A gift of flowers for Mother's Day and a family meal was enjoyed this week.
Our chef grandson came 4th in the finals of this year's Young Chef of the Year competition organised by The International Association of Gastronomy (la Chaine des Rotisseurs). Yesterday he flew to Valencia, Spain to do some training at the Michelin restaurant RiFF owned by the chef Bernd Knoller.
We've had some more odd weather again with more snow and then sunshine. All the seedlings except for the new garlic sets are kept indoors as the covered yard is not heated. Even in the house the temperature drops during the night and the flower and vegetable seedlings are taken off the window sills. A lovely sight is to see the peach tree in the covered yard in blossom. Perhaps we'll get some peaches again this year?
This time last year we were in Italy, but we're looking forward to going next month and have just organised our travel arrangements. We need to do a lot more work on house maintenance, especially on replacing some wooden support beams in the roof. My husband did a few of these last year, but it's heavy and dusty work. Before he could start a hornets' nest had to be removed. I hope they haven't returned as these insects give a powerful sting and are dangerous for anyone allergic as is the case in my family. The nest seemed to be empty, but we did find the odd hornet flying around so even though I took photos I was very careful doing it.
Getting up into the roof space is complicated as the access is through a hatch located in the upper floor family bathroom. It was difficult to carry the beam up the ladder and then some of the roof tiles had to be removed and some smaller wooden supports repaired before nailing in the new beam. I held the ladder when my husband climbed up into the roof just in case it slipped on the marble floor. He also had to climb out of the hole he had made and up onto the roof in order to replace the tiles that he'd stacked there. In March the weather is as unpredictable as our own in the UK so it was important to get the work done as it looked as if it was going to rain.
Today, 8th March, is International Women's Day when we express our solidarity with other girls and women around the world. In Italy we give one another bunches of mimosa which is the Italian flower associated with the day. Mimosa is blooming in March and can be gathered without having to go to the expense of buying flowers. Places are decorated with branches of mimosa and there are meetings highlighting the human rights and the plight of women and girls around the world who live in oppressive conditions. On Saturday our city university will be hosting a day of workshops and talks.