Beginning a New Season

Welcome to the new blog.


Welcome to Autumn and to the first of several updates as we look back over the summer months. We decided that SOOO much has happened since the last news from us that it would be kinder to split up the summer review into bite sized chunks……you can look forward to news, pictures, recipes and much more!

Before we get onto sharing all the great stuff that has been going on – we need to first share our sad news about Xico. Those who have visited or followed the old blog will be aware of our love for our darling donkey Xico. He arrived with us 4 years ago and quickly became a fond friend. His cheeky moments when he would escape would infuriate and also amuse us greatly.

People who visited will remember Xico’s calm affection. Those who were lucky enough to head out pulled by him in his cart will have cherished memories. Children and adults alike enjoyed his company.

We always knew that Xico was old. When he was given to us by a neighbour we were warned that he was coming to retire at the Mount of Oaks. Clearly he had worked hard during his life, but he had such a great time munching happily on grasses and fruit he looked well for his age!

We lived with the delusion that Xico would live forever, but this was not possible. In the last weeks of his life he was finding is more and more difficult to stand up. He was pretty miserable when he could not stand up and move around. We fed him lying down – it was fig season and he gratefully ate from our hands buckets of figs and apples.


It feels like the land misses a family member. It is not only the humans who seem to miss Xico – but his friend the rooster and the cats were lost without him. Still, over a month later we find ourselves expecting him to be munching away on one of the terraces. I expect to hear his gentle ‘eeyore’ and long give him a brush.

There is a possibility that we will look for more donkeys (note the plural) next year. For now we simply morn the passing of a friend and plan a calendar of photos of Xico to be ready before Christmas. Our plan is that with whatever money we make from the sale of the calendar to give a percentage to a donkey shelter in the south of Portugal.

Feel free to email us with photos of Xico – if you do it quickly it might end up in the calendar!!