Today I'm looking back at what we were doing a few months ago as at this slow rate with my writing and posting blogs we'll have returned to Italy in the autumn without sharing more of our experiences there in May!
Stormy weather brought rain...
but the next moment there was a glimmer of sunshine
and there was a rainbow followed by pink clouds..
With much to do on the land we had to work around the days when there was likely to be no rain especially when the main job was to cut the long grass. Everyone was busy doing the same and we had to wait for a day when the man with the tractor and special cutting device could come.
The land in front of our house belongs to relatives and what it's used for changes according to the season. At one time the local shepherd would bring his flock of sheep to graze there, but sadly he passed away a couple of years ago and we miss him. He used to stand or sit in the shade with his sheep dogs before moving on to another patch of land. Mr P would chat to him when he was working in the garden. He was a good age and one day when I was talking to him I realised that he used to come by in all seasons and would watch over our house before taking his flock to the sheep pens further down the lane. Everyone knows everyone else in the village and many of them are immediate or distant relatives. Family members are generous with their time and goods and it seems to be a slower way of life for the retired generation at least or for those who work on the land in trying to be fairly self-sufficient. In my experience, the younger generation of nephews and nieces, (like everywhere) work hard at school and college before going on to study in Rome with the hope of getting a job and they rely on family to support them until they can live independently.
When we arrived in May the relatives had ploughed a piece of their ground and had started growing vegetables. There's no running water on our stretch of the lane so they bring barrels of water to fill a water tank that stands below our retaining wall. Of course, they have other pieces of land elsewhere on which they grow crops or keep livestock.
One fine day just after we had cut our grass and the weather was more settled the couple came by and started to cut the grass by hand. The lady followed her husband as he worked with his hand mower and with a short handled grass hook began shaking and turning over the newly cut grass. The job took all of the afternoon.
On another day the couple came with pitchforks and turned the drying grass over again. I'm sure they did the same on other land that they own nearby. The dried grass would be gathered to feed their livestock.
The birds enjoyed the pickings from the disturbed grass and earth.
Across the lane we know when another neighbour feeds the geese morning and evening because of the noise they make! He lets them out so that they can roam around freely on another part of his land during the day.
We often go and visit Mr. P's sister and her husband who are also our good friends from the days when they lived near us in England. On a Sunday we usually have lunch with them and other family members and friends join us. The subject inevitably turns to land cultivation with a stroll around the land and garden to take a look at what's growing there.
Today in our region of the UK some rain has arrived and it's much cooler. I'm very thankful for the rain after weeks without and very hot weather. We're counting the days until we see our family down south in Berkshire, but we shall be at home here in Yorkshire until then. Meanwhile, all the best. Have a lovely day!