oh italy, you teaser


Well we’re back from visiting our place in Italy. Was it uneventful as I was hoping? At Casa Pasta Paulie – what do you think?

As it happened our outbound journey was easy and comfortable and the weather when we landed was absolutely glorious. We had two lovely days and got the whole house cleaned and aired, our leaky dining room re-decorated and the garden completely cut back. We went to sleep on the Tuesday night so tired but really pleased with our work. And then in the middle of the night a storm blew up almost as physical as a mini tornado. The next morning we awoke to find all of our pretty heavy terrace furniture strewn over the garden and big branches from one of our trees littering the back area. But we got the biggest surprise when we opened the dining room blinds to reveal that one of our two tall poplars overlooking the pool area had been completely uprooted and was now leaning precariously against its twin as if it’s deciding whether to fall into the road or to slice through our recently-installed  pool cover. Here’s a shot taken the day before and you can see the trees standing proudly in the background:

You can see how great the weather was and my newly-strimmed grass! Now here’s a shot the next morning:

Now that’s a drunken poplar. This is when not having an Italian Yellow Pages counts against you. Who do you call in these situations?  We were planning on seeing our friend who sorts all our building/garden/pool maintenance needs that evening for dinner – he would know what to do – with our new neighbors F and B, but as it turned out he couldn’t make it. Ah well we had a pretty fun night as it turned out. Next day we had  a visit from someone in the local Comune on separate business and I showed him the tree and asked if it was the right thing to report it to them. He said it was. Those mountains above look wonderful but they can have a real effect on the local weather and the whole area has suffered a pretty tough winter with hundreds of landslips and mudslides and more than a few road collapses like this one just down the road from us:

You might just be able to make out the new road surface – believe me half the road was missing two days earlier and it had simply fallen into the adjacent field. You can gauge the depth of the drop by seeing how low the JCB digger sits in the field. But despite literally hundreds of mud slips all over the area they’d rebuilt around 10ft depth of buttressing over some 50 mtrs and almost finished repairing the surface inside 48 hours. And this was one of several road failures that we’d come across too. And the M1 near Scratchwod is still paralysed after days of closure.

Anyway we didn’t get an immediate response from the Comune so we’re trying to resolve things from afar. But as well as catching up with former neighbour Pauline (over a fantastic seafood lunch) who was in good form, we did make contact with our new neighbours on two more occasions and got on with them really well. Though I’m not sure they’re totally into the Italian job just yet. The search for la dolce vita can be can be frustratingly elusive as we know only too well. They’ve had a pretty tough first 6 weeks weather-wise and this latest storm had gotten everybody down just a little bit.

The last couple of days were overcast and drizzly but we got a load of clearing work done in the house. We left it, as ever, looking great – clean, fresh, warm  and neatly trimmed. It’s always hard for us to leave our home having spent time and effort getting it just right. The journey home was on a late flight from Rimini into the dreaded Stansted. Surely arriving at close to midnight would mean an easy transit. Nah. This is Stansted. We arrived 20 minutes early to find no ground crew on arrival. Wait 15 minutes. The automated shuttle service into the main terminal was also caught out unawares it seems. Wait 10 minutes.  We ascended into the customs control area to find it completely mobbed. Sigh. Wait 30 more minutes before we got through. Grrr.

We got home at nearly 2am after leaving our place in Italy at 6pm the previous evening. Lonnggg journey. We adore being in Italy with a passion but going/being/leaving there always challenges your love for the place somehow, someway, every time. It’s seductive, giving, inviting but with a mean streak. She’s a tease alright.

pp

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