Autumn is in the air and I stirred my stumps and got into the garden today. It is the first time without guests or anybody else in the house for many many months, a strange feeling, and for maybe the first time ever since being here I had a “Me” day, or a large proportion of a day designated for me. I luxuriated in my bed till 09:30 and then after a leisurely breakfast at my kitchen window pootered about, and this afternoon after a gluttonous lunch of burrata and salad walked the dogs jumped down into the garden and continued the pruning of the lavender bushes and bringing under control the wisteria – soon time to be up on the roof, but I will wait for someone else to be there for that task.
Yesterday late afternoon there were storms over the Apennines, huge black clouds interspersed by gigantic pink flashes, it was sunset and to the south a glorious ruddy sky, I guess this was reflected in the lightning to the north. Here not a drop of rain, I was in t shirt and shorts on my habitual dog walk to the curve, and to inspect the olive trees. Olives we have this year, the trees are laden with fruit, much small but aplenty, it will be a good olive harvest, I am looking forward to that time when we all join in picking olives in the time honoured fashion. Bobby’s cough is back with a vengance, not too long a dog walk for him me thinks! It’s off to the vet tomorrow for an ultrasound and full check-up, so we did not walk too far, yet how the dogs gamboled, oh! and yes the comune has actually come and done some road maintenance, it may not be perfect and probably will not last but it is an improvement, you will be impressed.
So strange to be on the edge of a storm, to the west red skies, to the south white fleecy clouds dotted in a brilliant azure sky, and to the north black menacing stormclouds, one of the magical things about living on a south facing ridge in this amazingly beautiful country.
So it rained overnight, that lovely rain that back in Scotland I called ‘dreech’ the sort of rain that is like a fly buzzing around you, persistent and irritating, you get wet to the core, but so so good for the ground. I notice today the bald patches of grass are turning green and young verdant fine growth is sprouting. Bellow Bellaugello Gay Guest House the river Chiascio is, at last full, removed the limpid lazy green of the summer, now a swirling mass of brown muddy water, in the stillness I hear only the calling of the owls and the river as it rushes over the rocks on its way to the yet unfinished dam of Valfabbrica some 17km south of here, all around otherwise stillness and peace. I have come in for a cup of tea, and to download a couple of photos to share with you, this afternoon the air is crisp, not cold crisp, but clean crisp, the rain has cleaned the air and the hills and fields look so clean and clear, the large field with the ‘lonely oak tree’ is semi-ploughed, the other fields yet green. It is still warm in the sun, so the task of kilometres of lavender to be pruned is not such a hard one.
To finish off my “Me” day I think I might jump into the car and head off to the Terme at San Casciano, I cannot think of a nicer way to end a halcyon day than to soak in the hot spring water of the ancient Roman baths
I’ve got guests coming next week, the place needs to be tidy, and to help me in that a new workawayer is joining me for a couple of weeks, specifically for gardening, there will be so many leaves to rake up. They will be making use of our Finnish Sauna, and heading off to the small Umbrian towns that are now holding autumn food fayres, and wine festivals, still so much to do here in Umbria.
As I wander round the garden I am thinking of little improvements for the 2016 season, maybe an extension of the private terrace for the Duca Suite – a new raised seating area? A hammock on the terrace of the Specchio Suite, an extension to the outdoor seating area, the planned bench, and who knows maybe even an outdoor shower on the west side of the house….