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We have determined a site for our lantern installation, a narrow, neglected park next to Igreja Matriz, one of eleven historic churches (not counting the private chapels that the wealthy nobility had) in Messejana. Matriz is never used, the church in the town square with the active bell tower is where Mass is held.
Carlos has created a solid functional design for the cardboard structures while we have been spending far too much time on Photoshop converting pictures we have taken of interesting patterns into images to be converted in Illustrator to vectors that the laser cutter can follow. When we see “selections” with “dancing ants” surrounding them when we close our eyes it is clearly time to change activities. We have started weaving with bamboo and a native grass – not sure what will become of that project – but it is a welcome relief from the computer time.
We go on walks in the morning and/or the evening to avoid the rather oppressive sun. On Monday we took advantage to the overcast morning skies to walk the approximately 2 km to Igreja Nossa Senhora Da Assunção, an 11th-century church and former-mosque in the civil parish of Mértola. Unfortunately we were not able to go inside – it looks like the church is not actively utilized – but it was quite lovely. On the walk home – in full sun – two loose dogs challenged us from a distance. We think they weren’t sure whether they should be herding us as there is sheep nearby, but they did run off when we advanced.
We’ve been enjoying our walks with Margaret, a visual artist from New Zealand. She bonded with a horse along one of our routes and brought carrots to feed it. Messejana seems bigger than 800 people but we have to admit that walking in any distance will take you out of town rather quickly, unless you are on one of the roads that loops back toward the center of town.
We have been enjoying our walks to the ruins of the Franciscan Monastery. The cork and olive trees both have impressive trunks. The remnants of old orchards have been providing us with delicious plums. We are hoping the pears ripen before we leave.
Wednesday the 11th was Carlos’ birthday so he spent the day caring for artist residents – ferrying us in two different trips to Aljustrel for grocery shopping and, in our case, to various stores to search for supplies for our project(s). In the evening we joined their friends and family to celebrate with a dinner at the sports club.