The year has gone by exceedingly fast and I am afraid with that I lost my weekly updates to you all and I am sorry about that!! But winter is approaching and before I update on how the house plans are coming along I thought a few of you are waiting to see some of my little ‘finds’ from the house.
The Guitar - La Chitarra
La Chitarra or ‘the guitar’ is used to form a traditional Abruzzese pasta which is probably best described to you as a ‘square’ spaghetti. Pasta dough is rolled through the strings of the Chitarra to produce the unique shaped pasta. Traditionally this pasta is served with a ragu usually with a meat base.
An Old Washstand & Basin - Un lavabo Vecchio e del bacino
On my last visit to Abruzzo my neighbour informed me that during strong winds the unsecured window shutters on my house would bang loudly keeping her awake at night or during her siesta. In order to rectify the situation with what little means I had I went around the house securing the window shutters as best I could. This included going into my ‘bathroom’ which has been filled with rubble from the terrace which fell in on it due to water damage and 40 years of neglect. I used the old terracotta bricks to stack behind the shutters on the window ledge to keep then closed as I had no other means of securing them. In the process I noticed some ironwork underneath my feet and decided to investigate further. The result was that I excavated the wrought iron washstand and enamel basin. A few days later I was introduced to some more neighbours and they have a very similar washstand but one that is more ornate and has a jug with it that sits in the bottom ring. I was impressed with theirs and my neighbour has offered to restore mine as a housewarming gift!
Old Bottles: Different Shapes & Colours - Vecchie Bottiglie – Forme e Colori Diversi
I found quite a collection of old bottles – not on my last visit but I thought I would share these with you. I found traditional wine casks in wicker (bottom shelf), old soft drink bottles, glasses a jug and storage bottles with stoppers on them. Some are clear, some blue, some green and some brown. I am not so sure of what I might do with these – maybe I will clean them up and display them somewhere as they are really quite pretty and they were part of my home before I arrived.
Old Keys – Vecchie Chiavi
I found some old keys around the house also – but what they unlocked no longer appears to be held within the house at all.
An Old Quilt - Una Vecchia Coperta
You will have to wait for a picture of this I am afraid. I was looking at the mess on top of the iron bed in the room that will be my master bedroom and I had previously thought the old bedding was completely ruined. At one stage there had been a small fire on the mattress, however I was surprised to find a hand made quilt in a very pretty red colour and as I pulled it out from underneath the other covers I realized that perhaps it would be possible to have it cleaned and given life once more. I will keep you wondering about this one as I need a few days to be able to give the quilt the attention it needs and to take photos.
The last two weeks have been rather disappointing for me as I have been hoping to head over to Abruzzo and begin sourcing builders and architects to begin my renovation. Three weekends ago I had some uncertainty about work commitments and once it was too late to book flights found out I could have gone over. Last weekend, I was also hoping to head away but was unfortunately struck down by one of those ‘that time of the year’ colds or flus that complete throw you from your ability to do ANYTHING!
And then there was this weekend – the week okayed to be off work, a catch-up with friends arranged on Monday in Florence and what happens? Strikes by truck drivers in Italy protesting incoming austerity measures by the Italian Technocratic Government has caused many shortages including something I need to get around the countryside and that’s petrol. While I could be certain my rental car would be received with a full tank I was not so sure I could be assured of being able to refill it. Furthermore I was going to fly out this afternoon and with strikes scheduled in the afternoon at the airports in Rome I could not guarantee this would cause a knock-on effect for flights coming in once it was over. And, on top of this quite wintery weather including heavy snow has been forecasted until at least the middle of next week and I am not too sure I wanting to be fumbling around with unfamiliar things like chains for a vehicle while my hands turn blue with ice!
Fingers crossed all will be well by next weekend – there are rumours the petrol stations will be on strike after the truck drivers return to work so it could be more of the same next weekend but I guess I will just have to wait and see!
From what I am told by others who have renovated in Italy nothing happens quickly so perhaps these delays are helping me adjust to the trials and tribulations that await me as I struggle to turn a ruin into a home!
Rest assured I will be back soon to give my little ruin the love it’s been seeking for almost 40 years!
Well what a busy month ahead of me!
The start of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month which is actually a worldwide event where aspiring and accomplished authors take on the challenge of writing a 50K word novel in 30 days!! I’m registered but not quite motivated at this stage I must confess!!
Another big day with the completion of my property purchase in Abruzzo! So on the 31st I will be flying over from Nice via Rome and driving to Navelli where I will stay at the very lovely B & B Abruzzo Segretto with the charming Jimmy and delightful Francesca. The 1st will be put to good use getting my novel underway and checking that my little ruin is still standing before I complete the signing on Wednesday morning!
Wish me luck I will keep everyone posted. Also for those of you unaware of the recent devastation in the picturesque Cinque Terre the villages there are in need of your assistance any donations to assist with getting these towns up and running again would be most appreciated in Italy you can SMS 45500 with your Italian mobile to donate 2 Euros – I understand Italian Red Cross will also be collecting. So please if you can help just a little every bit helps.