April 2016

I’ve finally found them! I sorted through a dozen or so boxes with the word ‘Kitchen’ scrawled across the side and in ‘Kitchen Bits Misc’ I found our two Mucky Mugs along with a butter dish, a couple of colanders, a fruit bowl, two huge cappuccino cups and my baking items – icing bags and nozzles, bun cases, biscuit cutters and a rock solid slab of black fondant icing (best check the ‘use by’ date on that one). I think ‘Kitchen Bits Misc’ perfectly sums up that atrocity of a packed box (although everything was, of course, bubble wrapped!) And the funny thing is I was actually looking for my icing bits and not the Mucky Mugs.

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So there were we thinking we’d learnt the basics of the language and could expand on that over the next few months to learn perfect Italian through a mix of our ipod course and day to day conversations with the Italians. But it’s not that simple of course. Italian campsites not only have pitches for caravans, campers and tents of the ‘stranieri’, many of them also have bungalows (basically permanent caravans with a little wooden building attached) for the ‘permanente’, and the Italians who own these arrive every weekend and usually for a full month in Summer. Being based in Liguria we would be joined regularly by ‘permanente’ from Turin, Milan, Genoa … not a great distance away, but enough … and this is when we learned that our ‘perfect’ (I’m using the word loosely) Italian learned from a book and a listening course was not sufficient . It did not teach us about ‘i dialetti’ (the different dialects).

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Tama … our ‘baby girl’ … was put to sleep only a few days after we moved up to the house. At over 20 years old she has been with us practically all of our married life but she never looked more than a few years old with her pink nose and silver tabby fur. We used to call her Benjamin Button as she never seemed to age, so we were obviously very shocked and upset when she finally gave in to her old age. After spending the last two and a half years with us in the caravan as we looked for our new home, our little cat has left a very big hole in our lives … but have lots of wonderful photos and memories to help us remember her.

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Well firstly we should be commended for remembering how to pack up a caravan from a pitch – after all its been exactly two years since we last did it! With a forecast for rain, we had emptied our awning over the previous couple of days, taking the bulky items up to the house, and we were then able to take the awning itself down on a dry, but very windy day causing us some fun as we took all the poles out and were basically left with a caravan with a sail. We could have easily tacked and jibed our way around the campsite!

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The other day had us starting the important project of installing a water supply – we’ve not given up on the water in our well, but after two separate analyses we’re still battling with ‘batteri’ so have decided to tackle a full empty and clean once we’re up at the house and ‘settled in’.

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