I must say I love ALL the months here in Italy... but November is special because it's the start of our down time (or is it?!). To be perfectly honest there's still quite a bit to do before we can completely relax.
At the beginning of the month we closed off the pool and covered the outdoor furniture, took the swings and badminton net down and tidied the pool toy box. Chopped back some dead plants and mowed and strimmed for the last time this year, phew.
A few years ago we discovered a brilliant shop very close to us - it has a huge array of tractors outside. For many years we thought it specialised in heavy farming equipment and we called it "the tractor shop"! When we finally ventured in there (can't remember why) we discovered that it sold every kind of garden equipment you can imagine and we've been there many times since. Last week we were very excited to add two more items to our gardening arsenal - a Stihl battery operated tree trimmer and strimmer (scintillating stuff!). The strimmer is for me as it's lightweight, so yey (sort of!).
I love sitting in the bottom of the Casa Leana garden, it overlooks a beautiful little vineyard and we often sit there with a cuppa in the spring in between gardening - it is so tranquil. The pergola down there got broken at the end of the year when a branch fell on it so at the end of last month we bought a lovely new one together with a coffee table set which Leigh put together yesterday, can't wait to see it all in place next year.
I forgot to mention, we were given two huge antique frames a few months ago, they are really beautiful so we decided to make them into mirrors. I cleaned them up and we took them to a wonderful place in one of the local towns close to us and they inserted some fabulous antique mirrors which have really brought them back to life. They are really heavy now so moving them from one place to another was a bit scary but Leigh finally managed to hang them in two of the Casa Leana bedrooms. I love them and I'm sure the guests will too!
You may remember I painted the beams white in our little play room at the beginning of the year. The wood colour has started to come through again, urgh. Honestly, who would have thought that beams would use up so much paint? I've put three more coats on and got myself in a painty mess again but it looks really good now. We also gave the room a tidy up and some of the toys may have to go to the toy hospital or maybe to the "nice man at the toy farm!" 😬
I'm sure there will be more things added to our never ending TO DO list but for now that's it.
Our lovely neighbour gave us a basketful of chestnuts a couple of weeks back so we've spent quite a few evenings roasting them over the log fire. Yum. Another equally lovely neighbour has two enormous olive groves and in return for helping with the harvest they are going to produce Casa Leana olive oil for our guests next year so watch this space to see the finished article. We've tasted it already and, honestly, it's so good.
On Sunday we had another magical evening out at the Arezzo Christmas market. We got there at around 2.30pm and the parking angel was kind. The flag throwers started at 3pm so we spent a while walking around the stalls first of all wishing we hadn't had lunch as there were some amazing cheese filled giant pretzels on offer that looked particularly yummy. We decided to get cakes instead - a giant ring doughnut for me and a relatively titchy blueberry muffin for himself. Obviously a bit later on there was a stop off at one of our favourite bars for a cheeky glass of red!
As dusk fell the coloured lights were switched on and bounced off the beautiful buildings in the main piazza. The kids were queueing to see Father Christmas and we were happy soaking in the Christmassy atmosphere. Although I must say I did try to get a peak of the big man himself but he was hidden away in his grotto!
We spent Sunday at a birthday lunch with some of our friends here in Italy. The expats often go back to different parts of the world for Christmas so it is great to get together as we won't be seeing them for a while. Food and company was perfect as always!
I think it's safe to say we have immersed ourselves in the festive spirit now and cannot wait to see our family and friends in the UK to celebrate this special time of the year!
D I A N A xxx
Welcome to my blog...
Just a little insight into our lives here. After eleven years of living in Tuscany I thought it was about time to have a go at blogging when one of my lovely friends said she had received (what she thought!) was an extremely funny text from me, hmmm.. How difficult can it be?!
D I A N A xxx