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Restoration after restoration after Leslie

“Gosh, she’s just rebellious”,  Nico jokes at Astrid, when I – again, against all warnings – gently push a tree trunk in the bonfire, which gives a nice fire drizzle.

“Exactly!”  I agree, “I just like to have a homeless day tomorrow! I’ve had it with lifting roof tiles and crawling over dusty attics!”

We received a lot of sympathetic messages, after last stormy weekend

We’re all sitting around the fire. It is actually still fairly warm, but it’s so cozy, such a fire. It’s only small, and we have a lot of wood to burn, so the coming winters we’ll not going to be cold, with all those fallen trees!


The French guests, Lucille and Tomás, now belong to the volunteer team

They spontaneously offered their help on Sunday-after-Leslie, and were great at sweeping, sawing, painting and cooking.

Especially the cooking part was a blessing, ’cause a nice meal after a hard day’s work is well appreciated! Lucille has been a chef gastronomique. In France, you have two options: gastronomique and traditionelle. The latter is the usual for the average Frenchman, the first is for the gourmet.

And we are gourmets!

Many other things have happened, this week. Bart and Broes have sawn all branches off the fallen eucalyptusses. Tomás was helping on ground level in between his painting the closets of the new laundry room. Nico made a wall of reeds at Casa Palmeira.


And Astrid, Gerda, Isabelle and I try to finish the Butterfly Wall. Lots of activity everywhere!


While walking back and forth to glue the mosaic butterflies on the wall, I kept sweeping bit by bit

You can let your thoughts flow freely during all clean-up and sweeping activities. I was sweeping the stairs, suddenly remembering a couple of volunteers who’d been here years ago. Italian Clara and English Paul. Clara could tell wonderful stories about her life, in a typical Italian way with lots of gestures and very musical. Paul made the beautiful mosaic trees on the “Little Chinese Wall”.


They had lived in Margate, once the hometown of one of my favorite painters: William Turner. It always windy there. It seems to me very restless to live there. Clara is only a small woman, so she had to watch out that she was not taken by the wind. She told the story of how she found a solution, in her typical English-with-an-Italian accent.

She put big stones in the pockets of her coat. Then she stayed on the ground

I thought that was a smart solution, and I enjoyed the story very much. But now I look a bit differently at this phenomenon wind.

Yes, I’m definitely rebellious! What’s it good for – wind? Why isn’t the weather on this planet better arranged? What’s fun about it, hurricanes, temperatures of 40º below zero or 50º above, avalanches, floods, falling trees – why does that have to be? Blimey, couldn’t that be better organized?!

Give me a mosaic tree any time. At least that doesn’t come down with a hurricane!