Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Still raining

Since my last post we have had only one day when it didn’t rain, yesterday it bucketed it down in the afternoon and again during the night.   It started again mid morning, now we have light showers and some sun.    We are sodden, if things didn’t improve soon I shall be cross.
We have ordered more wood for the stove, we are eating winter food, my great niece Amelia is thinking of knitting me a scarf to keep we warm.  Amelia is 8 and asked me to teach her to knit before we left the UK, I was deeply touched by her concern and her enthusiasm.
I’ll let you know as soon as the weather returns to normal, meantime stay where you are there is nothing for you here.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Some progress much precipitation

Things have been going along nicely, apart that is from Crema deciding she did prefer to live with Mario and his two male cats and,ade her way back.  We keep meaning to visit her but so far have only succeeded in sending down a large bag of cat food, maybe that will remind her of us.  Grigio is well settled here.  When  our local shepherd and cheese maker called at the weekend we asked if Grigio had been at his farm over winter but he said not do we are no wiser where she has been.  The large grey male we unkindly called the nasty party last year has been renamed Enrico and is doing his best to be friendly.  No sign at all of Theo, we have to be content with what we have.
The gardening continues, two steps forward one back.  A porcupine came and are some of my cutting and took the tops out of almost all the 24 tomato plants Mr FF had put.  The culprit left footprints in the earth and also demolished several large clumps of wild iris growing on the bank opposite us, the fleshy tubers seem to be a favourite with the porcupine.
The major project to make a sitting out area and paving for the inflatable pool continues.  Mr FF is currently taking up lawn and back filling the new raised planting area which I have in mind for slightly tender plants as there is good protection from walls on two sides. Perhaps a lemon as the one I have in a pot has been cut back over the last two winters and failed to fruit.  A bougainvillea might be worth a try too, the one I put in my border only lasted a year.
However over the last four days or so we have been totally set back by rain and cooler temperatures, we have never known such weather in May.  It feels like winter, the socks and jumpers are back on and we are lighting the wood burner.  Things had better improve soon as we don’t have that much wood in stock.  I know the UK is enjoying glorious sunshine while I am going a little crazy as we sit looking out at low cloud and the forecast isn’t for much improvement.  I’m trying to look at the benefits of all this water, certainly everywhere is beautifully green but positivity never was one if my strong points, I want the sun back,  please UK return it soon I can offer you rain.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018


We arrived at our house in Lazio Friday evening and spent a few days unpacking the car,  knocking down the cobwebs and felling the knee high lawn.  Everything is beautifully green after an exceptionally wet spring,  there is a lot of blossom on the trees, many wild flowers and the cuckoo is around.  The sun shines every day, our white limbs are on display and we are back to our outdoor life.
There had been no sign of the cats for the first few days, despite much calling, though Mario said the Grigio was still being fed at his house but going off until the next meal, so we didn’t see her when we called in as we arrived.   Then this morning I saw Grigio walk past the kitchen window, she had plenty to say to us.  We were all delighted to see each other and we thought she was pretty smart realising we were back and walking the half mile or so from Marios.
Mid morning Mario arrived and we showed him Grigio but he said that wasn’t the cat living at his house and he hadn’t seen this one for a long time. So we went down to Marios and after some calling Crema appeared, obviously the two names and colours had been confused.  Mario insisted we bring Crema back in his car, she wasn’t at all happy and neither was I so I decided to walk back leaving the men in the car with a rampaging cat.  Once home Crema took refuge under our car for a while, disappeared, reappeared, spat at her long lost sister and generally took offence.  Grigio on the other hand is adorable, still lots to say, following us around in case we take off again and has slipped back into her previous life.  She is stretched out beside me on the sofa as I type.
I hope Crema comes round, if she does decide to go back to Marios we will respect her choice but we really want her to stay.  We are so happy to see the two kitties alive and well, four days of travelling, four days of waiting and finally we are reunited.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

All change

Finally we are moving back to our other life.  We leave for Lazio soon, I won't tell you exactly when in case Mark Zukerberg broadcasts this to the world.  
I haven't started my clothes packing yet, which is an ordeal in itself, but I have sorted out all the other bits and pieces I've sourced while we've been in the UK.  Survival essentials like Yorkshire Tea of course, muesli, you can't get a decent muesli in Italy and whilst I can't take enough for 6 months its nice to have a pack or two to eek out.  Why did I think those lanterns, much reduced as a local interiors shop was having a refurb, would be easy to transport.  They are pretty and will be great in our revamped Italian garden, but packing them safely is a challenge.  The sparkly flameless candles are lovely too, battery operated, again for the garden and in the Laura Ashley sale.
Lots of gifts to take, everyone wants Cheddar cheese, biscuits, UK magazines.
Whilst in Italy I make a list of what we will need for the following year,  toiletries because I like my regular brands, new bed linen, books, but back in the UK I start to doubt myself. Does it mean because I haven't included shower gels that we have enough or did I just forget, best pop in one or two just in case.  Not sure how much sock yarn I left in the house so best to take lots.
Mr FF has got himself a new iPad and has been collecting various IT related items in the hope that we can get some UK telly again, at least when the temperature cools and we stop sitting outside until midnight.  
I'm also taking cat worming tablets, which we can never find in Italy, just in case those little kitties reappear, fingers cross.
Sitting here in socks and jumper with rain hitting against the windows its hard to believe we shall be in the sunshine soon, once we get over the channel I can forget about warm clothing for many months, I can't wait.  
A presto Lazio.

Friday, 30 March 2018


I have knitted two more Estuary scarves with my Sublime yarn, I won't show you again as they are just like the first one.
Waste not want not, I used the remaining yarn to make Winter Berry Cowl by Michele Meadows, an easy and pretty pattern I'd definitely use again probably knitting in the round so the cable runs upwards.  My finished article isn't as long as the pattern suggests but its fine.  I just repeated the 4 rows until I ran out of yarn using almost every scrap of the 75 g I had, this is all that was left.
So I thought it was time a bit more yarn came into the penthouse and recently our lovely postie kindly came up to the top floor, even though he's afraid of our glass lift, to delivery these.
My first yarn purchase of 2018.  Black Sheep Wools are having a clearance on Sirdar Heart and Sole so obviously it was worth making up an order of over £25 for free delivery
I bought 3 x 100g of dancing shoes 
and 4 of country bumpkin.  I don't think I've used this yarn before so I can't comment on the quality but you can't be robbed at £3.99 per 100g.  Sorry I haven't taken the balls out of the plastic bags, I'm sort of telling myself they are going to Italy but I expect I shall soon be casting on and who knows I might need to buy more to take to Lazio.
Because it's Easter it's cold and raining I don't have plans to be out and about much, we are attempting to eat our way through the contents of the freezer before we can leave for Italy.   Happy Easter everyone.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Happy Friday

I received this photo from Amelia and Esme, makes me happy 

Mr FF is happy too, he has been back to the hospital, they have discharged him after his op though suggested he keeps the special boot at big longer in case he needs it.  He has been wearing two slippers and now he is in bare feet allowing the air to get to his wound.  He went to the hospital in Bingley on the bus, celebrated his all clear with a curry in Bradford before travelling on to Leeds and then back to Ilkley.  Since he hasn't been able to drive he's used his bus pass a lot, even leaving Yorkshire to venture into Lancashire.
My brother and his wife are coming to stay for a couple of days, it feels springlike outside, enjoy your weekend.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Everyone's an expert

I was browsing Country Living magazine online recently and came across an article about how knitting is shown to lower blood pressure, tackle depression and help you cope with pain, the article was accompanied by the above image (for the uninitiated the lady is crocheting).  Presumably whoever uploaded it realised knitting involved yarn and needles and imagined this image met both criteria.  Certainly did nothing for my blood pressure.
I am sick to death of people voicing ill informed opinions and over estimating their own knowledge and capabilities.  I used to detest those radio phone in programmes when strange people often late at night rang in to broadcast a tirade of nonsense.   I thought they should be banned. 
Nowadays everyone types their own correspondence, we have so many masters of all trades.  I receive documents that make me laugh out loud at the appalling grammar, the shoddy layouts, the poor command of English.  Of course everyone jumps on the bandwagon of slapping in an apostrophe whenever they use capital letters or a plural or neither.  
Our communal garden is a great example of the idiots taking over the asylum.  We employ a gardener who has no idea when or how plants need to be pruned and does what he likes, he is not a gardener but the ill informed believe he is doing a great job and never wonder why there are so few summer blooms.  Likewise the council staff who come to tend the public gardens.  Every spring I watch them savagely prune the gorse before it can flower and cut back the catkins as they appear.  
Recently one of our management board, a fellow resident, was tasked with ordering bulbs for our lake garden, £500 worth.  He said he had ordered snowdrops, when they arrived they were erythronium, the dogs tooth violet which admittedly are lovely but not snowdrops.  He obviously had no idea of the Latin name for snowdrops (galanthus) and didn't bother to find out.  I pointed out his mistake when I helped with the planting and he replied well they look like snowdrops, they'll be fine.  Unfortunately the poor resident who had put up the money for the bulbs was not so pleased.
On our local Facebook chat page recently there was information about the upcoming annual business awards event.  Some one had written in the comments to the effect that those nominated were a bunch of rich snobs, he made a few spelling mistakes in his comments.  I'm sure he would be delighted if someone wrote on his page that he, his family and friends were a set of chavs.  When I checked this person out he didn't even live in our town so how he knows that everyone running their own business here has too much money or looks down on others is beyond me
The internet has a lot to answer for, my blood boils when I see blatant displays of ignorance.  I am careful what I post, I am not here to be contentious or to voice my political views. I stick to what I know and God forbid I should ever make a fool of myself my stepping outside my areas of expertise (obviously ranting is one of these).  It's such a pity that others don't do the same.