Monday, 25 April 2022


We’ve been here 11 days now, it’s been mixed.  The weather has varied from very cold and wet to sunny and not so cold.  We are lighting the stove at night, it’s cheery and currently we have plenty of dry wood.

We have done a lot in the garden, much weeding, cut the grass, collected the olive and fruit tree pruning that Mario left everywhere and had a bonfire. I am still outraged that Mario attacked all the trees in our orchard, taking off huge branches, leaving raggy cuts that are ugly and unhealthy and breaking our chain saw.  We told him when we left last year to do nothing, fat chance.  We are still waiting for his bill which will be extortionate, that’s the way it is for us strangers and we have to accept it or fall out with everyone. It certainly doesn’t make it easy to accept though.

The cats have settled into their routine which at present for Enrico means spending time with us then going off on his giro d’amore for a few days before returning for food and sleep, recover and repeat. I check him for injury, none so far, and remove the ticks he seems to collect, he likes a fuss and he and Grigio are pleased to be reunited but then he is also happy to leave us again 

Friends have called by to say hello with lovely gifts,  we’ve already been invited out for lunch, our shepherd sold us pecorino.

You are probably wondering about the water situation, touch wood we don’t have a leak but the man from the water board was here the day after we arrived. He reported that there is a major leak above us, it is Anna’s she has the house at the bottom of our road. According to the meter she had lost more than 20,000 euro of water, for which she will be liable.  Anna is in Rome and has been since October last year but at the weekend a digger arrived with 4 men, one of them her son in law.  They excavated beside the top road, Giovanni phoned to alert us and we went up to see what was happening.   They were using a pick axe in a hole full of water and we were worried they might damage our pipe as the 5 that supply our road and Giovanni run close together. In fact they punctured Giovanni’s pipe and he was without water until they fixed it.  One leak on Anna’s pipe is repaired but apparently there is another deep under the road, Anna’s supply is turned off again and nothing is happening today. Although we are not affected this time we are sick to death of this system where our meter is located well away from the house and we deal with any leaks between the meter and our house.  It must be the same throughout rural Italy, badly laid pipes, often running on the surface and easily damaged, people paying a fortune for lost water and constantly sourcing leaks and making repairs.  

While I’m in a roll I’ll give you another example of inefficiency.  When we got our lack of hot water resolved we also arranged to have our boiler serviced.  We are obliged to have this done and registered, the Technico gave us a slip of paper and told us we have to go to the post office and pay 10 euro for the process.   I think the average waiting time at our seldom open and always busy post office is an hour.  Wouldn’t it be simpler for the heating engineers to take an extra 10 euro and process all service registrations say at the end of each week.  No no, that’s far too sensible, every single customer must get to a post office, possibly having to travel
 and waste their time waiting.

Yes I am somewhat out of love with Italy, we’ve had 20 years of all this madness and the novelty is wearing off.  If it wasn’t for our cats, our lovely garden, the wine and our wonderful summer outdoor life I’d be thinking seriously about the situation

Speaking of which my wisteria is as ever gorgeous and MrFF is getting his moneys worth from the sun lounger, he tells me work to repair the terrace will start tomorrow.  We spoke to a friend about the damp penetration, he said 4 years is the average time before a terrace starts to break down.  I don’t think it occurred to him there must be a better way, it never does.


  1. Our weather along the south coast gas been much the same as yours, lovely sunny days, some with cooler breezes, cool at night. We are hoping summer is so close.

  2. It is cold here in The Dales after a warm spell - fires, central heating everything and still cold.

  3. Very frustrating for you - hope the "pros" out weigh the "cons"!

  4. I'm sorry your trees have been hacked, so frustrating for you. An old neighbour once took it upon himself to remove a beautiful forsythia from my garden as it was starting to encroach on my drive. He thought he was making life easier for me but I was so annoyed! I had to let it go as they were lovely neighbours.

  5. Can you take the cats back to Yorkshire?

  6. The challenges of having a second home and having to endure work being done in your absence. All very familiar here in France and we too have moments when we think we've had enough. But those moments are forgotten when we remember all the good reasons why we are here.
    Those cats are gorgeous.