Friday, 20 October 2017
The harvest has started, our little road is covered in the nets used to collect the olives as they are combed off the trees and conversation is all about the oil. We took our regular early evening walk to the village recently and were chatting to a friend. He revealed to us the three Ss essential to produce the best oil. SOLE - sunshine, we have that in abundance and this year has been exceptional with daytime temperatures still in the mid 20s. SASSI - rocks, we live in the side of a mountain and since the wildfires the limestone outcrops are even more evident, our land is poor and stoney, apparently that's perfect. SILENCIO - silence, apart from birdsong, sometimes the mew of the buzzards soaring on the thermals above us and the chatter of people working in the fields, we are very quiet. So we have the ingredients for the best oil and though we mentioned that apparently the harvest in Puglia is good this year, our friend says their oil doesn't match the quality of ours. We haven't started picking yet but I'm as excited as ever about the harvest and interested to see what difference all this extra sunshine has made. We are waiting patiently and quietly, don't want to disturb our developing crop.
Saturday, 14 October 2017
How unusual for me, Mrs FlipFlops, to be relishing the changing season which hasn't yet involved a change of footwear. It continues to be warm in the day, we still haven't lit the wood burner as the house is warm enough and we are still sleeping under a summer weight duvet. Most nights I look down the valley to see if there is smoke from any of the houses but there never is, strange as the Italians are now layering up their clothes and into socks and jackets while we still walk round in t shirts. We are hopeful of a small olive harvest and our neighbour says we can put ours with his if we are short of a mill run. Our kitties are becoming more independent, they sometimes go off for the day and don't return starving hungry, or even pleased to see us. Some nights they sleep outside, sometimes inside, sometimes they come upstairs and wake us in the middle of the night to be let out. Gentle days spent outside starting with breakfast in the terrace, of course always a project for Mr FF, quiet evenings with maybe a film and lots and lots of sleep, it's all so relaxing. We still open the shutters each morning to bright blue sky and sunshine, it certainly doesn't feel like summer is over and even though we've dismantled our plastic pool Mr FF is still using the outside solar shower. We ve been here five months, often it feels like five minutes and oddly I haven't felt at all homesick or had a longing for UK winter food. I still have a stock of Yorkshire tea, knitting wool and books, what more could I ask. We will return to the penthouse within a month but already I'm thinking about comkng back to Lazio next year and desperately hoping that Crema, Grigio and Theo will stay around, we are doing our best to make provision for them.