Learning to Live

I’m trapped and alone … there is no Internet connection and I can’t listen to music as the volume of the radio doesn’t go loud enough to drown out the hammering on the roof of the caravan, which sounds like I’m stuck in a car wash on full speed. It’s becoming white noise. The same applies to any attempts to watch television or a film. All I can do is write, typing my thoughts and fears into a simple Word document, hoping that someone out there will eventually read it …

Read more

My ‘cantina’ is far from full (the photo above is the dream, sadly not the reality) – unless you count the various new ‘Quattro Stagioni’ and ‘Kilner’ jars that tempt me whenever I amble around Ipercoop (there’s always a new size or shape that I know I couldn’t live without – in England my obsession was handbags, in Italy its glass jars!) We’ve also started saving jars and bottles to put to one side for future preserves but that has just made me more awkward to supermarket shop with – if I buy anything in a jar now, I have to like the jar as well as the contents!

Read more

Apparently I am blessed with green thumbs here in Italy – good to know as we’re wanting to live a lifestyle where we grow a lot of our own fruit and vegetables. If I had the dreaded ‘pollici grigio’ (grey thumbs), we’d have to cover over the ‘orto’ and create a tennis court instead (although I’m not that good at tennis either!)

Read more

Well the first official day of Autumn has passed (Google kindly reminded me on 22nd September with one of their little animations on their search page) but it is actually starting to feel like Autumn here now. We’re still hitting temperatures of around 26degrees when there’s sunshine but it is definitely dropping cooler on a night, and of course those nights are starting earlier – no more sitting outside in shorts and t-shirts until 10 o’clock as even we are reaching for jumpers and going inside as it drops dark at 8pm.

Read more

We’ve not exactly embraced the twenty first century yet, with the purchase of a tractor and its various ‘atrezzi’ or attachments but we are now the proud owners of a hay baler! After a trip to our local ‘agricola’ (basically a store for all things ‘farmery’ selling everything from chestnut flour and plants to scary looking tools and enormous sacks of animal feed) we picked up some pallets for another job on our list, but added another four to the pile so Marcus could get all creative and finally retire his dustbin and gorilla tub.

Read more

I’m only half a dozen pages into my Calendario Lunare book and I can safely say it’s not been my quickest of reads – I’ve managed a few pages of introduction and then a huge 82 page jump into July so I could see what I should have been doing at the end of last month and to basically tick off a very long list of everything I hadn’t done. The pages I’ve read so far are slowly filling up with scribbles of translation between the lines … and no, it’s not every word … so I’m definitely proving to myself that I have learnt a decent amount of Italian so far.

Read more

Ok … so I’ve mentioned our wildlife recently and the fact that ‘cinghiale’ can be a bit terrifying when they are cornered (seriously, why would you corner a ‘cinghiale’?) or when the mums have a litter of babies following them (but they’re so small and stripy and cute I just want to pick one up and cuddle it!) At the same end of the ‘pericoloso’ spectrum, we have the occasional tale of ‘lupi’ (wolves) in the area – the newspapers have reported a pack of two or three causing a bit of mayhem in one of the nearby villages earlier this year – leaving a couple of sheep worse for wear.

Read more

No I’ve not finally lost my grasp of the English language … plums are a big thing in our lives at the moment, literally falling at our feet from the trees at the back of the house. In fact one morning there were even a couple of fruits there to greet us on the step outside the caravan – there’s just no escape!

Read more

The ‘orto’ is finally finished – fourteen, metre-wide beds, totalling 42 metres in length, all dug over to a spades depth. Every muscle I used for that digging flinches whenever I go anywhere near the tool shed now … how’s that for muscle memory!

Read more