zondag 31 oktober 2010

The nicest coffee

One beautiful day in late autumn Grandpa, Grandma Zwanenburg and rest of our family were sitting on the veranda in the soft southern wind. There was a distinct aroma of sljivovic on the air. Sljivovic (rakia) is the distilled drink of sljive (plums) that comes on the table whenever you are invited to the kitchen. Next to the Turkish coffee. The wind was blowing from the direction of the forest. So we were fantasizing that there was someone living hidden in the forest distilling illegally. Distilling alcohol could become illegal as a way of life when EU entry of Croatia has it’s completion. Also we were puzzled by the distinct taste of rum in our coffee. How could that be? I got everything I used for making the coffee out of the kitchen. The package, the cups were cleaned. New coffee was made. And again this strong taste. In the end we discovered that what I took for a water bottle was a bottle of sljivovic by accident ending up in our collection of water bottles. Oma Zwanenburg remarked that she normally does not drink coffee, but this one was extraordinay nice. Unknowing about the real content. We went for a walk to get it out of our bodies.

dinsdag 19 oktober 2010

Off the road

Maintaining roads on our terrain is one of the areas of attention. This old road on my terrain was in the old days enough to let tractors and trailers pass. It goes to the back area of our terrain and connects via our terrain to the villages at the other side of the forest.
Time went by and the road filled in slightly. As all roads in the surrounding area. In the past traffic was much more intense than these days. The population is aging and dropping. Trees start to grow and all kinds of plants kreep where normally one could ride to the next village. Along this path in autumn there are all kinds of mushrooms and a lot of edible chestnuts.
The jeep I use to drag trees out of the forest, transport equipment and buildingmaterials. Also to explore the surrounding forests. I was assured I could pass with my jeep. I tried the first 50 meters. I was too late to react because the back wheels slipped off hill. Well, one has to test some limits here and there.

vrijdag 15 oktober 2010

Tomato's expected 2011

Beans make place for tomatoes. To prepare for next season Barbara is digging old roots out and putting in new plants. Barbara is combining tomato's with basyl, persil and calendula. This combination keeps out pests and attracts right insects aswell as supporting each other.
This way the earth is replenished. We don't do things big scale. We are slowly bringing into use as much terrain as we need. We started with a jungle. Now it is more organised. For those that are looking for an orderly garden it still can be confusing. The one making and maintaining the beds knows where is what. And yesterday we had a mix of tomato saus and fennel that were blended & slowly cooked on the woodstove. Fresh and yummy combined with Basmati rice.

dinsdag 12 oktober 2010

Crafts & kilowatts

We are making great strides to have civilisation touching our terrain now. In the blacksmith's workshop we will use welding and other heat needing processes. In the carpentry workshop we will have kilowatts of heavy wood cutting equipment. Now silently waiting in an old army tent.
Barbara was nearly dancing around with the announcement the connection will be made active today. Washingmachine on her mind. I always say to our builders I am the cleaningwoman. Culturally totally unacceptable. 'Cistacica'. A lot of ch and ts sounds. I make fun of it while they see me washing dishes.
Barbara always has taken the load of washing clothes though I must admit. She will read this blog too and will detect and probably publish any unbalance I put in the representation of the working part of our relation.
Anyhow, we will need some kilowatts to make our 4 & 5 kw machines work and at the same time be able to have kitchen machines running and such. We can now look forward to easily listening to music and watching movies.

maandag 11 oktober 2010

Cats bar

Our cafe has two regulars hanging on the bar to have their fill. Martina, our neighbour from down the street, gave them to Barbara when she mentioned her love of cats. And mine also by the way. Together they race around the terrain and fly up trees regularly. Tail high, back raised they are a scream to have around. The moment we enter the caravan they are allways ready to sneak into the warm space and hide under the beds.
When we are working on the computer they curl up next to us for warmth. They are comfort seeking creatures. And very good friends for us. They emit relaxation. Whatever is not working, producing stress, they can take away. Also I hope they will be great mouse and rat hunters. We'll see. Next spring we will see what their results will be in the rodents hunt.

A peaceful place to be

This is our little caravan and tent village on the terrain. In the silence of this area it is only the building during the day that disturbes the peace. The generator we need still hums because we are not yet connected us to the grid. But if the bigger building projects are finished there will be a peacefull place to be.
We have used the on caravan on the left for office. It is a sixties Dutch design. The right is a more recent german product. The tent is our lounge for bad weather days and kitchen. The experience of adding space with tables and cupboards is interesting. It is disovering the convenience by installing kitchen etc. We actually sit around there a lot. Especially during hot days also. Enjoying the evenings with wine and cheese before retiring to bed.

zondag 10 oktober 2010

Salute to the fathers

I wasn't aware her father would have been 64 the exact date I made this picture. Seeing her happy on her fathers shoulders. While on the table in the foreground her second year of wine is waiting in bottles.
Cor, her father enjoyed cooking and wine too. Barbara has same interests. She loves cooking. She also loves putting her hands in the ground and simply being in the garden. Most of the times alone. That is one of the limites on production. While at the same time she is the only one that can deliver mothers milk to Fleur.
We have to think about the fathers like: 'They would have been here too and would have enjoyed being here'. At the same time they would have enjoyed the cooking and sampling the wine too.
Well then: 'Here's to our fathers'.