It's now February. February! How did that happen? We're already a good chunk into what I still think of as the new year. I think it's because I am starting to feel increasingly settled here in Italy, the days are going faster, the evenings are getting longer but I sometimes feel that I let days slip … Continue reading How Is It February Already?
One of the things that I try really hard to impress upon visitors is how divided Italy is. Until very recently it was not one country and mobility between towns, cities and across mountain ranges was limited. As a result, regional traditions are more localised than you may have first imagined and remain very much … Continue reading Burning “La Befana” – Very Much A Local Tradition
Happy New Year's Eve! Or "la notte di San Silvestro" in Italian. Whether it's out partying or staying in wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa, I hope you're spending the last few hours of 2017 exactly as you want to spend them. I'm personally not much of a fan of New Year's Eve. … Continue reading New Year’s Eve in Italy… and the importance of lentils!
The second Sunday in September will go down as the day in which both the oven and the dishwasher broke down. Of course, an oven never fails when you're not trying to use it. I had made a plum pie (see here) and was halfway through cooking the roast chicken and potatoes when it conked … Continue reading The Second Sunday in September
The boy and I got hit with a stomach bug this weekend. After just a half-day in the vineyards, we came home and he camped out on the sofa because it was closer to the bathroom whilst I battled a fever from underneath the duvet. Whoever said romance is dead! By the next day, some … Continue reading What Would Be Your Dream Kitchen?
"What do you mean, the old men of the village don’t come over to take a look at a building site in the UK?" asked my Italian friend, bewildered. I was asking why, over the last month or so, a stream of people have walked, driven and peered over at our ongoing - and increasing … Continue reading The Return of the Goat
Setting up life in a new country is never simple. That said, it's been almost exactly one year since I made the decision to move and I don't regret it at all. For every "that didn't work out the way I thought it would" set-back (I wouldn't go so far as to say failure, although … Continue reading Fortune Favours The Bold
It's been really boiling hot this week and often without as much as the slightest breeze. Temperatures will easily soar above 30 degrees (86F) every day... and what makes it particularly unbearable is that it doesn't start getting cool until at least 10pm at night. Normally I like standing in the kitchen, spatula in hand, … Continue reading Some Like It Hot
Picture an old house, on a hill, in the lush Italian countryside, completely surrounded by vineyards. Sounds idyllic, right? Especially if you've seen or read "Under The Tuscan Sun" you'll already have indulged yourself in a fantasy of doing up a house in Italy. Read this superb article in The New Yorker if you're under any … Continue reading Renovating A House In Italy Is Nothing Like “Under The Tuscan Sun”
You may remember from my post ten days ago (Building A Life) that building works have started recently on the house next-door. Consequently, my daily routine has now been set to a soundtrack of drilling, banging and grinding of heavy machinery. It starts at 7am and plays on loop until 5pm, with just one hour … Continue reading On Shaky Foundations?