Tuesday 31 October 2023
Wednesday 18 October 2023
Until a few days ago temperatures were still in the mid 20s and skies were blue. Then we had a much needed day of rain. Now we are in the mid teens, it’s still lovely sunny flip flop weather but a short sleeved t shirt is required rather than a strapy vest. I’ve worked a lot in the garden, I am happy with how it looks after being neglected all summer.
It’s almost olive time, mills in the valley have opened for business but so far we haven’t heard any pickers around us. As the fruit turns black it becomes much more apparent what sort of crop we have, I’d say not great but not too bad this year, time will tell.Happy days of calm, filthy feet and knitting, yes I am going to wash them now.
Sunday 8 October 2023
When we bought this house 20 years ago the garden wasn’t great and of course I had no idea what plants there were. I’ve nurtured them all with compost from the heap we started, occasionally organic fertiliser and no chemicals at all.
In particular outside the kitchen door, in an area where I now grow herbs, there was a stick about 12” high with few leaves, I initially thought it might be a bay. Over the years as it improved I realised it was a citrus, I assumed a lemon. It grew tall, it’s now about 8 feet high, healthy if not well shaped and I’ve never seen it flower. I often empty the teapot onto its roots, Yorkshire tea must work wonders because when we returned this time I spotted a small fruit and it’s an orange. Makes we so happy even though I won’t be here to see it ripen.
Tuesday 3 October 2023
We decided to support the event even without celebrities and Saturday afternoon wandered down to the village to be in place for the 2 pm start. Oddly there was no one else in the street, we chose a position where the road forked between the village centre and the climb out and up. After a while the first motorbike arrived, actually a scooter, with a red flag attached to the rear. The driver stopped to ask us which way to go.
The riders as in the major tours were set off at intervals, some with a scooter accompanying them some not. Most of them asked us for directions, clearly the A4 size direction posters were not apparent or well located. We decided to take charge, MrFF who deserved a high viz jacket stood blocking the route into the village centre and pointing the right way while I provided the applause with shouts of bravo and allez allez allez. The riders were so appreciative, I didn’t want them to waste their breath shouting grazie but they did.
The roads weren’t closed for the race, it was worrying when an elderly couple drove up and started manoeuvring their car into a parking space outside the minimarket, again MrFF took control. It was even more worrying when the race director, he had an A4 sheet of paper stuck in the back window of his car confirming who he was and was wearing a suitably sporty t shirt. We assumed he knew the route, it was a choice of two and he was supposedly the man in charge. First he tried to drive into the village centre then came back to ask us the way. I felt real despair. He decided to park outside the minimarket then to reverse out again just as a rider was passing, I think he understood our shouts of stop and I hope he realised from our scowls that we thought he was useless.
Another spectator arrived, increasing the crowd by 50% but only to tell us all the riders had passed, so that was it. I am sure the guys got a good ride out but really it was a disgrace of the usual standard.
There was very little reporting, just a few badly taken photographs on the village Facebook page, mostly of local dignitaries and the village beauty queen. I have no idea who won or in what time, I expect because of the staggered start the man with the watch is having difficulty with the calculations. It was all so very Italian.