I packed a cabin case with precious stuff like passports and jewellery, things I wouldn’t like flying around the cabin if tiles were ripped off the roof or, horror of horrors, if the bedroom windows burst – the glass does bend in very strong gusts.  So, the suitcase has been waiting patiently downstairs and we haven’t had a proper night’s sleep.

Foggie in mist 1 Mar 14 (2)Today, after another bumpy ride last night, we awoke to find ourselves in cloud through which we made a quick foray into the mountains which was rather fun, and we were well rewarded with lots of different sized stone ‘fallers’ – ideal for the job in hand.  On our return we couldn’t actually see the cabin, but as the cloud cleared a bit I took this photo.

Stone path above caravan 21 Feb 14Path below caravan 1 Mar 14 (2)Stone path above caravan 26 Feb 14Despite a lack of proper sleep, Joe has accelerated his programme of step and path building in our glorious local stone.  Since my hip operation last year, I’m still somewhat over-cautious walking downhill and as soon as he finishes another section, I’m out there with the trusty old camera skipping and jumping like a two-year old!  Obviously, this is a bare time of year, but we will be planting some native shrubs and agaves, but boy, will they have to be tough and drought resistant!

Stone path above caravan 25 Feb 14 (11)Stone path above caravan 25 Feb 14 (5)Stone path above caravan 24 Feb 14 (6)The hillside is very steep and he’s been out every day amongst the oaks digging and whacking, fitting whatever stones he can find into some sort of giant, meandering, multi-coloured shimmery snake jigsaw that winds its way from the caravan on the lower slopes all the way up to the side of the house.  It now truly deserves the grand title, ‘the Oak Walk’.

JB stone path 25 Feb 14“The contented man can be happy with what appears to be useless.  He can find worthwhile occupation in forests and mountains.  He stays in a small cottage and associates with the simple.  He would not exchange his worn clothes for the imperial robes, nor the load on his back for a four-horse carriage.  He leaves the jade in the mountain and the pearls in the sea.  Wherever he goes, whatever he does, he can be happy—he knows when to stop. 

Stone path above caravan 21 Feb 14 (4)He does not pick the brief-blossoming flower; he does not travel the dangerous road.  To him, the ten thousand possessions are dust in the wind.  He sings as he travels among the green mountains.

JB path caravan 1 Mar 14He finds sheltering branches more comforting than red-gated mansions, the plough in his hands more rewarding than the prestige of titles and banners, fresh mountain water more satisfying than the feasts of the wealthy….”  Ko Hung

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