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My traditional British Christmas cake laden with candied fruit, nuts, deepest dark muscovado sugar and of course plenty of alcohol is now slowly baking in the oven here at Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse
President of the Republic Napolitano is the person given the honour this year of switching on the “World’s Largest Christmas Tree” in our local town of Gubbio on 7 November followed by a firework display – a “not to be missed” event
It’s beginning to feel like Christmas !!

It is a wet and thoroughly miserable day here in Umbria today.  It seems that after a summer of intense heat, never-ending sunshine and balmy weather we are now receiving the rain in almost quantities experienced by many other countries.  Recently there was bad flooding in parts of Umbria, fortunately Bellaugello Gay Guest House being situated half way up a hill was not flooded, just rather soggy.  I seem to spend my time clearing ditches, cleaning the swimming pool of never ending quantities of fallen leaves, drying decidedly damp dogs and generally mopping up.

So it was in the barrage of rain that I headed off to my local town of Gubbio to do the mundane, get some shopping and pick up my repeat prescription from the doctor.  My doctor is a great chap, not only a good medical man, but also highly versed in homeopathy, the sort of guy you can chat to and feel reassured.

Whilst checking online my prescription he remarked that the local area health board have me down as requiring a winter ‘flu jab.  Now I am not a fan of the winter ‘flu jab.  Many years ago I had friends in England who annually took the jab, and it was them that seemed to suffer the most from winter colds and ‘flu.  Despite my asthma I have never succumbed to the jab, in common with almost everybody I get the odd winter cold but through time manage to shrug it off, and it was this sentiment I expressed to my doctor.  He was in total agreement, citing research done in the USA into early causes of death on asthmatic patients which showed that 70% had taken the jab, not a good prognosis.  His advice said with beaming smile was clear as day.  He needs to administer it to keep his job,  “consider it done!”

Still looking for your husband /boyfriend /partner’s Christmas present???  I have a couple of suggestions covering all budgets:

The excellent choice of snapping up one of the last available Suites for our New Year’s Eve Houseparty 2012/2013 here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in glorious Umbria – a gift at prices from €735,00 per couple anyone could afford.  For full details Click the link: NEW YEAR’S EVE HOUSEPARTY DETAILS

For those of you looking for a wonderful way to invest your bonus, wanting to change your life, come and live “La Dolce Vita”  or simply have a base in Italy, I have a fabulous proposition for you:

A good friend of mine has his country house for sale.  The house immersed in the Umbrian countryside is 15km from the enchanting town of Gubbio.  Built in the 1980’s is 210 mq on two levels, upper level, living room, three bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom, ground floor, stores, workshop and garage.  Surrounded by level land of 1.2 hectares including garden, vegetable garden and some olive trees.

For €340,000 you get a fine house, 1.2ha of fertile flat land, a handful of olive trees,  city water connection, electricity, telephone, central heating, a private well, stunning views and the chance to restyle it to your own taste.  The house is ready for you to move into but reflected in the asking price it could benefit from a bit of cosmetic modernisation,  none the less is still a family home and lived in today.  I understand that the house could be extended by as much as 100mq and permission would be granted for a swimming pool.  For the work of applying for all the permissions and planning I can happily recommend my Geometra.

The views are fantastic, the house has potential as either a private home or bed and breakfast,  and you can move in soon, my friend also has a town house so completion could be swift and you could soon be living in your dream Italian property!

If you are interested in the house, do leave a post comment or email me and I will happily put you in touch with the seller

A semi organized visit yesterday, in that the guys had sent an SMS, stating that they were planning to call in on their way back to Holland in the afternoon, but having sent the SMS to my fixed line it resulted in my not receiving the message and being horribly unprepared when they showed up at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, here in the beautiful Umbrian countryside.

I was expecting them, at the end of this week, the day had not been precisely fixed, the visit had been arranged, but stupidly I did not contact them, instead left it to them to contact me, hence the misunderstanding.  I planned to cook a batch of my lavender cup cakes for them to take for the journey home.  Instead they caught me dressed in ‘workie’ clothes busy putting a coat of wood preservative on the outdoor woodwork.  I was scruff personified, not expecting visitors, I was taking the opportunity of sunshine and a deserted house to get on with maintenance work, how embarrassing!

I swiftly took them up to my kitchen and set about making Scotch pancakes, those easy and quick but delicious cakes, thinking they were passing through today not yesterday I had nothing prepared.  We sat at the table in my kitchen overlooking the vast panorama to the Apennines and Monte Subasio, the hill that hides Assisi from my view, and whilst the coffee brewed and pancakes were cooked, three packages were revealed.

I am the lucky recipient of a very large quantity of Tulip bulbs from Holland, such a generous gift.  Today I went to the agricultural supplier in Gubbio and bought two sacks of compost and am now off into the garden, once again it is a beautiful sunny day, and will plant lots and lots of pots of Tulip bulbs.

The gardens at Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse will be a riot of colour next spring.  A big “Thank You” to the guys from Almere