January 2016

Well the rigger boots are broken in, along with my back, my forearms and my thighs! I made the mistake of adding a bit of morning exercise to my daily routine last week and I felt it for about three days afterwards. It didn’t help that the day after I had this inspiration to exert myself voluntarily in our awning, we went up to the house to do some more driveway levelling … every step up the incline was painful!

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You’ll be forgiven for thinking, from the above photograph of the cleanest pair of rigger boots ever, that we’ve yet to start work on the house … but you’d be wrong. I actually ordered this fashionable footwear after getting carried away with a mattock and a shovel on our last visit when I decided to do a bit of driveway re-levelling. I was knocking soil and grass out of my boot laces for days so I’ve invested in an old favourite – when we renovated and built houses back in the UK, I lived in my steel toe-capped boots so, with a bit of breaking in they’ll soon be like slippers again.

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Well 2016 looks like it’s going to be a biggie for us. With our most expensive Christmas present to ourselves ever, sitting forlorn and empty amongst five acres of unkempt grass and woodland we’ve got our work cut out.  After two years of searching for the perfect property, we are finally the proud owners of a small farmhouse in Northern Italy with a barn, a wood oven, a well, a few grape vines, some fruit trees, a large walnut tree, at least one wasps’ nest and definite signs of an animal of some sort living rent free in the ‘legnaia’ (wood store). It’s not a large house, we don’t need a lot of space for just the two of us and our cat, but after spending those last two years living in our caravan on various campsites, it feels like a castle!

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