I’ve broken my record with the longest period in which I do not write or update our blog. Even WordPress has started sending me suggestions on how to keep the flow going. There were a few reasons that kept me from writing but it’s definitely no good excuse. Now that we are in the midst of the Coronovirus mania, it’s probably a good time to show a sign of life and restart our online sharing. I hope that the following thread will shed some light on our long awaited developments.

Looking at the horizon, somewhere before the winter season



As the title suggests, this post should be mainly about New Year resolutions… I know that resolutions should be made on a regular basis without the need to wait for that dead period between Christmas and the changing of the numerical indicator of the year. However, that is what was on my mind at the time of starting this post (yup, that was nearly three months ago!) so I’ll start here with a list that I had been working on since. For me, sharing it in public means that I am voluntarily held accountable if I do not follow through (that is the only reason I can see for telling everyone about my resolution). Here is the list with some tangible objectives.

  • Write more frequently on the blog, (obviously!) – ideally once a month, at the very least. I’d like also to use facebook more regularly with posts such as ‘song/word/phrase of the week’. Not just for getting more online presence but to actually give our students the opportunity to interact more regularly also at distance.
  • Develop some on-line materials for our English teaching activities.
    This could include short videos or pod casts, short quizzes and short reading comprehensions. Let’s start simple with a short video/pod cast by the start of Spring.
  • Write more about the connection between our musical adventures and our approach to teaching and learning a new language.
  • Be more supportive (or as Elena puts it: less judgmental) with Elena’s political adventures. My main objective here is to keep silent both at home and online… so if you see me start a rant on how politicians deserve a kick.. stop me.
  • On the side of experimenting with self production: I’d like to build an extra bee hive and prepare all the necessary wooden frames for honey storage. There is not much time left as this should be completed by the beginning of the Spring season.
  • Make more beer! (see updates below)
  • Arrange our first English summer camp – June 2020…

As for updates and what has kept us busy in the last few months (last post was at the end of November 2019). I’ll stick with bullet points to organize this better.

Curiosaki with his new friend Nerrottolo. Putting the photos of our old cats would have been too heartbreaking
  • We suffered a big loss with the death of Nonna Margheritta, Elena’s grandma. It was a pretty tough period for all.
  • We suffered losses of two cats, both run over by cars. It was a big trauma but we still have Curiosaki and found him a new friend.
  • Elena’s political adventures are not as simple as we thought it to be (or at least I haven’t expected it to be that bad). There is a toll on our family life but after the first three months we have still decided to do our best to help Elena complete a few personal tasks. Often the price for being in politics doesn’t seem to pay off. Elena is required to keep a low profile on many fronts and as a consequence I’ve also had to cut back and stay away from any social activism. My fuses are shorter and I can’t hide my frustration as well as Elena can. I’ll cut this point short to adhere to my new year resolution above (resolution number 4).
  • We branched out to teaching in a small company in Nonantola. It’s a lot of fun! With mixed abilities but all very enthusiastic and collaborative.
  • As a consequence to the new course in Nonantola, Elena had to start taking two of our kids to the violin lessons in Bologna. Now Elena follows the little one with his violin lessons and started playing the violin too! That’s a huge step forward for integrating everyone in our musical education efforts.
  • Winter has been mild in temperatures and little rain fall. Maybe it’s our climate alarmism but I fear a hot summer with tropical storms as we had last year. The batch of chickens that had replaced the flock that suffered the fox and storm has grown and they have just recently started laying eggs (nearly 9 a day!). I care for them deeply and hope they survive the coming summer.
  • We had mice in the attic (yes! in our brewery!) We found out that they probably nibbled a hole through the cement around a gas pipe and then entered the inner insulation that we installed two years ago. Hole is blocked by we are still looking out for them. The brewery has been cleared, infected malt sacks been given to the chickens and now it’s ready for a thorough clean before we start brewing again.

So that’s it for now… I hope coming back here soon with more updates and photos.

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