Thursday, 6 December 2012

A touch of Picasso

Our latest room "Picasso"

Wood burning stove made from an old gas bottle, sofa and full double glazing, this will be perfect for the colder nights... if you can get Stuart and Sooty out of there!!

Alentejo iron beds and new matresses

Just awaiting a bit more planting

Hemmingway undergoing a makeover, climbers to provide more shade
More landscaping and planting should see Quinta Stuart near enough completed this winter, if it stops raining...

Friday, 23 November 2012

Rains Drains and Autocrats

An Irishman, A Greek and a Portuguese man walk into a bar and the barman says "That will be three pints of water then"...
The recession is biting here, even the village idiot has left. Speaking of village idiots, could you really imagine seeing Prince Phillip or Queen Elisabeth topless or naked? They simply didn't do things like that in their hay day. Why do Harry or Kiss Me Quick Katie believe they can? I costs every tax payer in the UK two pounds a day for Katies dresses - think she could actually do the decent thing and wear the darn things?

The Convento de Capucho, near Sintra, where stones blend seemlessly with thid convent

With over 200mm of rain this month, ginger nuts and cheese pasties are the order of the day!

Head high tree cabbages come to life after the rain.

New grass garden in front of Tipi

Finishing touches - fitting a woodburner in Picasso
Large vines will grow over the windows in summer for extra cooling

Very comfy inside, this room will be avaliable for a longer season
Always amazes me how late in the season Peppers mature

Tornados in Silves and trees thrown around like a rag doll - thank goodness it missed us! Our huge cisterna is nearly full, saving us several hundred euros next summer. The garden is green, and we are planting like crazy trying to harness the rains and fill all the gaps.

It's a dogs life, but not as we know it.....
And as a special treat, my video from the 2012 Burning Man Festival. Thanks to the big man Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic zeros. See you in Munich next year guys!!!

"Everyone and everything is interconnected in this universe. Stay pure of heart and you will see the signs" Anon.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Paralitympics

The Wonderbag... great haybox style cooker, eco living in hectic times

Well, a massive massive thanks to the British Army for providing the majority of Britains paralympic team. what would we do without those sneaky little landmines and extended holidays in Iraq and Afganistan?
The future for the next paralympics in Brazil looks bleak for the British team with Cameron, the current British dictator looking to pull out the future British team from Iraq.
meanwhile, down on the farm...

No, not the Paralympic team bus, but a fire engine that got stuck in P and J's driveway during last months fires. The crew were all ok but are currently retraining to be EVA bus drivers..

Matt and Caro,Canadian, alias rather keen on Stuarts food

Picasso with thermal roof and outside deck. We intend to close in the outside deck as a winter office with wood burning stove with built in still.

Ollie Lamas applying Adobe to the front of Tikka Bar in last months one day Adobe course
Ras, from Lithuania, our current helper, don't try and stay up with her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adobe finish to the front wall of Picasso... all done whilst Ras, our wonderful helper slept!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Sex Pistols ruin Diamond Jubilee

If you remember, some of Englands greatest exports are:-

Watneys Red Label
Fish and Chips
Football violence
Spice girls

So it is with great disappointment that none of these featured in the Queens diamond jubilee, except for the Sex Pistols... Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious along with the Olympic torch led the procession along the Thames. Magic.

Meanwhile down on the farm..

 The Mad Professor aka Zimbo Rick is back and this is the prototype of a rocket stove hot water boiler so we can create hot water in the eco shower block in the winter.
 Sinead, our woofer is easily convinced that this is a prototype organic mobile phone...
 Go girl and Hi Daisy, two lovely Belgium ladies.
 A massive Apricot crop,,, do they always ripen at the same time!
 Sonia celebrated her 40th birthday at Quinta Stuart - note the organic Lavender candles.
 Foundations for Picasso, a future studio and office
 Going up!
Nearly finished.

Incidentally, TMN never installed the new internet / tv package claiming only the expensive deal would work due to lack of satellite coverage. Behind my ears are drier than an August day in the Sahara.... any ideas readers??

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Woofers, TMN Disgrace and lots of rain

        Maybe I am one of the last people to notice that my tinternet has been running like a snail on a rohipnol diet since the 15th of each month. A trip to TMN in Faro Forum Shopping led to an admission that since 15th February, Anacom, the Portuguese ruling telecoms body has limited each individual account to 15 GBs of downloads per month - then it changes to a 1970s style 128kbs max speed.

       No notice or apology. A call to the broadband suppliers resulted in a 25% discount, refused thank you - - BUT please notice if you are still reasonably happy with the service COMPLAIN and you will be offered this discount, They have changed your contractual details (ie it is not unlimited) which is a breach of contract and annuls your contract leaving you free to accept a discount or choose a new plan

       For the same money, I have signed up to a TV deal which is unlimited and I get 15 free Portuguese channels as well, They are also offering free boxes and installation. I am awaiting the engineer to fit all this so watch this spot...

      Meanwhile, down on the farm. Four more volunteers have been and gone and we have really improved our faciilties at Quinta Stuart.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


New Sofa Lounge at Quinta Stuart

Working hard in the winter sunshine, we have finished off the 25 square metre raised covered railed shaded deck. Three sofas and a couple of armchairs have created a really cosy space and we look forward to this summer - keep an eye on our web site for details of courses and retreats.

Hasta la siesta!! Sofa, stay awake... forget it.

Those with a fear of our hammocks, fear not!!

Decking path leads on to the Tipi

Woofer Ken has joined us for a couple of weeks and is busy working through the weeds. Strange that he looks like a cross between Van Gough and Ernest Hemingway!!

The Driest winter for 11 years is still upon us unless it changes radically changes soon. We have had to order water to be delivered, three months earlier than normal.
Deep mulching, watering only with "used" water saves a lot but the experience of eating Christmas lunch outside is several hundred euros of extra water due to a dry winter. We can call this year one in a seven or eight year cycle. Next year nearly as dry then a gradual increase in rainfall as the cycle duplicates itself. Forget global warming, this is an established circle that I have witnessed in nearly thirty years in the Algarve.

Owl is still in England working freelance for a private caring agency - currently in Dorset. The freezer is nearly empty, so come back soon!!

*** We have posted a couple of special offers on our Trip Advisor link - check it out and save 10% on early bookings!! ***

*** Avoid the Olympic chaos - and come here, special rates for the Alternative Olympics - Darts, Boules and Dog walking only at Quinta Stuart ***

Come and build a charcoal maker - Saturday April 14th 10am - including lunch and refreshments 25 euros per person, finish by 4pm, only 8 places available!!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Cuban Express

Hi!! Finally back from Cuba to the frozen wastes of the Algarve - who turned the heating off?? We travelled by modern buses through most of the country and stayed in privately owned houses.

South coast of Cuba... the sea was cold at 26 celcius

1952 Chevy ... Had to paint the house to match it

Local Asda ... one of the few things you can buy in the local currency

The local waitress was very popular

My new car