Graciosa Life, Personal things Little stories throughout 2020 24. April 2021 / No Comments In the beginning of the year we had a horse from our craftsman Isidro in the garden to help keeping the grass and weeds shortGoing on a trail with Estrella. I also visited Jan in his clayhouse and little forestgarden with him, before we were a couple. I think it was adventurous and romantic (and Jan was super happy because Estrella left him some excellent compost)…Going around the Volcano, Caldeira, and enjoying the view.My desk, the second piece of furniture besides the bed. This is where I am sitting right now and blogging.I so loved to see „Estrella“ from my desk! I so missed my horse (who I knew for over 10 years), who had to stay in Germany (at that point I was still finding a way to bring him here to me).Seeing a Filharmonica concert in the little church of our town Luz. So wonderful! The Azorians are very dedicated to music. This was before everything was canceled and silenced with Covid as the excuse.The next vital thing to replace! The heart of the house…I boldly fulfilled my dream to get a brand new kitchen, built from the nephew of our craftsman IsidroThe windows are also brandnew. It was rough because I had to wait over a month in the stormy rainy cold January and February to get them built (in) and there was just dirty plastic foil over this south wall.Also the kitchen took many more weeks than assured. This was a first hard trial and lots of learning.Finally… So looking forward to cooking with guests and family here!The garden: Wild and beautiful in springShowing Jan the little protected islet of Praia, where I had spent 2 months in my first time here in the Azores, in 2016, for my biological studies. Normally just biologists and rangers are allowed to enter here.A little beautiful and peaceful pearl, this isletView on a beautiful rockpool (4 years ago I had climbed all the way down this cliff to swim in it)That is why nobody is permitted to enter who isn´t well informed: The sea terns are nesting on the ground. In June, when we were there with my colleagues from the National Park, it was time of hatching! Just so cure and fluffy…Going back to Graciosa with the rangers and biologists……and enjoying a lunch togetherAt the beach, Praia, with friends Verónica (Biologist from Faial/Sao Miguel) and José (Graciosa). Some real grounding for me… *g*Visiting the islet of Praia again, I got permission to enter with Jan with his kayak. Hanging out with our friend Verónica who shares what she is working on. And philosophizing about life. I was scared from the waves and Portuguese-Man-of-Wars (and because the kayak was loosing air due to a leak), but Jan brought us safely on the other side.I could just lie on the ground under a tree and do nothing for one hour after arriving on the islet. As you see, we had a super full year (it felt like 3 years to me!), and I just soaked up the nothingness and quietness of this peaceful place which is so little touched my humans.Back it goes! Verónica stays camping on the islet to finish her work with the sea birds. The boat is makeshift fixed, I hope we make it back the 1,5km to Graciosa!It was a beautiful trip backNew garden furniture!Jan & IsidroVisiting a swimming place in Santa Cruz with my young manLearning to slaughter and prepare a chicken from friend Paul-George. The people here are really survival multitalents!Something we have to learn with a farm! I honor this life that was given for us to use the whole chicken, also cooking a healthy and healing broth from the bones.The first and maybe only time this summer I experience Jan having a nap!We were very tired and exhausted that Sunday and visited the crater of Caldeira. Having a small picnic and then just spending hours of laying on the ground and replenishing with earth-energy.Melon time on Graciosa! There are wonderful different melons produced all over the Azores.Hanging out in the little health-food Café in Carapacho (I also briefly mention it in this article)The healthiest sourdough pizza! In the beginning in 2019 it was even Jan who was providing the veggies to make the food for this CaféIn the summer there are lots and lots of street parties where you can get roasted meat, like here a whole pig.These little get-togethers were still going on this year, I´m glad. I think I’ve never had so much socializing in my whole life than during the Covid-times on little Graciosa! There were some creepy moments where friends couldn´t visit their dying parents in the hospital, or when Jan had an accident, but in general life felt pretty normal here for me (and I just surrounded myself with reasonable people who didn’t by into the hysteria)Barbecued chickenJosé and Jan in CarapachoSwimming in CarapachoSunset in VitóriaWith friend Paulo and his daughter LeonorRockpools of Vitória, one is empty today Beach barbecue with driftwood with friend Paulo and his daughter Leonor in Porto Afonso Porto Afonso, we take shelter in the old boat cavesJan playing the hangdrum for usClimbing down a crazy cliff in a crazy weather. It was soo steep and slippery! Rumors said that people have died here already falling down.God, how come this man is 24 years older than me and so much better in shape!The way back up I literally mostly crawled on all fours and later my legs were covered in bruisesRewarded with a beautiful view on a wild part of the islandCleaning the street with our new investmentAfter that refreshing and cleaning himself (this was prior the ice bath time)One of our Kurkuma plants got a flower! A sign that we have a healthy climate in our garden.Autumn goodiesA moment of rest and reflection in Baía da FolgaWe indeed live close with nature… One morning I woke up and someone had laid eggs on my clothesVolunteering in an environmental conservation program to decimate an invasive plant Volunteering in an environmental conservation program to decimate an invasive plant Beautiful passion fruit flowerAn old transport vehicleIn the winter, which also use to be stormy times emotionally for us with lots of stuff happening (like Jan´s accident), we also get lots of rainbows… A sign that such destruction never has to happen again. Our friends (who were the previous owners of our Quinta) driving under this beautiful rainbow.Meeting for Christmas with our spiritual familiy. A few weeks after we returned from Terceira and the hospital after Jan´s accident.When we meet for a party everybody contributes a homemade dish. Sónia, founder of 5essentia, always surprises us with an other spirulina smoothie creation. Sónia, founder of 5essentia Original Italian homemade Ravioli by our young amazing friend Giulio (just 21 years and so creative and talented!)By Sónia By Sónia, Spirulina grown in the Azores Visiting an Azorian friend after Christmas. Here it is the custom to have the table full of homemade sweets for some days and to go and visit each other. Translated into English this old custom would be called „The little Jesus makes pee“ (because people would eat so much that they would have to go on the toilet so much *g*)And finally: Celebrating our first New Years Eve together at a friend´s partyWith lots of good, homemade, seasonal food again of course! We wish you a great year 2021!