Friday, 1 June 2012


 How lucky we are to have freedom......

The lane through the woods took us to Laura and Luciano's..... a walk to lunch!
Our lovely neighbours wanted to see Lauren before she left for England.

Feasting on home made pasta with a duck sauce, pasta with a scrumdiddly sauce,(the only word to describe it!!!), made from mushrooms Laura had found that morning in the woods, followed by torte vedure, scabei, roasted duck,(their own of course!), tiny home grown roasted potatoes and freshly picked salad leaves, followed by ice cream and coffee!

For us, a walk to Laura's is always an occasion.
The welcome we receive from the family is the warmest, and somehow all the effort of gathering and preparing food gives us a deep feeling of being loved!

Coffee was taken outside in glorious sunshine!

FoFo, the goose wandered through to see us!......

He hasn't been the same since his partner was eaten by a fox poor he sees Laura as his amore!!!

We chatted the afternoon away learning more of how terrible it was during the German occupation.
Laura's uncle could see the German's arriving down by the cemetery, he quickly killed a pig hiding it in a hole until he could return!
The enemy set fire to the house, destroying the home where Laura was born.
Her family fled to the woods living in an old stone building....... they lived on what ever they could get their hands on, even lizards!

The young Doctor was killed, a relative of the present owners of the Torre.
We must find the place of remembrance dedicated to him somewhere within this woodland.
It's hard to imagine the terror that once reigned in this place of tranquility and beauty.
How lucky we are to have freedom and peace, my wish for everyone.
Freedom from war, starvation, drought, pain and suffering.

Enticing us to stay longer, Laura poured us a tot of her home made blackberry liquor....... we whiled away the rest of the afternoon together!


Until eventually it was time to go home...........

The past weeks have quickly flown by.......
Blackbirds with their bright yellow beaks packed with nesting material fly with great purpose.
Long legged Buttercups line the pathways brightening our route, bright red Poppies fill meadows gently waving along the road side.

  It's a time of year to be celebrated!
Which reminds me......I have an announcement to make!
We have a new addition to the family, a little pipkin of a Jack Russell named Ruby!

Adored by us all she is trying desperately to forge relationships with everyone including the cats, Luna and Teddy, oh and Wabbit.... just a little over zealous perhaps!

Last Saturday we took a trip to market to buy fresh local produce............such a pleasure chatting with the locals. I enjoy the hustle and bustle of market day, the happy smiling faces, brightly coloured fruit, vegetables and general community spirit it conjures up. Once you have bought your groceries the stall holders always tuck a bunch of parsley, a carrot and stick of celery into your basket, a lovely and generous touch!  

On the way we saw the most amazing eagle fly out across the lane directly in front of us, it's wings spanning more than the width of the track!

Talking of birds, I wonder if anyone can identify this one for me?

I thought it was a hawk at first, similar size..........

I welcome all comments please!!!

James came back to see us with his girlfriend Verity, I cooked a seafood risotto and we spent the afternoon catching up in the sun!
Lovely to see him looking well and happy!
The wardrobe he so skilfully made last year stands in our bedroom, a wonderful piece of furniture, with shelves and hanging space, so well thought out.
I have never had a wardrobe like it!
My clothes are usually slung over a chair or the chaise!!!

Interested in photographing and logging the butterflies we see in the garden.....

Any experts out there?!

On May 20th I felt the Earthquake!  
 Yes...the bed moved for me...quite literally!!!
Awoke around 5am drinking fresh hot lemon in bed, when I felt the bed move! The hanging glass lamp swung from side to side...I shouted to Jim unsure if we were experiencing paranormal activity or an earth tremor but he hadn't felt a thing!!!!! The movement from below on my side of the bed eventually stopped, but the lamp continued to swing for some time.........eerie!

I later read the earthquake, 6.0 magnitude, was centred 22 kilometres north-northwest of Bologna, 7 people lost their lives.Italian emergency officials announced it was the worst to hit the region since the 1300s !

Nine days later, Em and I were up in the Tresana area, we stopped off in the small village of Barbarasco only to learn from  the lady in the greengrocers, another earthquake had struck just half an hour or so before we arrived...the lady was visibly shaken!
This was a second to hit the same region with a magnitude of 5.8.
Factories, barns and churches fell, a second blow to thousands whom remained homeless from May the 20th.

The power of natural and unexpected disaster is alarming....makes me realise the fine line we tread, enforcing how much we should live the day!

A couple of nights later, I saw my first Firefly of the year!
An experience that still thrills me!

Cameron tried to save this little field mouse from the clutches of Teddy, dear little thing!

Charlie came too!

An abundance of wild flowers in the garden.......many I would still like to identify........

  First sign of the Cherry Tree bearing fruit.................. even if it was just a handful!

Paolo arranged a dinner party at our house, something he loves to do on a yearly basis!
Arriving with bags of fresh produce he spent the afternoon preparing the feast for ten.
Always a joy to have around I cannot believe we have known Paolo for almost 10 years.
A very dear friend of Em's he has also been over to see us in England, a great one for any adventure, he loves travelling....and cooking!

The following Sunday, Eva and Chris came to lunch......I cooked a traditional English roast beef and yorkshire pud, which went down well, something we don't have much these days!
I was spoiled with this wonderful bunch of glorious Sunflowers!
Thanks Eva and Chris!XX

Work continues in the garden

I love the evening light.........

Occasionally Hargs puts in an appearance!!!

Some just laze around all day and become disgruntled if they are woken!

Whilst others...........clear and create!

Mauro walked along the lane and made an inspection of the new wall, thinking Cameron had built it........he was shocked when I told him it was all Lauren's effort and hard work!!!
He had to do the strength test, checking to see if it wobbled and beamed with delight...........Brava Lauren!

Keep safe everyone................


  1. Excellent blog big sis!!!
    really interesting and great to catch up on life in Italy.
    Shame we cant be with you just yet....

    Lots of love,
    Brother Gary, sister-in-law Stef and Wilson dog

  2. I love reading your blog so much xx

  3. I love reading your blog so much xx

  4. Knittingfairy~ Thank You So very much, so delighted to find your comment. X

  5. Hi Karen!!

    I loved reading your blog!! Made me feel that I was there with you. The photos were great and I really loved seeing Ruby and the cat getting along. They're so adorable!!

    Your friends are very special and I'm glad they are hear to tell the story of survival at a dark time in history!!

    Have a great week Karen!!


  6. Pam!
    So thrilled to find your lovely message here and that you enjoyed this blog!
    Thank You so much~ X