like a grove


Take a look at that; it’s my new olive tree courtesy of my lovely daughters and son-in-laws for Father’s Day. I love it. We are true olive geeks now having lived with our own grove in Italy. As mad as it may sound it drives me nuts not being there to tend to them, work on the pruning and so on. It won’t be long before we need to head off out there for the olive picking again. Good job too because for the first time in over 6 years we are running out of our oil. Arggh. Still to make me feel better I can pop out onto our balcony here and feed my nurturing need by removing any yellow leaves from not just the latest tree but also from the one got for me by Simon and Jayne for my 60th. So we now have a beautiful two-tree olive grove here in Teddington to complement the Italy ‘estate’. Ha! Here’s a shot of the ulivi twins:


And that chair is where I’ll be sat with a glass of wine in my hand once British summer time eventually starts.



farewell to brrr

You might have seen a strange bright object in the sky this last week accompanied by a weird warm feeling. Yes it was a bit of spring with temps rising to double figures at long last. Hurrah! Jeez it feels like we’ve had a very long and cold winter doesn’t it? And we haven’t had it quite as bad as some places. I wouldn’t say the shorts and pale white legs are out yet but the coats have definitely been packed away again and it’s hats in the air to some sunshine!  Continue reading

oil bonanza

Well the weather here’s been glorious this week-end and rather than wait until returning from the UK we decided to plough on with the olive picking. Last night we finished around 5pm – we’d been at it non-stop for nearly 5 days. C had a really bad bite on her leg which was terribly sore but she spent all day with me picking the fruit, as did R. We were also joined by Megan and Marcel a young Australian couple who are our neighbour P’s latest house-guests. They’re great company and they’d promised to help out despite feeling a littel jaded from dinner and a few drinks at our place the night before. That was in return for P treating us all to lunch out earlier in the week which was v kind of her.

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in giardino

Well it’s been an absolutely beautiful day here and so we decided to do some much-needed gardening. It really is in a bad state after our being away for over a year. I’ve just about run out of kindling for the fire so first off we collected up all the pruned branches from the olive trees still laying around. Then when I was chopping off all the leafy/twiggy  bits C was  rooting out all the tall weeds and crappy little trees that shoot up all over the place. It took us about 4 hours to pile up 3 huge  mounds of garden debris and a new stockpile of olive offcut kindling. The paesan work is highly satisfying as the garden is starting to look a little clearer. We’ve just had hot showers and come down stairs and now we are both feel as….. stiff as boards. Every frigging muscle in my body is screaming at me, What were you thinking???!!! Just typing this is proving a struggle. I’m just about to pop out to go and try and find somewhere open to buy some wine. Neighbour P is coming over for dinner. If we can stay awake that is.


back for the olive picking

Well it’s been a while since I did a posting about Italy – simply because we haven’t been there for some time. C’s mum’s deteriorating situation throughout much of September and October meant that it was impossible for us to get out there. We knew the olives needed picking but they would just have to wait. After the funeral we set out the following week, just C and I. We hadn’t been there since taking S my grandson in the summer when we had to deal with the Birds! What would this visit throw up? Continue reading