Brexit, Brentry, in, out, shake it all about, shall we stay or shall we go? it has been a rollercoaster here the past week or so, meanwhile in the sleepy Umbrian countryside the show goes on and as ever I welcome back familiar faces, guest returning once again to spend their holidays at Bellaugello. I believe their decision is a simpler and more informed one, they come here for the peace and quiet, the utter beauty of the place, a place where you can switch off and relax in the company of friends, often friends made here who too return.
I had voted, of course, and it has been interesting having had guests from both sides of the referendum staying, hearing their reasons and also the reactions of my other guests from other countries in Europe. What has been shocking is the utter panic the result instilled to us immigrants and the ensuing frantic searches for European citizenship application forms and requirements. I will apply for dual nationality, and maybe even triple nationality, I qualify for a third country’s citizenship, and might just bag both options. More form filling and history lessons for me.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, it has been a bit shake and stir. Our local town of Gubbio very generously gave funds to the Gay Pride celebrations held this past weekend in Perugia our regional capital. I am delighted that my adoptive town have been so pro-active in their support of the gay community, it is really heartwarming and I thank them greatly. Whilst still on comune talk I have been co-opted onto a tourism committee in our local town of Gubbio, and feel the responsibility to attend meetings that affect the tourism business. I have spent several hours in meetings listening to how everyone expresses themselves, how frustrated and un-cordinated they are and just how at the final hurdle they are really only interested in self promotion, quite a sad eye-opener. Talking of eye openers Mauro who is helping here was walking towards the house from the swimming pool when he nearly trod on a tiny bird. He called me over and we discovered it had only one eye open, presumably the first attempt at flight was traumatic. I fetched a napkin and placed the bird together with a tiny saucerette of water in one of the herb bushes, it winked at us through a groggy eye, but an hour later it had flown, happy to have been on help.
Thinking of the pool, with the hot sunshine the water has reached a very acceptable 28˚c and guys have been enjoying themselves, raising the standards and yet more Bellaugello Backs for you…
The challenge for future guests seems now to be just how high you can lift your butt out of the water for the photo!! “Oh really? Alec” I hear you say “whatever next??””
As well as relaxing poolside guests have enjoyed our barbecue evenings with food cooked over wood embers, sitting together on the terrace, under the stars surrounded by magical dancing fireflies. We set an informal table for our bbqs, I like it that way, and hope that everyone will realise the informality and get up and help themselves, both to food and wines which we keep on the trust bar, and even help with the cooking, but, no, they prefer to be served, so that is what we do!
We were a large group, it was a hugely delightful evening, bubbling conversation and lots of laughs and merriment. The evening was a special one for me and two of my guests as back in April they got married and although this trip to Bellaugello is not part of the of honeymoon, we made it so with one of Isabella’s delicious semifreddo celebration cakes.
The warm weather has brought the colours out in the garden, the Fig of India cactus is especially grand this year and the lavender is just beginning to give generously of its heady perfume…
The weather has not been so kind to everything, and Bobby my dear English Setter suffered a stroke. He has had a rough time of it this year, what with being poisoned by the hunters and then an inner ear infection giving him vertigo, it was distressing when the other morning he quite simply could not get up out of his bed, he was lying splayed on the floor and his eyes were flickering vertically, as I knew from the last time a sure sign of a stroke. Bundled into the car I drove him down the to the vet near Perugia, where my suspicions were confirmed. Another two overnights at the vet’s and finally today I brought him home. He is still weak and wobbly, but understandably seems so happy to be home. Getting into the house he drank an entire bowl of water and thankfully he is eating well, even if I have to give him each piece of meat individually. I have a whole bunch of medicines to give him, including a pill specifically to control Alzheimer’s wow! do dogs actually suffer from Alzheimer’s I did not realise. So now as I type he is lying quietly at my feet, I do not want to think of the prognosis, but want to enjoy his company as he seems to want to enjoy mine, it will be a quiet evening this evening.
Just as other evenings are here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. So often after having cooked supper in their suites and eaten on their respective terraces guests meet up somewhere in our large open spaces and share a glass or two of wine,
Until the hour finally comes, long after the timer has automatically switched off the outside lighting and it is time to hit the hay. Tomorrow is another day…