I'm still without a camera, but I'll carry on giving you some visual contributions out of the archives, starting with that nicely seasonal shot of a pomegranate from last year round about this time (our own pomegranate does alas not produce yet, it was only planted last year).
Sorry I've been off-line for a bit. After getting the olives pressed we gave the olive grove a few days rest, partially because we had neglected our own plot for a bit and partially because the car played up, making it difficult to reach the place. The weather had continued to be balmy and at times positively spring-like. Hence weeds were still happily growing alongside our crops. Susan attacked them around the broad beans, peas, fennel, celery and strawberries (we're still picking the odd one!). I in the mean time dug over the former tomato terrace, still finding a few potatoes (from the year before...) and pruned some of the fruit trees.
By last weekend we managed to sort out the car (leaving us considerably poorer) and we got back into the olive grove to prune the remaining dozen or so trees. Before we could get stuck into that, we had a bit of tidying up to do. In the rush to get as many olives as possible harvested, I had left the prunings to lie where they fell. there were now so many of them that we couldn't move along the terraces any more!
So picture this if you will (in the absence of any current photos, you're going to have to use your imagination a bit more): There are 5 terraces with some 40 olive trees. The terraces are not quite as steep as the 18 on our land (any steeper and we would fall off the side of the mountain together with our herd of mountain goats), (no, we don't really have any mountain goats), (too steep for them...), but still, steep enough. Some of the trees, especially on the lower terraces, I had to reduce considerably in size, i.e. from something like 20 foot to more like 10 foot. The only sensible way of getting rid of all the leafy, twiggy part of the prunings is to burn them on a large bonfire. The larger parts can be cut into logs for firewood and than taken home.
The only safe place to light said bonfire is on the top terrace, whilst the car is parked another terrace above that. So yours truly runs up and down those terraces, each time returning with an armful of cuttings to carry them to her indoors, sorry her outdoors, who has the cushy job of keeping herself warm by the fire, making sure it wasn't setting the village alight. Occasionally I would have to clamber up even higher with the really heavy bits of timber.
And all that for TWO SOLID DAYS! The first 1 1/2 days of the procedure, we both were shedding layer after layer of clothing as the sun shone on us and we were keeping ourselves warm (as I say, me working and Susan by the fire...), but by Sunday afternoon, all of a sudden, winter arrived. No it hasn't snowed, but a chilly, stiff northern wind has been blowing down the valley ever since. So this gives you an idea how much we have already cut off those trees, and we've got another dozen trees to go. Mind you we won't have any shortage of firewood for a while. Every time we return from there, the car is full to the rafters.
Here's a wintry sunrise view from our bedroom window onto the Versilia coastline.
And here a wintry view of our village from above:
While we are on village views, here is a nice drawing of our village. We live in the large house just in front of the church tower.
Anyway, to fight off the big chill, we lit a big olive wood fire in our kitchen (we do have a fire place with chimney, so don't worry...) and finally got to do the annual Christmas biscuit baking fest. About 10 different varieties this year! It's nothing like an evening by the fire with the smell of freshly baked Christmas biscuits. It takes me back to my childhood (although we didn't have a fireplace, but an oil oven which stank the place out something chronic).