A message last night from a really good and kind friend asking if all is ok and enquiring why I had not posted on my blog for almost one month has got me back to the keyboard in my gay paradise. I replied to him that I have not felt inspired to write, the hot summer days have rather taken up all my time, and I have been enjoying the company of and looking after my many guests.
August has been a great month, the weather is delicious. By day azure skies, in the evening a myriad of stars and the red warming presence of Mars in the southern sky. Temperatures have been in the low 30˚s centigrade and a light breeze has wafted the heady scent of lavender over the gardens and pool. I simply adore our infinity pool. As well as being a place to laze, cool off and enjoy the spectacular panorama it is a pool long enough for serious swimming…
I have found myself more in the kitchen this summer and have enjoyed both the act of cooking, and the rediscovering of recipes and filling the air with scents of baking and jam making. One of the most often ask for cakes is our ‘Bellaugello’ breakfast cake. Always slightly cheeky, different and delicious. The gay paradise team is always curious to see which part is devoured first.
Back once again for their holidays two guys from Germany brought me a gift of a decorated ceramic ‘kugelhopf’ mould and Bernd spent time in the kitchen showing me how he makes this most delicious of cakes. I watched intently as he carefully measured the ingredients and, like me so evidently cooked with love. The result was so delicious:
As we all feasted we had a discussion over breakfast as to the name – Kugelhopf or Gugelhopf, it seems both are correct. Of course cooking is not only done in the kitchen we have been busy at the barbecue, such a delightful way to eat great food in the company of international (hey I mistakenly typed ‘ginternational’ I kind of like that word) guests on the starlit terrace and a good excuse for us to be caught in an unguarded moment on camera.
Quieter moments in this gay paradise are spent in relaxation, guys sit on their private terraces, sip coffee or Aperol, read books, chat to fellow guests, or write up their diaries, Bellaugello is all about relax. It is a place of good times where friendships are made.
In this world of craziness I am so fortunate to be a simple peasant farmer living up an Umbrian hillside. My home is idyllic, my neighbours delightful, I adore my local town of Gubbio and, as with the late John Fothergill of the Spread Eagle at Thame UK I have nothing but beautiful interesting guests to stay (none else are allowed).
I am however distressed by the path the world is taking, and despair of the extremism that is fast becoming accepted into all cultures. During August I have received the first trolling abuse calls in all my years here. Always late at night, Italian voices on withheld numbers. I suspect, as with so many, from guys who are scared of their sexuality but happy to be disgusting to me down the phone. I reply to them that Bellaugello is a Gay Guest House and open to all.. (ok, read above even if you must be both beautiful and interesting 😉 ) but it saddens me to have started to receive this abuse. Today I read the president of the USA admits paying ‘hush money’ but out of his personal account (as if that is ok and he is safe in the knowledge that like Berlusconi supporters his will be proud of him and aspire to be him). We live in frightening times where abuse is either encouraged, and certainly not discouraged… I was taught ‘lead by example’
I sit back and think just how in recent years the world has fundamentally changed and sadly for the worse. Had the allegations and innuendo been about ’44’ how totally different would the situation be. Can you imagine the rage? Russians, Prostitutes, Affairs, Dodgy lawyers, Racism, they are all now apparently quite acceptable. 44 must be very sad, knowing that if even one millionth of a percent of these allegations were levelled against him he would long have been totally disgraced, out of office, hunted and berated.
I am reminded of Brexit which was passed with a very minimal of contra publicity, and what little there was, was poor and amateur. Where was Europe, how were what are now recognised as myths allowed to be perpetrated? In Turkey the autocratic president has been re-elected. In Saudi any opposition or dissent is met with prison sentence or worse. In Poland the government has taken over the justice department, no longer independent, now political appointees. In Hungary laws are changed at whim to suit the government. Even property rights are rescinded. In Italy our minister of the Interior chooses to ignore an immense infrastructure tragedy (possibly the first of many) and ‘tweet’ denying desperate migrants permission to land at Italian ports. Where is the opposition, where are the alternative voices, why is nobody of substance speaking out? We are rapidly becoming a neutered society. What I want to know is who and what organisations are behind all this. It is too frightening and sad to consider, so back to life as an Umbrian peasant. You too can be part of our gay paradise.
The first weekend of August is a one I look forward to as it is the one that draws back a special group of guys and together we head off over the valley to the village of Carbonesca to their annual Sagra of Polenta and Salsicce. This tiny village somehow manages to host two weeks of party culminating in a sausage and polenta party with live music for over 1,500 people. This year the Bellaugello guys were there in our usual spot and of course in party mode.
So popular is this first week in August that all but one suite at Bellaugello Gay Guest House is now booked for next year.
You can book your stay for this autumn and the 2019 season by clicking on this link: Click here to Book your 2019 holiday at Bellaugello Gay Guest House
A few hours of rain have refreshed the garden, the trees and plants can all breathe. You almost hear them sighing with relief, and I certainly see them smiling. Another benefit of the rain is the wonderful early morning mists that dance in the valley below Bellaugello.
Usually we only get to see these shows in spring and autumn, but this last week every morning has been like this. Take your iPhone set it on the windowsill and initiate time lapse program of our gay paradise. It means an early start – very, but the results are amazing, you see the mist running with the course of the river Chiascio below the house. If you can tear yourself away from the view then you might just catch me drooling over Matteo’s grandfather’s original Fiat 500 or Cinquecento. From 1982 it is in original condition and has only 14,500km on the clock. Recently put back on the road Matteo brought it over to show me. What happy childhood memories of school runs.
Recently out and about in the hilltop town of Trevi I spied a cinquecento in its garage. Cute car designed to fit the space available:-) Note the circular mat hanging on the left wall. It is an original old olive press mat. The modern replacement type to the same design is used in the frantoio in Gubbio that we take the Bellaugello olives to to be pressed. Olive harvest starts at the end of October. If you are interested in helping us pick olives in the time honoured way then drop me a line.
Ok that’s it for now. I am back in blogging mode and my next post is going to be a rant. Tune in soon, in the meantime have a wonderful day