We're back from a trip to Italy. This year because of health problems we were a month late in getting there, but we managed the travelling and were ready for the change of scene.
This year we missed the gathering of the grapes and the beginning of the process for making wine. The harvest was poor due to frost and hailstorms damaging the newly-formed grapes and many of our relatives bought grapes from elsewhere to make some wine for their own use. The olives have also been gathered and pressed to produce oil for home consumption. My sister-in-law and her husband who used to live in England were pleased with the amount of oil that was produced from their olive trees on the land around their house. These trees are relatively new having been planted some ten years ago. As usual we were given fresh eggs, vegetables, oil, wine and other produce whilst we were there and invited for meals. My sister-in-law had looked after the house since we were over in April, although I don't expect her to as she's not in good health. In fact, none of us can do what we used to. (My husband is the youngest male of a large family and has two younger sisters. We're all in our late sixties, seventies and eighties). On the other hand, everyone lives nearby with a sister and a brother and their families living along the lane from our house. Our car was a little unreliable, but it needs using and by the end of the time away it was ticking over when we needed to go out. There were offers of lifts if necessary.
I keep a daily journal so I shall reproduce some notes here with photos of our time in Italy on my blog. Since house and garden maintenance tasks remain mainly the same from season-to-season and year-to-year regular readers will probably want to give this blog post a miss. Other blog posts will be about some practicalities of travelling and living in Italy, the usual visit to the Abbey church and one or two posts on places in Rome's historic city centre.
Above is how we left the grounds in April.
The vines this November, pretty to look at but a lot of work needed to
clear up the falling leaves.
The first afternoon when we arrived there was thunder, lightening and heavy rain so that the man with the tractor and mower could not come until the vegetation had dried out. The land was once a vineyard until my husband decided to cut down the plants because gathering the grapes and producing wine was no longer viable, but the wild vines continue to grow through. Renovating the land is not an option.
After two days of drizzly rain we woke up to frost first thing in the morning followed by sun and blue skies and the rest of our time we were thankful for good, dry weather.
Pruning the long branches on the vines and tying them back onto the supporting wires
One or two roses were still blooming.
Sundown and snow on the distant mountains
We were glad of the wood burning stove that runs the central heating and gives us hot water.
It's an alternative to the calor gas central heating system which we can also use.
the super moon
Looking forward to catching up with your news. Wishing you a good day,