We finally got an internet connection and it took us nearly three months to get there!
There is so much to update that I don’t know even where to start. Looking back at the photos we have taken during the first months, a lot has developed but yet pictures don’t seem to truthfully convey what we’ve been through.
For the first few weeks it was difficult to contain the sheer excitement of just the size of the open spaces. However, tensions tried to sneak in and overtake the excitement as we soon also realized the amount of work ahead of us: rotten wooden shutters to replace, a hay storage full of pigeons, leaking taps and lots of vegetation, to name a few tasks that do not include just setting up the kitchen and unpacking our boxes from England.
I think it could have become just too overwhelming to manage. Luckily, Elena’s family is just so helpful and positive. We got lots of guidance, advice and physical help, but most important, a lot of encouragement that we can do it and that we are progressing well.
The garden was mowed, big bulk of vegetation cleared, we learnt from the ‘experts’ how to do anything from mixing cement to refitting shutters using affordable materials (I say ‘experts’ as Elena’s family have experience in DIY when it comes to countryside houses, but that’s was never their day job). We got a hand and equipment such as: proper scaffolding, grinders and even a circular saw.
On the days it rained we were disheartened and got worried, but when it was sunny and the lads (that is Marco and Loredano) came for a coffee and to check that we were doing fine, our smiles came back and we were motivated to continue.
Bit by bit the green rotten wood has turned to a yellow builder’s wood (you buy them here coated with a yellow paint). We decided the shutters need a bright new colour something more ambitious than the forest green that it had before.
Archaeological evidence, gathered by Elena has revealed that an older period had the shutters and windows red, so we went for it. Elena was responsible for the painting while I was doing the fitting and cutting.
It was such a sense of satisfaction to complete one side of the house and move on to the others. Visitors and delivery personnel are happy with the vivid red that is evident from the junction at Via Mavora as it is lively and makes it easy to find us.
In between working on shutters, garden and mosquito nets, Elena was making sure we already start enjoying the traditional activities practiced in our area such as making the annual family stock of tomato juice (passata) and giving a hand during the grape picking period.
Finally, we are ready to start working on the stable doors and get our place ready for social gatherings, start lessons and develop our workshops. I’ll keep the blog space updated as I go along!