We have had a lot of fun things happen in our garden, children's tea parties, grown-up's dinner parties, treasure hunts, Easter egg hunts, pony races, three legged races, three-legged pony races (no I'm kidding) charity lunches, Christmas fairs ..... but of them all, I hold a very special place in my heart for the days when our friend Alberto came to paint.
When Alberto came to paint I would pull weeds, fix garden furniture, brush the dog .... anything that meant I could spend as much time as possible in the garden watching his pictures grow, and listening to him chat about everything and nothing in particular in his delicious rolling Brazilian accent.
Watching any artist paint is hypnotic, and Alberto's colourful, busy, Brazilian style is particularly fascinating.
He'd turn up on his bike with easel, huge canvases, and a lot more stacked into an old cart attached to the back of the bike. When he left at the end of the day, we'd creep into the barn and look again at the canvases he'd left to dry.
He painted all along the valley, often besides the river, and today there are pictures of the vallée de l'Eure, by Alberto, hung in houses all over the world.
For the moment he's back in Brazil, where he's done some fantastic urban scenes, and has also returned to one of his favourite themes - pianos. Recently he created a huge mosaic for an underground station.
We are looking forward to him coming back to stay one day, there's an easel waiting here for him.
If you'd like to see more of his work, visit his website here.