Orto

I’m dreaming of a hog roast – a huge piece of juicy, tender pork with a crunchy crackling and that lovely ‘Sunday Roast’ smell whilst it’s cooking. I’m not particularly hungry nor do I have a hankering for a full roast dinner, I’ve just had a territorial ‘run in’ with a couple of cinghiale and I want revenge!

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OK … who thinks we’d taken a break to breed dachsunds for a living?? No that’s not the reason I’ve been absent from the laptop for the last month or so … hard physical labour has taken priority over the writing about it but I’m back with an update from our neck of the woods, or in this case our corner of the vegetable garden!

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Happy New Year to all of you … those crawling from their beds nursing hangovers who are starting the day with a handful of peanuts and a slice of leftover Christmas cake for breakfast, and those who we all envy who’ve been up since 7am and already managed a couple of chores and a brisk morning walk. I fall into neither of these categories having got up at a sensible hour and only had two espresso coffees and no breakfast (but only because we finished the Christmas cake last night!)

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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!)

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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.

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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!

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With Spring well under way, and Summer just around the corner there’s signs everywhere of nature taking over. We’ve got tiny green peaches on our peach trees – plums, cherries and walnuts are all making an appearance, and the figs already look good enough to eat – but they’re not, they’re still hard, I tried one!

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