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

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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Of Stray cats and Pilgrims

This is our latest house mate up there; we call him Garfield, because he is the spitting image of the famous cartoon cat. He does not seem to belong to anyone in particular, but he’s a clever cat and knows how to beg. On balmy nights he does not mind striding the alleys of Ponzano Superiore, but on rainy ones like tonight he seeks shelter with softies like us. As you can see he already feels quite at home and he fell asleep as soon as he had finished reading a couple of chapters of this thriller. He purrs very loudly and at night he has been known to snore loudly, but he’s such a dear we can’t bring ourselves to throw him out.

The weather just started to turn again this afternoon. This morning we were in Villa under grey skies, bottling the cider (it’s delicious!) and carrying on the strimming job until we succumbed to a fine drizzle slowly making work unpleasant. By the time we got home we were enveloped in low cloud and the rain set in in earnest. The weekend and Monday was mostly fine, with just the odd light shower on Saturday. Our neighbours used the dry spell to get their heavy olive crops in, but we decided to delay as at least one of our trees bears a particularly late ripening variety. We on the other hand got on top of the weeding on the late vegetable beds.

Yesterday we had some pilgrim visitors: Babette and Paul, the authors of a guide to the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrim’s route from Canterbury to Rome, came to see us while re-checking part of the route for a new edition. We had them around for lunch which extended to an all day affair. We found we had a lot of things in common, including a certain wanderlust, and it was a real pleasure finally meeting them in the flesh after having known them for some time purely as ‘virtual friends’ from the internet. I had a feeling we would be on a similar wavelength, but you never quite know until you actually meet people. They are planning to move closer to us, from Brittany to the Provence and I for one hope to see them again in the not too distant future. On their books see http://www.pilgrimagepublications.com/

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