One of the things that sold us on our house that we live in now was this lovely little nook, though have to say, I had no idea how madly in love with this little grotto I would fall. The first thing I did, even before we had moved in, was to buy a table and chairs off a friend that was almost too big for the space, but I took the risk and how happy I am that I did. This cool shady spot has become the centre of our home. We have breakfast at that table every morning, and then push our plates away for a quick game of dominoes or cards before jumping in the car or off to the ferry for school. The sun in the morning is just peeking over the roof of the house and sparkling in a star shape through the Casurinas to the east. By noon, the table is dappled with sun but still mostly in the shade and since we are so close to town, Ben now joins us for lunch almost every day. And after school, it is back to cards or puzzles, though there is a period at the end of the day when full sun spills onto the table and although the light is just dreamy, it has been a bit hot - can't wait for winter when we will relish in that sunshine on the table. Then we have dinner there, mostly all as a family, but if not, then Ben and I on our own after the kids are down, or even with friends and the music of the whistling tree frogs is rich and engulfs us.
The first thing I did to make the table more enticing was to add flowers. I pick them from our garden or around the neighbourhood. Next, some weather proof candle holders to add charm and a splash of flickering light when night fell.
But when I tired of looking at the flowers and the flames, my eyes shifted upwards and the stark silhouette of the tree that over hung the table began to depress me. We'd had a long tough winter with too much wind, but all the other trees had returned to full foliage, yet the loquat tree over our table remained barren of leaves save a few on the tips. I realised that the tall Casurinas overhead were starving the poor tree of sun and so it stretched ever outward to the light. I was on the verge of getting the spindly creature cut down, when I suddenly had an idea.
I decided to fill it with Spanish Moss, which I plucked from anywhere I could find it. Oslo's school had plenty, as did my friend Katie, but the rest I was a bit stealth about but I am sure if the people knew, they would have supported my cause. Next came wooden wind chimes to compliment the chirping tree frogs and whispering pines. And then my mother was a saint and dug a trench in which she buried a power cord and hung six boxes of fairy lights in amongst the moss and branches. It looked magical, but then I longed for more.
We hung an antique Moroccan star light which my mother rewired herself and ran the cable along the tree to the main source and bound in countless feet of electrical tape.
And my friend who sold us the table also had the three sweet little lights which are so heavenly in their shape, deterioration and the way the light spills from them that I find myself mesmerised.
And last of all, on emoo (Bermuda's ebay)I found this delicious antique Venetian light. I don't really know if it is Veneitian, only that I used to see them when I lived in Venice. Same with the Moroccan star actually - just feels like that!! Either way, I adore them and the feeling they give our little haven.
And with one flick of the switch, the illuminate into a magical fairy world. I call them my twinkle stars and it really does feel like that - as the tree frogs chime in all the many harmonious tones, the trees sway and the fairy lights twinkle - it is just heaven.
Add good friends, fabulous food (thank you Ben xx) and its an unforgettable night every time.
And tomorrow, we will take it all down as Hurricane Igor approaches... the stars, the bulbous glass, the wind chimes, the moss.
Wish us luck and pray that spindly loquat tree survives the storm so we can put it all back again once more, but if it doesn't it was worth it to enjoy these past few months - a piece of heaven in our front garden - so so blessed!