Tuesday 30 July 2019


It’s amazing how a good downpour refreshes the garden in a way no amount of irrigation can.  Everything looks clean and bright, the paths are washed down, the pool is overflowing, it’s worth a day stuck indoors for all this renewal.
I have rather over filled my new raised bed with cuttings and plants grown from seed. Some haven’t behaved as I expected like the cosmos I placed near the front that have grown metres high and are yet to flower.  There are some real thugs in there, like the nasturtiums covering Mr FF’s lovely travertine and hiding a little begonia but I am pleased with the lush jungle and next year I shall know better.

Sunday 28 July 2019

Wet wet wet

Its taken a welcome wet day in Italy for me to update you.  Yes we are back, it’s been extremely hot, we’ve had friends to stay for a few days and finally the heat has put hard labour on hold, though Mr FF was briefly caught bashing rubble for a new orchard path yesterday.  He’s done enough with the pool and terrace for now, let’s relax and enjoy
It’s high summer, the village is filling up as families escape the heat of Rome, festas are held every weekend in the squares, too many tomatoes in the garden, another fantastic Tour de France and 28 deg in our bedroom most evenings.  It’s all predictable and wonderful.
The rain started early morning, I was out at 3 am calling Grigio when it got heavy, she was delighted to be inside and is beside me now sleeping through the thunder and lightning.  Mr FF is still in bed also sleeping through the storm after a late night at the village wine and pasta festa.
Tonight we’ll watch 22 year old Egan Bernal take the Tour trophy, be a little sad that it’s over for another year but look forward to more hot lazy days and for a while no watering.

Sunday 14 July 2019

Five rise locks

Continuing our Yorkshire staycation we had my brother and sister in law to stay for a few days, always a good reason for us all to get out and enjoy the local attractions.  On the second day we had lunch out then visited the glorious engineering feat that is the five rise locks in Bingley.  Situated on the Leeds Liverpool canal it’s a series of locks that raises, or lowers, boats, a beautiful watery staircase.  We chatted to a barge owner passing through the locks and then to the lock keeper who answered our questions and let the boys help him open and close the gates.  The locks, which are all manually operated, have been in continuous use for over 200 years, originally to transport goods and now mostly for leisure boaters
I’m sorry the photo isn’t great and that I cannot give you a link to relevant websites, I am as always struggling with the iPad but do a search for more information or even better visit them yourself.

Saturday 6 July 2019

We are on holiday

in the penthouse in Ilkley.  We haven't spent a summer in Yorkshire for the last 4 years, how stupid are we.  Its fantastic, such lovely weather that we are able to show off our tans and continue to wear very little yet sleep comfortably at night.  
There's a lot going on in the town, we had an arts trail, a food festival, there is live music every weekend at the bandstand, and its all within walking distance.  We got my little yellow car back on the road but we haven't used it once.
We've had neighbours round for drinks, visits from friends and family.   I've almost forgotten the dreadful rail journey from Manchester airport and I'm pretending I don't have to do it in reverse at some stage.  
Best of all we've had the balcony doors wide open every day, we've spent a lot of time out there.  We are really getting our moneys worth from this place, just look