57. TIME TO TRAMPLE

It seems as if the land here at Golden Web is intent on stirring up dust. All had settled down for a day when my phone rings. I answer these days, ‘Ola, bom dia’ as usual, closing my eyes, as usual, and praying that I can possibly eke out a familiar word or two. Just…

56. COOLING DOWN

Summer is starting to recede with the slightest indications that Fall is approaching. The Atlantic Ocean has dropped in temperature by about 2 degrees, guaranteeing that I will not be swimming in the Algarve till next year. (But if you plan to visit in the Fall, please don’t be deterred. My internal engine kicks into…

55. THE FARM IS ON FIRE

Amalia, the sheep, is hot and ornery under the Algarve summer sky. She either pants heavily, her glassy black eyeballs half-lidded as if she’s about to pass out or she tosses her head about trying to generate a breeze about her face, not minding where her horns crash. This is when she’s not bucking a…

54. CHILDREN (AND SHEEP) WHO SOAR

My phone rings. Saturday has barely begun. I glance at the time before answering. It’s minutes after seven. “Anna! Have you checked on your sheep? Well, you better check on your sheep!” We have our first human guest arriving in less than two hours however and I still have a few things to do. But…

53. ANGELS IN OUR MIDST

“We’ve got a guest,” I announce to Ise and Ingrid the next morning over coffee. “Are we ready?” asks my daughter. “Not really,” I answer. “But we can be somewhat and let him know what to expect,” says Ingrid wisely. The three of us get to work on the yoga studio and lounge, painting the…

52. THE WEB LOAD LIGHTENS

The Portuguese border is open! So, on the 1st of July, the last of the Quarantinos bade goodbye, namely Amith, Marino and Mia. The Quarantinos, as they named themselves, were a large group that descended on Golden Web when their Lisbon hostel closed during lockdown and there were no accommodations to be had. That was…

51. EACH DAY IS AN ADVENTURE

Leila texts me from the vet as planned to tell me when to pick up Whiskers, the rescue kitty. Leila has dropped off the cat to be spayed and possible aborted of kittens. Just a week earlier, she’d been concerned that the feline was getting round in the belly. She’d taken Whiskers in for a…

50. AN EMPTYING WEB

If the threads of a web break, the spider repairs them, picking up and securing the untethered filaments, while reinforcing the existing ones. The web becomes stronger, more solid in its place. Sometimes they weaken from the wind, from a impact with a twig, or time itself. Occasionally, large creatures bumble in, entangle themselves for…

49. THE ONENESS OF THE WEB

Golden Web is a microcosm of the Universe; Having formed with a bit of a bang, it expanded, shrank, and is now shrinking before expanding again. Ally and Lea are leaving to Lisbon on the west coast walking trail. Ally will return to New York to pursue his career in IT and Lea will float…

48. PLEASE, PLEASE TAKE ME TO THE FUNNY FARM, PART 2

“Is it dead?” I yell, perhaps a little too enthusiastically. The pit into which the dog has fallen is at least ten feet deep. Its a straight drop down. At least Laila has given it a fine last supper of tasty, meat-filled food since I’d brought her the cats’ chow instead of the dogs.’ “NO!…

47. TAKE ME TO THE FUNNY FARM, PART 1

I wake this Sunday morning at seven a.m. to a soft blue sky, a gentle breeze undulating through my screen door, and the joyous trill of sparrows. I slip out of pyjamas and into a caftan. Pre-Amalia, my new eight-month old Algarvia sheep, I’d have made coffee and returned to read the online papers in…

46. EIGHT HUMANS AND A SHEEP

Eight is an auspicious number at Golden Web. It’s the number of legs on a spider. It’s also the sign of infinity, of new beginnings, and represents the constant flow of energy. Before the olive trees went in and before my daughter arrived, much was in ebb. The humans on the farm numbered nine. Then…