orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

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Friday, 20 June 2008

of friends, the weather, Euro 2008 and tadpoles

Sorry about the long break between entries. There were various reasons for this. One is the 3 ladies pictured above. Our old friends Siobhan and Ellie from Belfast came to see us for a few days. It’s great, we used to work and drink together over 20 years ago for a year in Belfast and since then we only see them every other year or so, when we’re back in Belfast or our paths cross somewhere else, but with them we just seem to pick up as if we saw them yesterday. We showed them the highlights of the area, our plot and the village in Arcola, Lerici, Portovenere, Sarzana and we took them out for a sagra di pesce, a fish fest in Colombiera near Castelnuovo Magra. Just as well the festa was not in our village, otherwise we probably would have been banned from future events for drunkenness in public! Afterwards we kept our village awake until about 5 am by partying into the wee ours listening to ‘70s music.

The weather since the last entry has continued to be very unstable, with intermittent showers, proper rain and heavy storms. Last Friday night the thunder and lightning seemed to bounce around between the sea and the mountains and kept us awake a whole night. The result of this of course was that once again out telephone line went down again for 4 days, so obviously I couldn’t post anything during that time either.

Finally as I had predicted in my last post, Holland did rather well. Their first match a resounding 3-0 against the Italians, then beating the French equally impressively 4-1 and finally the B-team eliminating Romania 2-0. They’ve all of a sudden become the favourites of the tournament! I’ve taken to wearing orange T-shirts for the whole month with ‘Hup Holland’ written on it, just to rub it in with the neighbours. The Italians were only lucky that even our B-team beat Romania, otherwise Italy would already be out of the competition.

The last two days we have finally had no rain at all, it’s getting hot and the forecast is for uninterrupted sunshine for the foreseeable future. Unusually for the time of the year we’ve not had to water at all, but this should change. Quite a few of my plants have actually drowned, such as some of the latest tomato plants I’ve planted out. Yesterday we’ve finally cleared up the last of our terraces in Arcola of the rampant, rain-assisted growth and today we made some progress in Villa clearing some more and cutting off some diseased parts of apple tree. Although today was almost too hot to work and I cooled off in the river again after a hard day’s work. Some people rave about going swimming with the dolphins, while I prefer going swimming with the tadpoles.

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