The thaw arrived and over night we went from snow to spring temperatures outside in the sun up at 16c when the wind dropped. The draught was broken by 2 weeks of rain and thunderstorms, it was milder but it didn't feel warm when the clouds covered the sun over. It did manage a few sunny dry days, what a difference, so we could start the spring chores, checking flower pots tiding the garden, sorting the stuffie wood pile, fences etc. We missed the westerly hurricane and blast of cold that hit the UK but we did get some strong winds and more drizzle, the water reservoirs all filled for the 1st time in over 18 months.

Mach1's girlfriend continued to bellow her arrival in the small hours before eating the food we left on the southern door step, he was not amused but we hope he'll become more tolerant in time as she appears more frequently asking to be fed. She's very timid but tolerates us at a distance. We got very concerned as a friend told us neighbours have lost a calf to wolves in the last 2 weeks and about 5km up the road had a small goat killed.  They reintroduced wolves to cull the deer that escaped from breeding farms 20 odd years ago but like the Kings cheese.....Worrying as Mach1 is still insisting on being nocturnal and sleeping all day in bed. The 3rd week was lovely, spring arrived so I was outside painting, when there was a lot of shouting from the church, as a car had just gone down I thought who ever it was had brought a dog with them and it was chasing one of theirs. Shortly after a lean timber wolf walked around the corner of our place with a smaller black and tan dog alongside it, about the size of a Cardigan corgi but slimmer. I yelled they went around the corner and appeared on a lower terrace, I shouted again, the black and tan shot into he woods but the wolf just trotted over the road in no particular hurry. Does this mean its tame and on the run or has it joined up with a dog looking for a bitch? Mach1 arrived tail like a bottle brush seconds later and is now hiding in bed .

We caught up with the Romanians who are caretakers for the church and they said they had authority to talk about mending the road, although they'd have to clear the costs with the owners before going ahead. We passed on Mr Sofia's hopes he would be able to do the work end of this month to mid April, but they like us are not convinced. They did say they would get a 2nd quote to do the work all the way to the Church below and thought it wouldn't be as much as the quote we got just to our place. If that is the case then we'll still pay half as it will be less than we though anyway and the road gets done. Valentino called in to see the trees we need taking down and said he could do the road all but tamping down the stabilization material so we took him to see Niccola at the church and we all agreed that we'd pay between us and Valentino should get a price to hire a tamping machine for a day to finish the works. Niccola said he'd like to put a barrier up so only those who pay use the road (Sofia said this too) but how the dustmen, post and farmer are going to have access isn't clear.

Mid month we went to buy the geraniums for the window boxes and planters as last years did not make it through the winter, some places had very little to show us as the weather had been so iffy they were not placing the usual outside plants for sale until after Easter this year. We had a wonderful show of daffodils but our lemon trees started to loose all their leaves, we think they needed more feeding and hope they'll recover later on. A second wave of icy weather descended mid month but fortunately only lasted a few days so we were able to eke the wood supply until it passed and then spring arrived in the last week, wonderful sunny days and 8c at night. We were able to plant out the geraniums and pansies that had been sheltered in the hallway for 2 weeks and sew the seeds for the summer months. Mowing and strimming underway in earnest and diets being looked at before the summers arrival, always faster than we think.

Sink swapping got underway, we took the hairdresser unit off the wall in the hallway WC 1 piece (its cream not beige its the tiles that made it look darker as the cistern still does), got new smaller white sink on wall after 3 shops and looking on line as we needed to match the fixings at the back (looks much better) then on connection it was leaks all over. Turns out the cold water feed tap in the wall underneath had been cross threaded at some point in the past and when we undid the connection it shredded the thread removing 2 turns so the new sink couldn't attach to the cold supply in our feeble attempts to make it fit unaware of the problem we managed to damage the water lead to the tap so had to get 2 replacements. So not only plants in hallway but 2 tool boxes and enough plumbing to make Brikoio wonder at our stores. So do we frankly, but it has given much needed passing room as before the loo wasn't visible around the huge bowl.

Mid month we went to buy the geraniums for the window boxes and planters as last years did not make it through the winter, some places had very little to show us as the weather had been so iffy they were not placing the usual outside plants for sale until after Easter this year. We had a wonderful show of daffodils but our lemon trees started to loose all their leaves, we think they needed more feeding and hope they'll recover later on. A second wave of icy weather descended mid month but fortunately only lasted a few days so we were able to eke the wood supply until it passed and then spring arrived in the last week, wonderful sunny days and 8c at night. We were able to plant out the geraniums and pansies that had been sheltered in the hallway for 2 weeks and sew the seeds for the summer months. Mowing and strimming underway in earnest and diets being looked at before the summers arrival, which is always faster than we think.

The last day roared in with high winds and a small hail storm but it was mild if wild at times. This was the day we saw the 1st Hoopoe of the year.

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