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Published: April 10th 2011
Apologies for the lack of postings, it feels like we haven’t stopped all week.
Where did I leave you …..ahh yes, Day 26 it was times to start tackling all the winter leaves and that meant sweeping, collecting and then burning….sounds simple enough right; and it would be if there wasn’t what felt like little mountains of leaves everywhere. In some areas they had built up to be knee deep.
We both swept as many into piles as possible and then Jaime was in charge of burning whilst I was in charge of collecting and dragging them to the bonfire. (Excellent bum and thigh workout if you’re looking for tips).
It took hours and poor Jaime got quite a bit of smoke in his eyes – definitely getting the diving goggles out next time!
At the end of the day we only had little energy left so we measured the vegetable patch so we could start pricing up some fencing and then I attempted to make toffee apples (which didn’t turn out well, I think my mind was bunged up from the leave smoke).
We’ve have been having some fantastic weather so thought it best to
start working on the irrigation system early. We wandered over the property with a map drawn by the previous caretaker and checked all the connections, filters and fitted the timers.
The system was in a bit of a mess I’m afraid and needed some serious descaling – not a job we would finish in a day.
We left the parts that needed it most soaking in descaler and headed off to the Radda library. On our visit to the Gaiole library we had been advised that there were numerous English books available and the possibility of language courses.
The library did only open on Wednesday’s however – so today was the day.
We waited outside for the library to open but had once again forgotten that Italy does not strictly adhere to displayed opening times.
I was getting a little too hot in the sunshine so we decided to have a wander around Radda village where Jaime treated me to a delicious ice-cream.
We also visited the little DIY store that we had found on our last visit and stocked up on some woodstain for the vine terraces.
Then it was time for the library. Our friendly librarian from Gaiole
was there and excitedly showed us around the 3 rows of English language books shelf’s, I was also happy to find some German language ones making the reading choice even bigger.
We were allowed to borrow three books each, but the librarian assured us that because he knew us now we could have more. He actually turned out to be a native Spaniard and recognised Jaime’s spelling of his name to be Spanish. He’d even named his son Jaime.
We asked about the language courses and he made some frantic phone calls to try and locate one for us.
He did find one but the exact details of start date and location where not available at the time so he promised to email them for us.
It was getting late so we headed home, but not before a little stop of at the local store to buy a frozen pizza as a treat for dinner (treat being, little cooking rather fab pizza) which we enjoyed whilst watching a lovely pink sunset.
It’s shopping day.
Jaime had discussed with the owners that we were need in of some basic tools for the property and had
spent the last two shopping trips pricing up various drills, screwdriver sets and other bits and pieces.
Jaime’s quite keen on sorting out the garage by hanging hooks and reels in order to make the access and storage for us much easier. (Have I mentioned that Jaime’s a perfectionist tidy buff?).
Anyway, I spotted an empty cable reel in the DIY store and attempted a little flirt with the Assistant in order to surprise Jaime with it as a present.
The Assistant could not have been more helpful and even routed in the storeroom for a studier version for me.
Flirting pays off in Italy!
Then we headed to the nursery to check if the Geraniums where available for the pots around the pool area as yet. They were not quite ready so I choose a few vegetable plants instead to bump up my seedlings for the garden.
Back home both Jaime and discovered that were covered in insect bites.
No idea if we brought something home from the nursery or if the mosquito Jaime spotted in the car was the culprit. (Hope nothings infested my tomato plants!)
We started work on the vegetable garden
fence today. We’ve decided on a temporary structure with materials we already had just to see how things would hold up against the local wildlife. It got hot quickly so by 11 we decided to head in doors and spend a few hours cleaning the flat. Then Jaime headed back out to work on the irrigation system whilst I baked some sesame snaps and spice cookies (the healthy version of course).
I also spotted the first rose to show its beautiful face today. The house is surrounded by roses and I can’t wait to see them all in bloom.
Its HOT! We got up to 31c today and yes I did get sunburnt.
I thought I was being sensible by slapping on the factor 30, but I am so pale that only staying out of the sun full stop could have saved me today.
I started the day by painting some of the vine terrace posts and then went to help Jaime finish building the garden fence. Then it was time to dig over the soil and mulch in some compost.
After lunch we uncovered the pool. Again early on the schedule, but as the weather had
been so amazing we thought the owners may want to use it on their next visit in May (and I wouldn’t mind a dip myself to cool off).
We rinsed and scrubbed the cover to free it off algae and then left it to dry in the sun.
Then we started scooping out debris and leaf’s from the pool and scrubbed the worst of the algae from the sides and bottom.
Jaime worked well in the heat as he thrives in it but I was soon wilting like a flower so headed indoors by mid afternoon.
I decided it would a good idea to get some Aloe Vera to soothe my sunburn, but unfortunately ended up using the sap from a cacti that looks almost identical to aloe but turns out to be caustic. I now have a burn rash as well as my sunburn to content with on my arms…grrrr! After doing the ‘Google’ on the cacti it turns out I’m not the first to make that mistake, but still AUTSCH!
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