Missing

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House in Terena, Portugal.Missing or the sense of missing. I 'know' what it is but the feeling is foreign to me. I blame my good memory for that but it is more. I say I don't miss the homes I have had in my life but as a true Cancer I loved making my home a reflection of me. In The Hague I had a house I made look like I was in Portugal - on the inside. All windows had white/blue blinds. Then I decided my entire space was my studio. Many friends I have knew I had a 'Dream'. Simple: a house on a hill (click!) next to a castle.

One evening Joost Albronda phoned me and told me he had found my dream house. Joost, Suus and Jeremy Leidstar had found it on a trip. In Portugal, and I was living in The Hague. I didn't need to see it and I bought it for pennies.Click on the photo's.

It was The House in the village of Terena. Built in 1630. It had a chapel and thus a door for the public as the chapel held the Body of Christ. My housekeeper Senhora Rita, as I called her, had lived in the stable as a young girl. Now she is the Boss. Lovely woman. Her son, mid twenties, lost his legs through paralysis recently. Was born a twin but his brother died in birth and S. Rita told me once she worried the wrong baby had died at birth...........

I loved that house. I would walk around at night and touch the wall as I meandered through the place. With my dog Biki in tow.

But do I miss it? No. I call that particular phase in my life the Palace syndrome. I can bring it to life in a split second. I can smell the place, feel it move all along my cheeks. Everything. So how can I miss it?

I had a large collection of 30's tea pots. All covered in a jacket of chrome or silver or even aluminium.

I was on the phone and l looked at the glass shelves with all my tea pots on them and the top shelve 'snapped' and all the other shelves broke up and sent the tea pots tumbling down.

Needless to say all but two tea pots were damaged if not turned to smithereens. It was a shame but gone is gone. I even remember the person I was talking to then.

But of all the houses I have had in my life, not many, the Terena house was amazing. Its dark stable and pantries. The mysterious chapel where, according to the 'women' in the village, a tunnel was dug to the inside of the castle, my neighbour!!!!

A house I shared with Jeremy Leidstar on the island of Santa Maria, Azores, in the village of Sao Pedro was also amazing. It had been built in the mid 1700's but never lived in as a Family Home. It was used for fiesta's, drinking parties and debaucheries! In my studio space, a very large space, a lid was made in the floor and when opened you could see the well. The kitchen was huge and on the wall, hidden away from eyes, was written in an educated hand: 'The crockery is crying, crying, crying'. The attic was something else. It was full of old sea chests, distillery equipment, books and furniture. Clothes, guns and empty bottles. When my friend/twin Chrissy Finn came to visit, I had made a lovely looking space in the attic. A maid's room. She could'nt handle the mice. Hundreds of the little critters. And with no electricity they are not afraid of humans.

Now my home is here in the tropical north of Queensland and the green hills are my walls. Sharing my life now with Clemens, I have known since I was 7, life is now amazing.
phb.