Personal

Christmas!!!! Yes I am aware that it is only March and we’re only just approaching Easter. And despite there having been a lot of snow up near the house over the last two or three weeks, that’s not the reason I’m in a festive mood. I’ve just made a start on my Christmas shopping list that’s all.

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I love my caravan – our apartment on wheels. With there just being the two of us and our little cat, there’s ample room … well, once we’d made the adjustment from living in a four bedroom detached house with three bathrooms! I mean what’s not to love –

We can park up and ‘live’ in beautiful places that we would not be able to afford if we were renting or buying …. and if we decided at any point that we didn’t like the neighbours, we can just hitch up and drive off to somewhere new.

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Bearing in mind that I’ve just entered the 21st Century and started blogging, I’m already finding problems, and I’m only around ten blogs in! The problem is commitment. Not to the writing of it – Oh no, that’s the easy part at the moment, you can’t shut me up … I have folders of drafts and ideas bunging up my computer! No the problem is what I’m writing. As every new Blogger no doubt does, I’ve recently gone back over my few posts and astounded myself how many jobs I said we’d get finished on the house, and how many of those we are only just getting started on.

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The Italians might moan about the weather as much as we English, but they definitely deal with it a lot better. Take this weekend for example – we’ve had snow. Well at the campsite we’ve had a constant 48 hours of heavy rain with an ‘allerta arancione’ (orange alert) on the digital boards along the coastal road and local rivers flowing at the fullest we’ve seen for over a year, but further inland it’s a different story. We headed up to the house on Sunday morning to see if there was the expected Winter Wonderland, and we weren’t disappointed.

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I’ve already mentioned that we were lucky enough to have been left some tools by the lady who sold us the house and, although they’re all pretty old, and we’ve had to ‘retire’ a couple of pieces due to some over-zealous digging on our part, they’ve been really useful. We’ve managed to do all our work so far – re-levelling the whole of the driveway, digging out the steps to our new compost area and building our rustic fence for re-supporting the grape vines along the front of the house, and all we’ve had to buy to top up our ‘attrezzi’ is a rake and some branch ‘loppers’! But that is all about to change as Marcus has made his first trip back to the UK in a van we’ve hired, to collect some of our belongings from our storage container.

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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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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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