The trips to the grotto last month revealed the stuff we had stashed that is frankly rubbish. Reasoning if we haven’t needed it for 10 years it can go, so once a week, we ventured into the sandy realms and lugged out odd bits of cable, rusty chains, bits of obscure metal, old shelf brackets plastic vent closures, off cuts of tubing and the like that we took to the recycling centre when we went out shopping.

Daffodils, cherries, our apricot and mimosas all bloomed vigorously in the 1st week which was still mild although we experienced a very blustery weekend that caused some of the remaining wood pile to topple over. It was quickly rebuilt in a different place to ensure it didn’t happen again. Woke one morning to be greeted with a small herd of deer munching the plants on the cistern. Luckily in the tidying up we had removed the metal hooks holding the watering system in place before new plantings are made later on, so they were not in danger of hurting themselves, the plants came off second best in the encounter. The weather was so mild we let the heating go off on the 8th, just running it a while to get hot water to ease the aches and strains from gardening.

Surprise Xmas card received on the 9th, 3 months late! The post service here has gone to the dogs, it could have been walked here faster but perhaps we should be grateful it arrived at all.

Brian and Sue packed and the removal van arrived on the 11th. We went over to give a hand on the Friday and Saturday and wave them off. However they didn’t finish until the Sunday but we couldn’t help as when we got home late Saturday we were greeted by a woeful Mach1 on 3 legs, his front right paw was swollen to the size of a golf ball and it was too tender to walk on with the swelling rising up his leg. Bee or wasp we don’t know although at the time we feared adder and were on stand by to rush to the vet. We rubbed Fargon (anti-histamine) on and spent the night lifting him on and off the bed to do the necessary. By Mid-afternoon on Sunday the swelling had gone down and he was on 4 paws again. They eventually got away on Monday 13th, the packing and sorting took a LOT longer than anyone had planned for. Sad to see them leave but they have small grandchildren in the UK and naturally wanted to be closer to them and the rest of the family. This was also the day we heard the first cuckoo of the year.

The appliqué rainbow cat and two birds made at least 3 years ago, from a Japanese calendar , were at last used on the left over Japanese cotton printed kimono fabric to make a view through a window scene. The boarder had to be made up of two different fabrics and as can be seen it hasn’t a smooth finish as the top and bottom layers kept moving, I hope another ironing may settle it down a bit, but may have to sew a design along its length to stop the wrinkles.

Dr’s blood tests and check up revealed a slight increase of blood pressure but it might be due to the terror of the impending needle. Still everyone happy with results that arrived within the hour, impressive.

Valentino arrived promptly to cut the dead tree over the garage. Despite taking every care, ropes, pullies etc part of the tree hit the roof of the garage and buckled part of the roof and back wall. Once the tree was cut off the roof recovered except for a crack running along the back which we filled and used brackets to tie the unit together. He was horrified and offered to pay for a replacement but it was 10 years old and cost a lot more than he could imagine so we declined. The second tree, very dead having lost all its bark, he dispatched quickly. After 3.5 hours, just 50 euros, he had another appointment but said he’d return to collect the vast pieces of wood to chop up into usable bits later in the week, before the 30th when he had a large contract to manage, so we had to pull, push, lug what we could up to the terrace so he could collect it. We did a bit each day, selecting what we could manage out of the piles, so he had just the very large dense logs to manage.

Potted out red geraniums, with blooming daffs, tulips and fruit blossom the place was very colorful and it is just like the 1st spring we were here, 2007, incredibly hot shorts weather that caught us by surprise. Mach1 is really enjoying the sun, although is acting very timid recently, possibly because of the hole diggers in the garden at night, he pops out and is back quite quickly.

Made in roads to join the 21c by opening a facebook account in order to sell the excess items, radiators, sinks, computer graphics cards etc like our friends did and were very successful but in order to place items with the market group we need 20 friends to begin and its more difficult than we thought as we do not want any of the 1000’s of people suggested by the company who just happen to live in Italy and whom we’d never meet. Still we are sure we’ll get in there eventually.

We went ahead to test the market putting our property on’ A place in the sun” web site:

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