house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

O Verrao do Sao Martinho

Summer came back sometime in the second week of November. We woke up to skies of uninterrupted blue, and shed our sweaters in the mid afternoon sun. Birds went mad, swirling and singing under the now naked trees. We left the mulled wine and made lemonade.

This, I was told again and again, with great smiles and knowing nods, is the 'summer of Sao Martinho'. Why and who - I then asked, again and again - was Sao Martinho? One of our saints, silly! people laughed. The more patient took a moment to explain that the saint's day (11 November) is always followed by eight days of sun. Yes, but why? Why eight, why sun and why Martin? Being a bore and a nuisance is a price I'm willing to pay for a good story.

No good. Reactions varied from a) shrugs and vacant looks, followed by sudden preoccupation with finding a suitable chestnut to shell, b) casting about for someone who might know, to c) giving an elaborate but completely irellevant answer. For example, I was told that “people eat chestnuts and drink red wine for Sao Martinho” or to “come to our village gathering at the cafe – there's drumming and free drinks” and even that “you can get chestnut trees in the market... plant them in a sunny spot, give them ten years and you can harvest up to eighty kilos from one tree...”.

Village custom and agricultural advice were just not enough. This time I longed for legend, a little pinch of hagiography perhaps? In the absence of a lucid centenarian with a good grasp of local religious trivia, I'm worried to admit it, I searched the Internet.

A site devoted to the lives of Catholic saints provided a clue... (it also shed light on the life of St. Monica, a martyr simply for having endured her pagan husband's atrocious temper and her children's stubbornness (what's ever new?); in the end she converted them all, including an “equally difficult” mother-in-law!!... I also looked up St. Magnus, of which there are seven; the records that justify their saintliness are – sadly? suspiciously? - long lost..)

Enough digressions. Back to the good Sao Martinho. A Portuguese website describes him as “the winter saint who brings back summer”. Intriguing, promising, too brief. Catholic Online has details. Martin was a Roman officer serving in a cavalry unit that protected the Emperor. On one particularly vile November day, during garrison duty, he surrendered to a strange impulse: to everyone's surprise, including his own, he tore up his fine mantle and gave half to a naked beggar.

His macho comrades cackled and sniggered, startling the horses with malicious mirth. Martin clung grimly to his own saddle, no doubt contemplating a lifetime of bullying brought about by his own misguided mantle-sharing moment. But wait: all of a sudden the sleet and bruising wind stopped. The sun shone, lone birds thawed, ruffled their feathers and sang. The general jeering gurgled down and died. Our beggar blinked and the small warm tear on his cheek held a whole rainbow.

What does one do after something like this? Remain a soldier, it seems, but change armies. Before the lambswool-lined half-mantle had stroked the beggar's back, Martin was already enrolled in the vast army of Christ. After a long, hard, humble life, this new path ultimately led him to the laurels and loneliness of saints.

What remains: when each year slumps into winter, Sao Martinho brings eight days of sun and clear skies (this year we had twelve!) Here in North Portugal, the day of Sao Martinho is a particularly happy landmark: it is, by tradition, when you get a first taste of the new wine. Chestnuts are roasted on roaring open fires, faces painted with coal, the wine flows and the drums beat late into the night. It is the last big party before Christmas.

What is lost? In my view, a fine mantle. Why did Martin have to tear it up? Why not give the whole thing away? His gesture is somewhat diluted, his lesson confusing. Is it about sharing or thrashing the cloak? Generosity or wastefulness?

Tragically, something else is also wasting away. The story of Sao Martinho has slowly faded from collective memory. It's OK, that happens. But worse, no one seemed to even wonder for a minute why they did these same things year after year, why they counted eight days of sunshine in November, why they celebrated this unlikely winter saint with their new wine, their loudest drums and their most playful rhymes.

When, how do people lose their inquisitiveness? This, for me, is up there with the loss of the Amazonian rainforest. Sao Martinho is only a small symptom, but what else are we forgetting? How, once forgotten, can we get it back? (Please don't say The Internet. Or if you think it's funny, go on, say it, do. I don't care.)

I'm off to tell the village how Sao Martinho brings the sun back every winter. They haven't been too curious, I know, but I'm sure they'll be thrilled... I think I'll also ask some more questions. My little gift to humankind.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Traveller Asks

“Can I have some money?”

The question comes from a well dressed girl about ten years old. We stop at the supermarket on Sunday morning and find her standing by the van, pointing vaguely to my pocket. She looks clean and bright-eyed. No missing limbs, no apparent illness, no justification. Her skin is brown, but why would that explain or excuse the begging?

Perhaps I stop and stare a little. “Any money, a little coin, spare change, something?” she expands on the subject, helpfully. She is small but grim and determined, and acts as if we owed her a debt. Moona waves me into the shop (must be quick, he suffers from a very short-fuse when placed in the vicinity of supermarkets) and starts chatting to the girl. She seems surprised but stays, with a sigh and a look on her face that reads clearly “Darn, I have to earn this buck”. Across the car park a woman pushing a pram (her mother?) prawls the perimeter and makes a beeline for any car or person that moves.

We don't see too much of this around these parts. Yes we see travellers, mainly at fairs and country markets, running rusty rides and shabby shows, or trying to sell truly apalling souvenirs. But there isn't much begging and there isn't much stealing we hear about. Meeting this girl a novelty, but her attitude, and mine, is not. What shocks me is how easily we fell into fixed formulas. Hers seemed to be “I am a gypsy therefore entitled to your spare change”; mine was “gypsy equals beggar, end of story". But should it be?

Moona tried to find out. He asked why she begged and she shrugged. He asked if begging made her feel bad, or perhaps embarrassed? Another shrug. He asked what she would do with the money. That was easy, answered with a nod of the head: buy food. He asked what her parents thought about it.

This produced a surprising reaction. The girl pointed to a van and asked Moona if he wanted to buy it. It was her dad's van and it was for sale. It looked good. Leaning against it was dad himself, smoking a cigarette, acting cool. My reaction? Anything but cool.

How could he stand and roll his fag while his family begged in the parking lot? No, it's worse: how could he send them out to beg while he enjoyed a quiet Sunday morning smoke?

I read about travelling folk and the question continues to puzzle me. On the one hand there's this romantic picture we like to have, of small groups of happy people dancing, reading the future, playing haunting music by the fire, next to beautiful hand-carved caravans drawn by wild horses. Why else would I persist in calling them 'travellers' rather than any other of their many names, Roma, Romani, gitanes, gypsies?

But this idyll flies in the fiery face of history. Nomads from India and slaves until the middle of the 19th century, Romanies never integrated and were never accepted by the peoples of Europe, who did however gain a grudging respect for their artisan skills, especially metal working and weaponry.

They were surrounded in mystery, which bred bizarre stories (here summarised by Ian Hancock): “they were thought to be survivors of a prehistoric race, Druids, Nubians, dwellers emerging from the hollow Earth, visitors from space, or simply a population recruited from the fringes of European society that artificially dyed its skin and spoke a concocted jargon for purposes of criminal activity”.

Mystery and scary stories, hence fear. Fear, hence persecution with many unpardonable, ugly faces, from bad mouthing, marginalisation and manyfold bullying to the Nazi final solution. Over the past two centuries, scientists and politicians referred to them as “the refuse of the human race” (Knox 1850), “a whole race of criminals” (Lombroso 1876), “a pest against which society must unflaggingly defend itself” (Dillmann, 1905), “lives unworthy of life” (Leibich 1863).

Lives unworthy of life. This must be the saddest phrase I've typed, and the heaviest. These four words alone, used by a few self-centered, dangerous imbeciles infected a nation and permitted the murder of one and a half million gypsies in the gas chambers of the Third Reich.

Lives unworthy of life. Perhaps we are all still suffering from the venom subtly spread by the words. Perhaps an echo of the evil phrase unconsciously envelops us as we throw coins to beggars, as we complain about petty thieves in our towns? Perhaps the full weight of it still rests on these people, the gangs who rob, illiterate children sniffing glue on street corners, parents who choose to send their families to beg, so that they don't even TRY to be something else?

Not something else entirely: not a reinvention, just a return. Perhaps more dream than possibility, to resurrect the travellers and all the corny stuff they bring to our naïve minds: a strong, spirited people, aloof but alive, nurturing its gifts? Enchanting stories, superb spirituality, bewitching music, art, the incredible craft of legendary artisans revived.

How amazing it would be if the girl begging in the car park today pulled out a little violin and played a tune? How eagerly we would reach for the purse, to repay the small pleasure.

Instead she just stands in front of the van and stretches out her hand, asks her dreary question and again, we have a coin but not an answer.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Pilates por Pilar

I'm back from a Pilates class at the fitness centre across the road. It is one of those places so bright and modern you feel shabby, awkward and horribly obese as soon as you walk through the door. Light and colour flood every wall, fill every corner. Fitness equipment lines each room and spills into the hallways. The receptionist, I would imagine, could have a full workout between handing out locker keys...

The place also has a sauna and a Turkish bath. It offers water massages, wraps and tanning. Fitness classes take place in a room lined in mirrors; one of them magically turns into a drawer and all kinds of colourful gadgets (read tools of torture) pop out when required. The changing rooms are cosy and gleaming and there is no place to hide. Is this a small town gym or the Spaceship Enterprise?

At nine a.m. the place is deserted, which is the main reason I stay. The sight of young perfect people doing whatever they need to do to stay young and perfect forever would probably send me spinning out the door.

The Pilates teacher waits in the hallway and kisses all her clients, me included. The class starts and I have no idea what she is saying. She has a cold and her voice is gone, but that's not it. Suddenly I get it: she is Spanish, she speaks Spanish. Not Galego which, really, is Portuguese spoken loudly with a strong Spanish accent. No, she speaks pure Castilian and yet everyone acts as if nothing could be more normal.

Have you ever been to a fitness class in Newcastle or Norwich where the teacher nattered instructions in Norse? No? Me neither. Yet here I am, in Portugal, trying to follow a Pilates class delivered in Spanish, and not one of the Portuguese pupils bats an eyelid. At some point one of them makes a joke about Pilar not having ever learned Portuguese and they all giggle and get on with it. Clearly they know some code words and moves, and they adore Pilar.

I'm glad Pilates is such a gentle, slow routine. Sure, I fell off the gym ball and got a neck cramp from peeking at what the others were doing, but I did manage to keep up and even earned a “muy bien” from Pilar.

At the end of the class she gave each of her pupils a little massage and they seemed to sink into their mats and fall into a deep sleep. When she stopped at my side, it all became clear: my hour of puzzled and painful Pilates petered away as Pilar plied a small portion of pleasure onto my shoulders and I happily dived into my own little trance. That sealed it: from now on I'm here twice a week, to do Pilates with Pilar.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Permed or Straight?

To be clear: I'm talking about the land; I mean permaculture. We like permaculture, we do. We have the books, we have the films and we have the friends. We like the essence, we support the principles. Our children discuss the folly of fertilisers and recognise nitrogen-fixing plants. We are all on the band wagon. The whole truth? We are also a bit scared of the permaculture... culture. It's so intense.

Look at us. Really, we know nothing of working the land or producing our own food. We can't tell a tomato seed from a pepper. We have never had a vegetable garden (except in Nairobi where we planted stuff and instantly forgot about it, and remembered only when Nikita, then 5-year old, pulled out several shrivelled carrots; they were the size of small wax crayons; nothing else had grown). We have no clue about weeds or bugs. We might (perhaps) recognise the odd oak, but not much more. At this point Moona will tell me to speak for myself. Fine, just to add that, to date, I managed to kill every potted plant that was left in my care.

And now we have almost half a hectare, all lush south-facing garden-to-be that has been waiting for a loving gardener for the past 30 years. And what a job our predecessors did: they are legendary in the village for their fruit, their wine, their vegetables, their endless hard work, their vision. The stories never end.

How then to fill in the glorified footsteps of Senhor Felix? “Watch the neighbours” - says the village. “Map your land, build your swales, plant your food forest, mulch-mulch-mulch” - intones the permaculture crowd. We are frozen in the cross-lights.

The neighbours do things that, in a permaculturist's eyes, are akin to putting out cigarettes on the mother's breast that fed you before sending her into orbit strapped to a firework. They use pesticides and chemical fertilisers. They irrigate massively. They scrape the land bare and build biomass bonfires. Everything is scorched before re-planting. One such fire, I was told, burned everything above ground and then went deep under and fed on roots, and continued to smoulder. It kept popping up in odd places for days afterwards; the firemen had to be called before it reached the Algarve.

In the other corner is the stuff much raved-about in perma-lore. This, we realise with a shudder, will scandalise the Alto Minho to such an extent that pitchforks and torches would not be unthinkable. Planting mimosa – a nitrogen-fixing plant – seen locally as the lowest, most disgusting weed? Leaving brambles and leaves on the ground, to rot and turn into mulch? Covering the land with cardboard to prevent the regrowth of weeds? Building swales? Scattering lime powder and wood ash onto the land to enrich it? Throwing seed mixtures everywhere to create untidy food forests? Then, horror of horrors, peeing on one's most prized plants to give them extra-nutrients?

We clearly need to tread carefully. At the moment there are tolerant smiles and good will on both sides. These may later be replaced by much head-shaking and a measure of distaste. And the question is: at what point thereafter would our farmer-neighbours, or the perma-folk, or both, write us off for good? What to do? What to do?

For now, I only know two things we won't do: won't buy the chemicals; will also refrain from peeing on the prize-peas. The rest remains up in the air. And maybe, maybe some day the land will tell us.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Walking the Alto Minho

Last Sunday we went on a walk in the countryside. It was a long walk – it took all morning; we walked and walked and walked until I felt I was walking barefoot on brambles. It was a group walk – we were following a line of men in their 50s – and 60s, and 70s - who belonged to an ex-sailors' club with a weekly habit of sprinting up slopes, past sagging vineyards and along the Minho.

It was a beautiful walk – the day somber and cool, but each tree, each side of a hill, each empty meadow exuberant with colour and life. And it would have been a good walk in terms of feeling fit and virtuous, had it not ended in a gargantuan feast at the sailors' club, that eventually spit us out spent, stuffed and steaming.

This is it. No adventure, just a Sunday morning walk. This story is a bit of a non-event; to revive it, I shall tap into the family stream-of-consciousness and steal a (semi-qualified) glimpse into our thoughts.

Nikita: “Why would any sane person wake up at 7am on a Sunday morning in order to walk aimlessly around the countryside for five hours? What is the point? Oh – here we go. Someone's talking to me. Grunt. I'm hungry. How can a tangerine be enough? Is that a dead frog? How can people walk around with such horrendous haircuts... Great: my shoes are falling apart...”

Kira: “I'm the only girl on this walk, I'm the only girl on this walk! I'm an adventure girl! I didn't want to wear this jumper, I wanted my green jumper! Is that a dead frog? Cheeta, roll that apple through the ditch, oh it's floating, oh it's going fast, I'll catch it catch it CATCH IT oh it's gone. Are those chestnuts? Can I get some? Mica will carry them. And the dead frog. And the stick. No? why not? oh c'mon.. shall I give her some money?... pleaaase Mica.. oh, they're calling, we're last again, catch up, catch up, run, gasp....

Moona: “This is a bit boring, but at least we're out, we're doing something. Even Mica's walking, what's come over her? What did that guy say? Something to do with Galizia. Is he speaking Portuguese or Spanish? Or Galego? Maybe Galego. He never stops. Oh, we've stopped – is this his house? What a lovely yard. I'm thirsty – is that a drink? Glug-glug – oh-uh: it was wine! Now I'm steaming. Maybe Mica can carry the water backpack. Whoa, let's climb up those rocks.. good place to dive... why is Mica getting upset? There's no danger, unless you fall..”

Me: “Right – it's a clear morning, church bells toll, I can walk for days. Kira and I are the only girls on this walk. So glad I managed to get them out of bed. What a lovely house / corner / tree / village / church. Oh and this church has a real bell and it keeps ringing: what's going on? let me ask the guy with the stick. OK first it's the time, then it calls people to mass and then it tells everyone there's been a death in the village. Wow. All in bell-language. Can our village bell do that, I wonder – with that unchanging merry jingle... but nothing like an ice-cream van, as Moona says. OK this walk is endless, feet hurt. Phew, we're having a break. Arrgh, we're off again. What's the time?”


Wine followed and fuelled our Sunday walk. We stopped twice. At the second stop, a small farm, it was no surprise: wine glasses, chorizo and warm bread were already waiting on a table in the yard. But the first one, an indistinct side of a road? People stood munching their sandwitches, absolute silence and the morning still young when a car appeared and pulled up; out came the wine, the plastic glasses. Not a word was exchanged. The walking sailors drank and stared meditatively into warm amber leaves.

All the (other) ladies joined the group for lunch, after the walk. They came by car, wearing high heels, necklaces and perfume.

The lunch took place at an old customs post on the river Minho. The building stood at the top of a small hill, above a narrow crossing point glorified in smuggling legend. Due to its position, the post had an amazing view of the meandering Minho, from one horizon to the other, except for the crossing point itself.

This way, geography ensured that smuggling boats couldn't be seen by government agents. Small regular payments made sure that they didn't even look that way. And sacks of coffee and sugar, perhaps liqueurs and other luxury goods moved from Spain to Portugal, from Portugal to Spain as the market called. Herds of animals swam across as new owners waited on the other side to walk them home.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Shoes Versus Siestas

Nikita's has two pairs of skate shoes. They are these chunky black boat-like heavies designed to sustain massive friction and leave Yeti-sized prints in the snow. They are made to last through any amount of skate tricks and adolescent angst.

These two pairs have decidedly lost the battle. There are holes at toe and heel level, the fronts look grey with shredded edges. Laces have long been replaced by an innovative combo of wire and plastic clips. Skulls and Celtic symbols were painted in gold on the sides, and then smudged against a small town's worth of walls and the skate parks of three countries.

He still insists on wearing them. At this stage, I am merely a puzzled spectator of this shoe-fixation, since I recognise (like many parents before me no doubt) that there is little I can do. But then one day it rains and Nikita comes home with wet feet – not just wet: ice cold and wrinkled, having squelched about all day at school - and at last we recognise the fact that we are having a shoe-crisis.

We both spring into action: I buy him a pair of trainers at the market, he uses black duct tape to 'resole' his boats. My shoes, although almost identical to his lame ones bar the chunky effect, are instantly relegated to 'last choice ' status, i.e. he will only wear them during weather extremes or when held at gunpoint by irrational parents.

At the same time, he has become number one window shopper at the skate shop in Vila Praia de Ancora. When we go there at the weekend, he walks in without fail and inspects a vast range of exorbitantly-priced skate shoes. He never insists on buying any, just shakes his head dolefully at the price tags and when he leaves the shop there's a lost puppy look about him that finally breaks me.

I run to the bank. We drive to Ancora and, this time, we're buying skate shoes.

We bought skate shoes. They are identical to his previous two pairs and to the new trainers too (but chunkier)! While he chooses and tries his shoes, we have lunch next door. I only go in to pay, and the shop assistant drops two sets of laces and a handful of cool stickers into the shoebox; before we leave he asks Nikita if he is a surfer too... Yes, Niki nods absently, over the moon. We waltz back to our lunch, which he spends under the table, lacing and relacing his new shoes (one white lace and one black!)

At some point, the guy from the skate shop runs into the cafe with a bag full of surf stickers and a big smile. We are all overwhelmed by the kindness. A small perfect moment begins. It is warm, we are sitting in the sun with our coffees and newspapers. The kids are happy, the afternoon stretches languidly ahead, the little town is quiet and friendly.

Then Nikita starts skating, all loud grating and banging; we are jolted back to the present; the new shoes are having their baptism of fire; so is the entire town, walking couples and napping grannies and all.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Morning After

I wrote earlier that I didn't know whether I had the strength to wake up on November 5th and find out who was the new president of the United States. And I didn't.

So I stayed up all night instead.

As a result, yesterday I was a bleary idiot, dropping things and pouring coffee on cereals. Admittedly, I was a happy idiot. Barack Obama had won and I had my life back. I was also a confused idiot: like you might feel at the end of a gripping book, still in the spell of the story, feeling vague and vacant, unsure what to do with yourself.

More sensible, Moona had had a good night's sleep and turned on the radio in the early morning. Before the children went to school, we all huddled around it and listened to Obama's victory speech. It was just getting light, the kitchen was cozy and smelled of fresh coffee and warm bread. The new president spoke of the progress and pain of a century and of our chance, now, to shape another.

We listened in silence, all four of us. Lights were glowing in the neighbours' houses, their chimneys sent thin snakes of smoke to join the morning mist. I reflected, again, on the power of inspired words; how speeches made by commanders before great battles once filled men with passion and propelled them to death or victory; how different stories can move people to choose their paths, to help or hurt others, to create or destroy, to struggle harder or let go and sink.

How important words can be. How this man's words spilling out of our small radio could start a wave that changes a country. How that change could itself send all the right ripples round the world.

There are obstacles: the 56 million Americans who voted against this possible future, to count but a few. Then the treacherous crests of our greed, weakness, wastefulness: our many vulnerabilities. The ailing planet. Above all, time. The sense that something enormous is in motion, and will not wait for us to sort ourselves out. The chilling suspicion that we've awoken the dragon.

But we need to hope and to try. We need to get on with it.

And I need to get back to Earth and dig out some brambles, move some bricks, plant some trees. Sounds about right: back-breaking but happy and hopeful, and definitely to do with the future.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Fruit Trees We Plant

We went to the market and bought 27 little fruit trees. The transaction was cheerful and matter of fact and its full impact on our lives (we shall have an orchard!!!) didn't hit until much later. We spent ages talking to the vendor and nodding knowledgeably at bunches of what looked like bald sticks lined up against the wall. These, he stated with somber grandeur, are the best fruit trees in the region.

A squat and squidgy old guy bearing an uncanny resemblance to Jabba the Hutt provided a glowing reference to both vendor and fruit trees. He had known this vendor for over 30 years, during which time no lie or even mild exaggeration had passed his lips. This vendor's fruit trees grew in Jabba's own garden, and had been unfailingly providing the best fruit and much pleasure.

He went on to compliment us – look what a strong young man, with a lovely fat wife who surely can work and cook plenty (Moona swears he didn't say that last part). Concluding that I knew too much Portuguese for my own good, I joined the shrinking vendor behind the stall, away of Jabba's lush appraisals, and started choosing fruit trees.

We got apple, pear and plum; cherry and peach, squat citrus trees and sturdy figs. Hazelut and walnut, an almond tree too. Two tiny sticks calling themselves red currants and a kiwi harem – one male, marked with red string, and four concubines wrapped around their bamboo stakes. At this point we had drawn a small crowd of onlookers, and were cheered loudly by Jabba and his mates. To everyone's amazement, we didn't get any grape vines.

The tree-youngsters made an untidy pile in the back of the van, and rattled merrily all the way to the house. There they waited for the school week to finish: because it was inconceivable for us to plant fruit trees without our children present (and helping, if it wasn't too much of an inconvenience?)

We were, of course, going to get everything ready on Friday. We would know exactly where each tree would go, we would have the compost ready, and perhaps also most of the holes dug, if not all. That would make Saturday a truly grand day out: we would walk the land at leisure, basking in the hushed autumn light, glorious russet and gold covering entire hillsides; the children would plant each tree while reminding it gently of its sacred duty to grow very fast and give us lots of great fruit; we would immortalise the moment with video and digital equipment; at lunchtime, sausages and fresh sardines would be barbecued, and a potato salad with parsley would wait on the stone table. We would laugh and bask in the sun, with glasses of vinho verde, while our orchard grew...

In the event, the only things that happened as described above were the hillside and the hushed autumn light. Tall trees stood across the valley like burning torches; fallen leaves wove tapestries of amber and honey underneath. The air shimmered and swirled, sending plumes of fine mist to meet small clouds further down along the river.

Meanwhile, things were unravelling at the Casa do Senhor Felix . We spent absolute ages talking about which tree goes where. To help us, only the vaguest horticultural knowledge and a lot of imagination with regards to the future shape and size of young trees. The kids lost patience and started knocking down walls inside the house instead. The first tree, a little plum, was planted sometime after 2 pm, when we were all ravenous and there were no sardines or salads in sight. Pasta would do: one hour break, a trip to the shop, eating in the large living room, sitting on some old doors. Then back to work.

By the end of the day, we had planted 14 trees and still had 14 to go; (we had found an unidentified stick among our saplings; no one could read the label; Jabba must have written it. We kept the little tree, of course. We figure the first fruit will tell us what it is.)

The remaining trees waited in the wheelbarrow for Monday, then for Tuesday. When I got home today only the hazelnut was left, and we had a place for it. And so we planted our trees.

On Thursday, we're off to the market again. I want some lovely chestnuts and Moona longs for more cherry.