DIY autumn

(Listen to the music while reading blogpost.)

The place where I volunteer is a colourful guesthouse with all the good vibes and a remarkable atmosphere. Its name is Maktub, which means something like destiny, or things are already written and everything should be as it is. It is situated in a small village with just 200 habitants, sitting comfortably between the waves of the ocean and some huge mountains.
maktub guesthouse garden maktub guesthouse table maktub guesthouse bar maktub guesthouse kitchen

The four-footed residents of the house are in three: two dogs (Sebastião and Maria) and a cat named Pirate. Sebastião is now quite old this is the reason why he doesn’t have a good ear anymore and sometimes he has problems with his eyes as well. This of course can make things more funny, not to mention that the gentleman has eccentric habits too. A rumour is currently circulating about a guest who once heard somebody sleeping and heavily snoring in his very bed. He went mad and darted to the bad to tell the fake Snow-White that this was his bed when he suddenly realized it was Sebastião who had comforted himself in there. Without shame.
Sebastiao dog in Maktub

Maria, the daughter of Sebastião is a cute little creatures who is always happy and energetic, and as one of her canine tooth hangs out of her mouth, she always looks like smiling. She nested in my lap comfortably in the third minute of our relationship and since then we go for long walks at the shore together or hiking in the mountains. She is extremely good-natured and loves to run back and forth amongst the big pebbles. When we hike, she is running all the time up and down, always waiting for me to follow her and stares at me with a questioning look why I can’t keep up her pace.
Maria in Maktub

With cats I don’t really have this kind of intimate relationship, so about Pirate’s personality I can’t write much, but anyway, I share this picture of him, and just tell me whether you also think this is a kind of “I’ll scratch your eyeballs for sure if you come any closer, unless you have food on you” look.

About the two-footed residents I’m going to write later, this topic requires an entire blog post. Now, instead, I’d love to tell you a little about our grape (leaves) harvest we happened to do a couple of days ago with our host, Andreia and the two fellow volunteers, Xenia and Jerome.
Andreia was just cracking out the idea one morning, that we should harvest the grapes around the guesthouse, and since we are there anyway, we might as well clean the grapevines from the old leaves
grape leaves in Madeira

Well, the situation is that in the first 35 years of my life so far I got used to the fact, that autumn comes with falling leaves. On the other hand, in the everlasting spring of Madeira, in November, if you want to have autumn, you’d better do it for yourself.
picking grapes in Madeira

So if it’s the half-awaken state of mind in the morning, or something cosmic laziness, I can’t decide for sure, but as we surveys the infinite wineyard, I have to say, maybe we don’t start our mission in a fully enthusiastic manner.
We start our little workout with quite heavy arms just to end up clearly enjoying all this grape picking. We love the slightly meditative nature of this physical work, love the rays of sun making our faces warm, love the chill-out music coming from the direction of the bar, like staring at the fallen leaves all around the ground, so to say, to admire the fruit of our enthusiastic work.
picking grape leaves in Madeiragrapes of MadeiraAnd speaking of fruit, we should examine the picked grapes more closely just to decide whether they are already sweet enough. And just to make sure the quality is still good, we should repeat this test for a couple of times, oooing and aaaaing. As a matter of fact, with grapes, you can never be 100% sure.
At the end of the day we even feel like having a little fun with the leaves, playing like children. Happiness.
playing with the leaves playing with leaves playing with leaves

Next day smells beyond expression are coming from the kitchen and entering it I can find a big dish full of boiling jam. Well, one of the biggest tragedies of my life is that I cannot capture smells with my camera. Actually, I have to say, this is also one of the biggest tragedies of your life.
making jam in Madeira jam making in Madeira


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