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

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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

of heat, festas and getting ready for winter

Sorry again about the long gap between postings. We’ve been suffering a bit of a heat wave since last time. The mercury climbed to 40°C and above and people were advised to stay indoors between 10 am and 5 pm, which we pretty much did and just vegetated. Especially as our plot in Arcola is east facing, we couldn’t get up early enough to escape the heat. We just paid a daily visit in the evening to water everything and keep things ticking over. And of course it’s festa season, so often we’ve been spending our evenings at some sagra, festa or other. Since our village has not been connected to broadband yet, that means that I tend to do my postings in the evening, when phone line costs are lower and the weekends have also been taken up by events. Finally we have had quite a few visitors recently and people to see, keeping us pretty busy.

The latest festa was the medieval one in Fosdinovo last weekend. We were there with my cousin Monica and her family, who are over from Holland at the moment. Above some impressions. The guy in the cage asked me to pass the photo on to Amnesty International… We also celebrated our next door neighbour Piero’s 50th birthday last week. The whole neighbourhood got together to organize a surprise party for him at a local restaurant. We played plenty of music and even the owner of the restaurant joined in giving some renditions of popular Italian songs on the guitar. The collection for Piero’s present bought him a more powerful CD player/stereo system to replace his old radio/cassette player, so he can keep us awake at night even more persistently. Well, we love him, really.

We also met up with Pam and John from Derbyshire again at their little house in Calice al Cornoviglio. They have a lovely place there and they showed us their cantina, which has a lot of old, unused winery equipment in it. They very kindly offered them to us, as they aren’t any use to them. So one of the next few days we’ll be up there to collect it, a crusher, a press, a corker and various 20 litre demijohns. I’m chuffed to bits, just in time for this years harvest. We should now also be able to make some cider this year.

Meanwhile on our land things are developing at pace. We’re still eating courgettes, as well as beans, almost daily lettuces, cucumbers, cabbages, celery, figs. Any day now we are awaiting the first tomatoes to turn red, the early pears and late plums to ripen, the first aubergines to show, the accidentally sowed out melons to grow to full size (at the moment about the size of a tennis ball). The heat wave has abated in the last 3 or 4 days, although it’s still warm and dry. Today we started off really early as it’s the waxing moon again (sowing time) and ploughed over another terrace with Frank the motozappa. We sowed out parsley, Swiss chard, fennel and beans there. Tomorrow we’ll do another session like that to make sure plenty of things will be growing later in autumn and over the winter.

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