Yesterday I had planned to continue painting.  I am busy re-decorating the bedroom in the Specchio Suite.  Oh dear! I have long ago come to the conclusion that when it comes to choosing the wall colour for a newly completed space I am dysfunctional.  It first happened a few decades ago in a delightful William and Mary terraced house that I restored in my home town in the part of South West Scotland from whence my family hails.  Double entrance doors opened onto a small square hallway and a staircase with the finest bannister rail which danced balletically up four floors from cellars to attic.  The space faced south and I painstakingly, scraped, cleaned, filled, smoothed and painted all of this myself, yellow.  I used gallons and gallons of paint and when finished I hated it.  It was not long until I called professionals in and had them wallpaper the space, a huge black and white Timney Fowler imperial design.

In 2007 Bellaugello was still an abandoned Umbrian farmhouse, it had a roof but nobody had lived here for some decades.  You will detect a similarity with my William and Mary house, another large careful restoration project, this time resulting in a home for me and luxury suites that others might share, to enjoy my home and the peace, tranquillity and beauty of this magical part of central Italy.  I guess you know what is coming… not only did I paint all the Specchio Suite yellow, a deep difficult to mask yellow, but also the bedroom of the south facing Giardino Suite and to cap it all my private kitchen, the yellows were different but all yellow, very yellow.  This came after other houses and other yellows, I should have learnt, I am no good at choosing yellow paint for walls.  First to go was the hideous yellow in my kitchen, replaced by what I thought was Tuscan red, and turned out to be a ghastly shade of deep pink/terracotta now replaced by a pantone green that goes so well with the travertine floor and wall tiles.

The yellow in the Giardino Suite is a nice warm yellow.  I have thoughts to change it for a steel grey, so of the moment, maybe it will come to pass, but I don’t hate that yellow, like the sun it is warm and comforting.  Last year the dining/kitchen in the Specchio suite was painted a creamy taupy colour, it better went with the kitchen units and furniture, this year I am attacking the bedroom and the yellow has gone, hidden under a coat of white and two coats (well when finished it will be two coats) of soft sagey greens.  Ever one to give myself extra work I decided to frame with a white band each wall and the ceiling…. so lots of measuring, masking tape and touching up!  Yesterday was to have been the concluding day, job done, but…

In the morning sunshine I went to rake out a few leaves and put Cyril the robot into the pool to get on with cleaning.  It was one of those days when it was noticeably warmer outside then in, and on the way back to my painting job I stopped to pick some weeds out of one of the gravel paths.  I hate the use of chemical weedkillers so down on my knees, a position I am accustomed to,  and though rough on my hands it may be, pulling weeds out by hand is for so many reasons so much better than resorting to chemicals.  Thr ground was soft, lubricated by the early morning dew, so weeds relatively easy to pull.  The dogs lay out on the grass, the birds sang, the little breeze wafting up the sounds of burbling river Chiascio down below, in my little paradise I got into weed removal.

Soon weed removal turned to fruit tree pruning, lavender trimming and rosemary cutting back, and the usual panic over just how far to prune back the roses.  Basically I spent a delightful full day in the garden, the warm February sun caressing my back, and before I knew it it was gone five o’clock and time to feed dogs, get showered and cleaned up before heading out to meet friends for a pizza in Pierantonio.

This morning the sun streams through my kitchen window, I had suggested to somebody that I was going to post on my blog yesterday, but the garden got the better of me, today has the prospect of the same, caressingly warm weather, and I feel almost guilty to be sitting at my computer.  I have been up for hours, sleep is a stranger right now, the only benefit being I did catch the sunrise

and because tomorrow I am at another two meetings in our local town of Gubbio where I have been co-opted onto a tourism committee, I am now going to dress and go outside and decide between painting or gardening, both need doing, and unlike the meetings both will make a discernible difference.

The sun was shining early this morning and it prompted me to stir my stumps, get out of bed and put on scruffy clothes for a day of gardening.
It sometimes seems as if there is always work to do here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. Or maybe I am just not good at relaxing, today was a day for lying in a hammock reading a good book and soaking up the sun. The winter is the time when I thought to take things easy, but between managing a marketing strategy, answering enquiries and bookings, routine maintenance, making marmalade, yes I am in the middle of persimmon marmalade too… and colossal amounts of leaves, there is always something to be done and keep me out of mischief.
Fortunately for me I love my job. I adore the opportunity it gives me to live in this astonishingly beautiful place and to meet so many stunningly beautiful and interesting guys.
Today I was in agricultural mode, tidying in the garden, chopping dead limbs off trees and blowing thousands and thousands of honey golden, amber, red, rust, and orange coloured scrunchy leaves into huge piles all headed down to the compost heap to make great piles of leaf-mould to nourish the plants next year or the year after.
So stunningly beautiful today, barely a cloud in the sky, and warm too, I managed to work in just a T shirt and shorts. All around birdsong, the robin watching my every move keen to find a plump juicy worm, the river Chiascio glistening in the valley below audibly heard rushing southward toward its confluence with the river Tiber, a clear chattering babbling current. The odd hunter must have been out – they are odd let’s face it, for there was a shot or two in the middle distance, otherwise it was a day of nature and natural sounds, utterly glorious and peaceful, a great environment to get a lot of manual work done.

It has been one of those weeks here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House when the guys have just gelled. It has been an international week, with guys from France, Belgium, the UK, Australia Germany and the Netherlands.
This morning there was a roll call photo for most of the guys as there were two departures and everybody wanted to say goodbye. These two guys are moving from Brighton in the UK to Melbourne and taking their beloved dog Buster with them. We discussed the logistics and cost of transporting dogs across continents, having experienced that myself bringing my three dogs over from Scotland. However the expense of European dog travel and passports pales into insignificance when I learnt of the logistical and financial commitment these guys are making to move their dog over with them to Australia, it is no mean sum. So to the photo which includes some intrepid sailors freshly rarified from the Atlantis Gay Cruise.

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Taken in the morning sun on the terrace at Bellaugello Gay Hotel, and yes guys you are right…. My t shirt in your honour. “Want commitment buy a dog”! Good luck and safe journey.

I attach a copy of an email received both by a friend of mine with a charming B&B in Rome and also by me here at Bellaugello….
Hello

I will be traveling through Europe again on business
I am actually in Rome 6-7 times per year and I am tired of hotels

I an bi, love to be nude, (can not do it in a hotel) and would love the company of some gay friends when I travel

Please let me know if you have any interest .

I am actually looking for two different nights

Perhaps Sept 13/14 and later in the month too

My plans are changing but should be confirmed this week.

I have more info if you need it, thank you
The guy also included a photo, dunno if it is his…..
Perhaps I should be setting up an App to rival Grindr!