Possibly the only joy of getting up before dawn to ready breakfasts for early departures is the benefit of witnessing the sunrise over Bellaugello Gay Guest House. When I am clever I set my cellphone to time lapse and record the sunrise over the Apeninnes. When I am somnambulant I manage to set a slo-mo video and record three hours of blackness. This morning I got it right, with my phone planted in the garden, it recorded “l’alba”.
Early rising, means saying goodbye to guests who are departing. It is saying ‘ciao’ to guys who, during their stay have become friends and who plan to return. This morning birdsong punctuates the air, I see new buds on trees and shrubs and everywhere virgin verdant greens and spring flowers. The tulips managed to open in time to say cheerio to the guys. The air is still crisp, and delightfully clear. It was a group of guys from Berlin who were departing. They take an annual week’s holiday together, and had made the most of their first time here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. Not only did they enjoy time poolside, but they travelled extensively in the region, visiting Urbino, Assisi, Spello, Bevagna, and obviously our local town of Gubbio.
Spring is a time of re-birth and new life. Just the other day I spied that our resident Owl had hatched a chick. We have always had Owls nesting here in a pigeon hole in the old house and because it is less tidy than usual I think the nest has been passed from mother to daughter, and she had pushed out a shell to the landing platform.
Owl is very shy and I have to be really careful that she does not see me otherwise she flies the nest. My evenings are filled with the calling of her mate. I imagine he calls ‘dinner is on it’s way‘ and she replies ‘hurry I am starving and need to stretch my wings‘. They call several times throughout the night. If I am very lucky I see one of them fly swiftly and silently into the nest. I find that magical.
Finally the comune has sent men to do some road repairs. Not before time we all say. The large project we applied for last year did not receive the first tranche of funding but it is in the pipeline again for this year and of course moved up the ranking. We fought hard to convince the comune that in the meantime the road needs to be maintained. So this week the grader has been cleaning ditches and levelling the surface of the dirt road. We had a couple of hilarious days of driving through mud slides, but gravel is on its way and the surface will be much improved.
Deciding to pop over and see my neighbours and chat about the road, I took them a beautiful organic Pecorino cheese made by my good friend Martino. It is always a danger dropping in to my neighbours, they are so kind and hospitable. I cannot go for five minutes, I always end up staying some considerable time, being invited into their kitchen and offered a couple of glasses of wine. We chat away, discussing the strange weather, the strange politicians, and the strange fact that work has actually started on the road. Another glass of wine, I am once again feeling light headed. Finally I manage to tear myself away but not before they load me up with ‘qualche uova‘ – some eggs…
and a bunch of fresh wild asparagus. I just cannot ever mange to go with a gift and not get one back in return…
Last night Mauro and I sat together and feasted on a ‘frittata con asparagi selvatici‘, the freshest of food locally sourced. That is the joy of living here, the friendship and goodness that is Umbria.
Life is not all work and yesterday afternoon, my tasks done I managed to strip off and sneak an hour at the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. The water is still too cold for me to enter, but the sun got to over 23˚c and I managed to get a decent bit of colour. Despite what you see in the photo I was not alone at the pool, everyone had decided that the sun merited their presence poolside, reading, chatting, relaxing, snoozing.
But now it is nine am, it seems that I have already done a day’s work, however there is still much to do, so off I must trot and get back to routine tasks. It has been good chatting to you, I hope your day is as good as mine will surely be even if it is not poolside 🙂