Ahhh.. I was recently taking some pictures of our lovely pear tree and it reminded me of our old neighbour Gino. When we first arrived here in Tuscany, Gino lived alone with his dog, Star. He didn't speak a word of English and we obviously didn't speak Italian so it wasn't exactly easy to get to know him. This six foot, fifteen stone ex farmer often stood around with a bemused look watching us as we worked 8 hour days in the garden, removing dog hutches that the previous owners had left and generally fighting with the weeds and prickles.
Every so often Gino would walk down our garden (yes our garden!) when we were in the house and help himself to kindling and several times he even sat down the bottom of the garden and lit a bonfire. We never got to the bottom of why he did this but we just left him to it as we hadn't started running Casa Leana as a holiday home and he was such a gentle soul we didn't have the heart to question it!
As time went on we found out that before he retired many years ago, he worked the land in and around CL and he and his brother had planted two pear trees in our garden, one of which managed to survive. When we arrived we didn't even know it was there as it was surrounded by hundreds of brambly bushes and was being strangled by something horrible.
It seemed that although none of us spoke the same language, we really liked each other. We often gave Gino a punnet of strawberries from our garden and he'd bring us a mountain of courgettes from his orta. I had never been a fan of courgettes but it is amazing how versatile they are!
I never forget once at the very beginning of our relationship with this lovely man, he brought us what must have been a four foot branch that he'd broken off from one of his trees, filled to bursting with delicious cherries!
All those years ago, I am pretty sure Gino was wondering what the hell we were doing in the garden with our entry level Flymo and little electric strimmer that we brought over from the UK. We had to get metres and metres of electrical cable to reach down the garden which fell apart every time you made a sudden move! Every day we came up from the garden covered in grass and mud, totally worn out. We quickly realised that petrol lawnmowers and strimmers are the key!
Anyway, Gino sadly passed away a few years back but his memory lives on in our beautiful, if a little unruly, pear tree.
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