Friday, December 19, 2008

Picking Oranges

Let me ask you a few questions: Have you ever picked an Orange from a tree? Ever picked several Lemons right from the tree and used them for cooking?

Well, i can now tick that from my 'to do' list. I have picked Oranges and Lemons from actual trees and they smell amazing.

Yesterday, myself, Brian and Tracy all popped to see Sarah at her Finca near Santa Eulalia. She has a beautiful place right on a hill and there grows there an abundance of Citrus trees. It's pretty amazing to see them all and now is the time to harvest them and the trees are brimming with fruit, all ripe and ready to eat.

In fact all over Ibiza you can see trees of Oranges everywhere, and quite often I've thought of just stopping the car and winding down the window and nabbing a few. But that's Sarah's house will have to do. Until we grow our own that is.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

'River Cottage' in Ibiza

Brian, Tracy, Ellis and Dan gave me my Christmas pressie today. I can't tell you how excited i was to find out it was a cookbook, and nothing other than Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'River Cottage Cookbook'. How lovely of them!

I nearly wet myself. It looks amazing, and its main idea is to cook your own-grown vegetables and animals. How cool is that? And what with our new farm, i am already dreaming of great home-grown, home-cooked food.

Bring on the celebrations. I'm sure this book will be the first of many 'cook your own...', 'grow your own...', and 'build your own...' books. I'm not sure about the latter one, but the former two - bring it on!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Chez Bruce"

One thing that I'm really looking forward to about being back in the UK is being able to catch up and see family and friends. I've missed them! I love catching up over a coffee and hearing people's lives; their stories; their ups and downs and hopes etc.

I'm hoping to try and kill several birds during my time in the UK. No, I'm not a serial bird-killer - not yet. I'm planning on hosting a night at my Church in London in Notting Hill. It's called "Chez Bruce" and it is my attempt to see all my friends at once and also share with them my stories of living and working in Ibiza.

Westbourne Grove Church is my home church, and they've been supporting me in such a large financial way. If it weren't for them, i do not think that i could live out here and work for 24-7 Ibiza like i do. Chris Thackery, my pastor, is more than happy for me to host an evening enabling me to share all that i do.

I'm inviting loads of people, and i hope to provide some sort of food too...not quite sure exactly what though. Definitely some freshly-made Bread. Please come if you are in London on Wednesday 7th January at 7:30pm.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Finca

The Land

Today, the 6 of us drove to our new Farm and checked out the land and did some walking. As our house in on the top of a hill, there is alot of land that takes you down into the valley. We were like, 'Where does our land end?' It's pretty crazy to think that we'll have use of so much space.

Unfortunately we weren't able to look inside the house as we weren't given permission. But it was great to walk, or trek around the hill. The views across the Island are stunning and i know it'll be great to finally move in and make it our home. We are already talking about what we'd like to grow and what animals we'd like to keep. It's going to be very exciting!

Helen and i then took a trip up to the very small Chapel on top of the neighbouring mountain. It is possibly the smallest Chapel I've ever seen, and it looked like a 24-7 Prayer room, with writing scribbled all over the walls. Some of it might have been graffiti, yet you couldn't help but think they were prayers or names of people remembered and loved. There were several large notebooks in there too, with pens and paper available. It seems like it's a popular place with local Spanish as there were many Spanish prayers written down.

We could clearly make out our farm from up the top and I'm sure we'll be visiting this place many more times.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Year ahead...

You might have heard the news by now that we have just signed the contract to rent this amazing Farm up on a hill here in Ibiza. All 6 of us will share the house together, and we move in on 1st of January. Talk about a New Year!!!

When i look back, i am amazed at the speed things have moved. When we arrived home from our adventures in the UK on November 2nd, we got down to some serious thinking, praying and talking about the real possibility of living together. I took to the idea of sharing a larger place straight away, as i get on very well with the others and i think i'd add alot of colour to community life - especially in the kitchen! The thought of a large community farm excites me. I cannot wait to work the land, grow fruit and vegetables; keep chickens and other animals.

Early on too, we all felt that this farm wasn't going to be just for us, but that it'd be a place to host and look after some of the people that we come across during the crazy summers. By this i mean people who come here to work and get burnt out or hurt along the way and need some space and time to heal and relax. I hope our farm will be that kind of place.

As with any change, i have both hopes and fears. It's a new chapter for all of us, and i know that life will totally change for all of us. Soon, the dreaming will be over, and the day-to-day living will begin, with both ups and downs. But i don't want to be negative or pessimistic - far from it.

Best of all for me is the large kitchen. I think the kitchen is THE most important part of any house. It's funny, as the house i live in at the moment has the smallest kitchen you'd ever see. You can't even swing an ant - let along a cat. With both Helen and i in the kitchen it feels like you're waltzing together just to get to the fridge. But our farm kitchen has...wait for it - a Bread Oven! Awesome! And a fire place in the corner, with a separate pantry area. We'll have a huge long table and get a few pews for us to sit on i think. I can already picture the meals we'll all be having together in that kitchen!

Fancy coming round for some food?

Friday, December 5, 2008


Spent 2 hours digging up weeds today at Solveig's farm. It might seem mundane work, but it's great to be outside in the lovely Winter sun! She is giving Helen and i many tips when it comes to growing vegetables or looking after chickens - seems strange, but i know that all this will come in handy down the line. We then had an hour and a half of Spanish, and I'm trying to get to grips with Spanish verbs and their endings. It's tough, but good to be stretched like this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Community House

It's been a very exciting week so far, with some new developments unfolding at quite an incredible rate. Since the end of the summer, the 6 of us who live and work here for 24-7 Ibiza have been speaking about living together, with the possibility of owning or renting a large house somewhere in the country side being dreamt about.

For me, the desire to live in one place has slowly grown over the last few months, with the shared meals, the hanging out at The Heasleys place, and the general sense of togetherness and unity. Not that i've been unhappy with where i live at present, but just that the idea of community excites me and the thought of being all together and living and eating in one place is something that i'd love to try.

We've spent a decent amount of time giving this thought and prayer, and talking about how it would look, and for me it feels a good next step in our adventure. One thing you need to know is that the 'countryside' here in Ibiza is not that far from where we work, or the airport, or the capital. Ibiza being the size that it is means that wherever you live, you're not that far from civilisation.

We all would love this place to be a place of retreat too, and not just for us, but also for people that we meet in the summer who seem like they need some space and time to get away from the craziness of life.

I'll keep you posted with how this chapter unfolds.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ibicencan Finca

Over the last few months i have had the privilege to be a part of a small community that live and work here on this beautiful Island. Some of these guys have been living here for nearly 4 years now. Some people have come and gone, and lots of great work has been done and strong foundations laid. At one point, there were 9 or so people part of the community here. But However, the desire to share not only the work of 24-7 Ibiza but actually a house, has grown day by day. It seems the journey is becoming increasingly shared, and we have been talking and thinking of all living together for some time.

We've been dreaming. Actually, before i set foot on this Island, alot of people have been dreaming.