1st St Davids day, lots of daffodils popped their heads up out of the pots and the tulip leaves made an appearance along with the violets & cherry blossom, shortly joined by apricot and pear blossoms.

Our sweet-peas that eventually came up in Oct over wintered so hope they'll flower soon and the camellia was a waterfall of pink flowers. In the first week we re-potted most of the geraniums that survived and planted out the roses in the olive grove along what remained of the fence after the deer and boar had been through it several times. Then we placed the leaf and bark mulch that we'd recovered from under the wood store , around the roses and surrounded them with plastic flower-pots with bottoms cut out so they don't get strimmed, each with a mothball to keep the boar from digging them up again. The apricot and peach trees are also decorated with moth balls hanging off the branches to try to stop the leaf curl (caused by a moth apparently) otherwise its back to spreying with copper-sulphate and me looking like a Smurf.

Mike completed the strimming in the second week and started mowing. I'm tackled painting the wood flooring in the gazebo, out the back and under the planters in the front. Then we had to rescue my mower, Mike got it out to see if it needed the rubber band replacing and the handle snapped (the other side went 2 years ago) so delivered the whole to Sarteano on the Thurs and Sat he emailed to say it was done, so when we collected it I ran out of excuses.

We were directed to an amazing cobblers from the lawn mower repairs , where a small man sat in the window with an ancient sewing machine. We asked if he could repair a rip in my leather coat and he redirected us to his granddaughter who owns a haberdashery and makes curtains and other things. She said her mother probably could do something and she said it wasn't difficult to replace the lining in Mikes coat but we'd have to wait for her to return from Florence. When we shopped at Hurrahs' all the staff had changed and the new lass on the till asked if we were from the USA, no Wales we replied, and she said “my son has moved to Swansea to work in a casino.”

On the colder and very windy days, at the start of the month, Mike painted the railings for the top of the outside stairs and I sorted and ironed fabrics so I can make replacement cushion covers for the living-room. I also re-organized the big unit in the kitchen and now cannot find a thing. Turned bath pink and almost threw a fit. Having tidied up another cupboard I found a jar of pink bath slats and thought they'd be nice for a change, as the water rose so did the stain until there was a wide band all the way around and being acrylic there's so much you cannot use to clean it. A cup full of Bi-carbonate of soda and lemon juice applied with lots if elbow grease on a sponge got it off in the end.

In the latter part of the 2nd week Max's 2 lads started the tree trimming, trees are like kids you just don't notice them grow, the guy who shaped the cypresses was very exacting and they look wonderful, alas we had to take out a cherry completely as the core was rotten and full of ants. Summer arrived, we were in T''shirts and shorts stacking wood, potting up plants and sorting out seating etc. The 2 items are a lighting wire that a tree grew around and the hammer was discovered on the roof, it must have been there for 14 years.

The jcb flattened out where the boar have ploughed up the grass and then there's chance of mowing once it re-greens, flowers bedecking pots, windows and cisterna so photos can be taken with the house looking its best. Max collected his lads and gear and dropped off our lawn mower that had gone in for servicing and repaiors as he'd been working for the chap and he'd mentioned it was ready.

We've been checking on the different estate agencies, those who are affiliated with others  in Europe and USA are of most interest as they'll give us the best exposure hopefully.  The bath comes with us! House hunting for the next 4-5 years, what fun but we have said the area has to be CDL or CDP or Chiusi or Cetona areas as our comfort zone. We did talk about starting again but we like everyone here.

In the 3rd week we got to fixing the fences that had been flattened and replacing the rotten bits. It took a week as we were grass cutting, weeding, sorting things we found as we went around in between the fencing so we'd not get over hot, bored or fed up with any one job. The cats kept an eye on us and tested each replaced section by climbing up it, sharpening claws and racing along the tops. We're happy to report they passed the paw test. These jobs were tempered by long lunches and relaxing on the patio, topping up the tan.

Then we went off to Sant Arc'angelo to buy plants, pansies for the cisterna, geraniums for the window boxes and ranunculus for the troughs brought down from the top landing to give colour to the green landscape, and lunch at the Torta a testo by the lake.

To cap it all off on the last eve of the month the cuckoo sounded in the woods. Not a bad way to live all in all.