Monday, 13 February 2012

Luxurious Hot Bath, Twenty Quintale of Logs, Full Moon and Two Scorpions!

Well, it's been a difficult week in some respects, no mains water for the best part  which had Em and I recycling the water for hot water bottles and being as inventive and economical as possible.
The icy weather had frozen up the pipe which normally carries water up to our house.
So cold, even the bottled water I left in the car over-night, had frozen!!!
It certainly made us think how much we take running water for granted, a good lesson perhaps!

Our dear friends Eva and Chris, who live on the other side of the valley, very kindly invited us up to have a bath, so I took them up on the offer!
Fantastic! We only have showers at the moment, so a bath was even more luxurious, Chris even ran it for me, scattering bath salts with bits of olive leaves into the running water!
Em bathed at home in the blue washing tub she managed to fill with boiling water, talk about going back in time!!!

We were due to have a delivery of logs, but unfortunately Luca couldn't make it for a few days so we were pleased when they finally arrived, even the rabbit came out to celebrate!
This year we will be more organised, have a delivery every other month and build up supplies, giving it extra seasoning time as well!

This is how 20 quintale looks!

On Tuesday night, I lit the stufa in the bathroom and in semi darkness, flopped on the chaise.
So lovely taking in the twinkly lights, a sign of village life around us and the beautiful full moon, emitting a feeling of new hope.
I would never want curtains on the bathroom windows, (not a problem up here in the woods!), they would block out important light and energy, so calming and peaceful.

We have barely seen scorpions whilst living up here, although, of course they are quite common.
Still, this week we saw two in one day!
I am told the sting they can inflict, which incidentally is only venomous during August, is about the same as that of a wasp or bee sting.
Perhaps ours arrived with the wood!
Not wanting to actually kill them, I scooped them up and placed them outside.
I had to be quick they are pretty swift movers!!!

                            Em organised the collection of kindling, a lovely big basket to keep us going!

                                                  A pair of old busybodies just looked on!!!!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


A restful night of uninterrupted sleep, thanks to the wonderful new wood burning stufa just fitted in our bathroom!
Awakening to the intoxicating smell of wood, since burned out.
Wind blustering at top speed around the house, whipping through the trees, capturing anything in it's path, flinging it far and wide.

                         It feels so comforting being tucked in, sheltered from that bitter cold wind.

I am taken away from my blissful retreat by two dogs willing me to appear and take them for a walk!
Day four without water and I am going to have to boil up some of the water we collected from the spring yesterday.
It would be so easy to despair, not being able to have my morning shower, but I distract my frustration, bundle on my clothes, layer after layer ready to meet the day!

The wind fills me, it is exhilarating whipping around me as it changes direction!
Charlie and Pepe run as they try and catch up with it!!!
Looking up from my bag as I collect kindling for the fire, I am entranced by the colour of the sky, pale shades of pink, yellow and grey and those majestic mountains capped with snow!

Count my blessings I say, the wind has bought vigour, a great new energy.
My bag is full of wood to get my fire started, a gift no less!
And I am inspired by the view!


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Home Made Bread and Our Wabbit in the Garden!

There is something rather comforting about baking bread, especially on a bitterly cold day, and more comforting still....... eating it!
I have to admit it has been a couple of years since I baked a loaf, so I am no expert, however, it tasted good and I  found it quite therapeutic!
This recipe came from one of my Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall books, which I mention only because I found a tip.......  by placing a roasting tin of boiling water at the bottom of the oven just before baking the bread, it will give it a good crust and help it to rise!  
What made it really exciting was the fact that the flour is milled locally in our village by Zangani Mauro E Figli, fantastic!

                       I am so delighted to see Wabbit enjoying her life to the full in our garden!

Last summer Em didn't manage to catch her after she had spent the best part of the day hopping around and sunning herself on the swing.
We never did feel too happy about her being in a hutch!
Wabbit has made a new home in a gap under one of the terraces, although we were fearful to begin with, she has absolutely thrived munching her way around on whatever she fancies, popping out to see us every day!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Crunching snow, crisp under foot.
Visible on the mountain peaks, last Sunday, falling around us by Tuesday, the last day of January !
So cold this evening as I walked the dogs, that kind of bitterly cold where your nails hurt!!!
Iced up leaves in pools of frozen water, beautiful natural light.