Posts Tagged ‘About Villas for 2’

The Pool. Just Add Salt…

After seven months in the dark the water needs to regain its sparkle. It comes as a surprise to some that the pool isn’t drained for winter and refilled each spring. Aside from how you’d actually dispose of 80,000 litres of lightly-salted water, (not to mention the eye-watering cost of an annual refill), the imbalance of external pressure on the pool walls would make the whole thing cave-in.

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Abruzzo’s Owl. Little – But Loud.

I can show you literally hundreds of photos of where one of our owl chicks has been a nano-second previously. But none, alas, of a chick itself. Let alone one looking obligingly at the camera…

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Mulch Ado About Nothing

Four olive harvests-worth of leaves later, while mulching’s no longer regarded as borderline insanity, it’s still regarded as some slightly eccentric English preoccupation. But Italian pride – and the notion that a non-farmer might have an idea worth taking-up – means it’s forever destined to be a minority horticultural practice…

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Olive Harvest 2011

olive groves in abruzzo

Within five minutes of starting, the large compressed-air ‘hands’ that strip the olives from the branches and onto nets spread under the trees had broken.

The rest of the morning was a catalogue of frustration as Rocco and I drove off to get a new part; came back and found we couldn’t fit it; which then necessitated yet another hour-long round trip back to find someone who could. Which we did. Eventually.

Think that olive harvesting’s easy ? Think again. But the results are undeniably delicious.

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A Pig’s Tale

It’s currently outside the hunting season, so taking a pot-shot at piggy wasn’t an option, though the local farmers – many of whom reported damage to crops and orchards – argued the toss as to what would happen if a shot fired to scare the porker away instead were to kill it.

The kind of hypothetical discussion point that Italians love nearly as much as football.

(Man v Wild Boar. But who’ll win this epic confrontation ?

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Pool’s Open ! Must be Summer !

Swimming Pool At Our Villa

It was nice to see the swimming pool emerge all blue and reasonably pristine from its seven month hibernation under cover.

It’s one of life’s mysteries as to how come, when the thing’s sealed up tighter than a drum, leaves manage to work their way under the cover and into the pool. But they do and have to be tiresomely fished-out before the summer setting-up process begins.

And that setting-up process involved Pauline and 200 boxes of salt…

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Our Abruzzo Garden Wildlife

It was only when the builders were gone and tranquility had been restored to the olive groves and vineyards around our Abruzzo villas that we began to fully appreciate how rich the area was in wildlife.

Birds, butterflies, foxes and hares all share our Abruzzo garden.

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Going Green in our Abruzzo Garden

It’s slightly unreal to be still pottering around the garden in a polo shirt while in the UK, igloo prices have gone through the roof, and a team of huskies and a sled have replaced the SUV as the favoured transport to get to/from the supermarket.

Yesterday, two weeks before Christmas, it was 19˚C in our Abruzzo garden at noon. That’s 66˚F.

And after taking time-out to smell the roses, it was back to work, with the arrival of three tons of green, eco-friendly olive harvest waste from one of our local mills.

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Our Abruzzo Garden – Take It Or Leaf It !

Olive Trees By Swimming Pool In Abruzzo

At the moment, four big dark brown heaps are sitting in the sun. Walk past and you get a rich and fruity scent – rather like a good Christmas pudding.

Heaps of leaves in case you were wondering.

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Ascigno’s Abruzzo Festa: Fun, Fireworks – and Line-Dancing ?

Up strikes the band. Up gets everyone to dance. Did you know line-dancing is a way of life in Abruzzo ? Babies learn how as soon as they can walk. Now, I’m not qualified to judge whether the line-dancing taking place before me in the middle of the road through Ascigno is step-for-step identical to the line-dancing you’ll see in some down-home stomperama at Alligator Joe’s in Amarillo – and it is a tad incongruous – but you have to wonder whether line-dancing in Abruzzo and the US developed simultaneously and spontaneously – or whether it’s just another Italian (or rather Abruzzese) import that’s taken America by storm.

Line dancing ? In Abruzzo ?

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