Saturday, 8 July 2017

About the cats

Still only three, Crema Grigio and Theo. there were six that we left them last November with a lot of dried food,an automatic dispenser that Mario filled regularly and a little house to sleep in. We didn't intend to leave them so long but works in the penthouse dragged on into May. In March this year Giovanni and his wife returned from winter in Rome to their lovely house above us and of course the cats sensing company moved up to join them. Mario passed the remains of our food and some more he bought to Giovanni who took over the feeding and provided the family with a nice place to sleep. All was going well and we had regular positive reports. Then Giovanni and his wife, I have been told her name but I can never remember it, returned to Rome for a month and did not make provision for the cats. I wish we'd known we could have got Mario back on duty. When they returned to the mountainside only two of kittens and Theo were still here. We have guessed at all sorts of possibilities and looked around the area for the missing ones but there is no sign. It seems strange that three siblings who were devoted to each other, the two here still are, would split up. Rosso the third kitten was the most friendly, he was a delight and would be adopted easily. The mother we can understand going off if she had new babies and Marzio the kitten from two years ago had turned into an unneutered holligan he could be in Sicily by now. If three could survive without regular feeding then surely they all could. So we have to accept the family has reduced. The kittens are brilliant, they have relaxation to an art and have remembered all the naughty things they did last year, play fighting under the sofa, sleeping on shelves, constantly unpacking my knitting bag. Crema even managed to remove a ball band and unwind a full 50 g of sock yarn, turning it into an almighty tangle that kept me occupied for some time. I am so glad we had them neutered last year and delighted they are still here. We plan to stay in Italy into the Autumn but already I am fretting about leaving them again, they get cross enough when we go out for the day.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The other side

We spend so much time sitting out on our terrace, eating, reading, chatting, snoozing and just gazing. Most evenings we sit looking across the valley to the mountains opposite ours and see lights twinkling on the horizon. I made enquiries and found that the highest village we see is a small place, population about 1000, called Rocca Massima. On Friday we went to visit having called at the opticians en route as I accidentally sat on and bent Mr FF's everyday glasses. They were fixed quickly and at no cost. Rocca Massima about an hours drive away was a delight, perched high on a ridge with views back across the valley to our mountain on one side and down to the sea on the other. Little traffic free streets and steps wound round past beautiful houses with so many pots of flowers, cats sleeping on door steps, old ladies sitting at windows. We wandered around and came upon a group of six men who had dragged a table onto the street and were tucking into a massive pan of pasta, complete with plastic dishes of pasta on the ground for the cats. We greeted them and they asked if we'd like a glass of wine, we declined explaining we had a drive home, they wished us a good walk. I was totally charmed by this pretty mountain village and it's kind people. Now when we sit out looking across the valley to the horizon and see the lights come on I know exactly what we are looking at and what a wonderful place it is.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Reunited

Not only did Crema return safe and sound if exhausted this morning but late last night Theo, the shy and gentle black cat who has been visiting for a few years appeared. We and Grigio were delighted to see the old boy who has always been so good with the little ones and his return gives us hope for the rest of the family, just so long as Lisa hasn't been adding to the numbers.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Settling

The annual water leak is fixed, the garden is coming on, today I finally cleaned the downstairs lounge, the one we never use, and I was going to say the cats have become permanent. However this morning a large grey striped stranger appeared howling on next doors balcony. Crema decided to join him and hasn't been seen since, not like her to miss food but let's not start to worry yet. We seem to have a new strain of mosquitos, generally they bite me but don't bother me, now I am coming up in itchy blisters and I have a large ugly lump on my forehead. Pizza delivery man Mr FF is here I must stop.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Change of life

After five days in the car we arrived back at our house in Italy. All the usual frustrations of Internet not working despite many trips to the Three shop and several payments, the irrigation is out of action, all my pot plants are dead and the house is filthy. But it's great to be back and two of our cats Crema and Grigio are around albeit part time as they still spend time with Giovanni and his family. Up until a month ago all the other cats were around too but they seem to have disappeared, we will take a walk out soon and see if we can spot them. We are cleaning and planting and socialising in equal measure. For some reason blogger has a mind of its own and it's really difficult to post so I won't go on but all is good, sun is out and I'll try again another day.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Calmness is restored

Now our bathroom is finished we have reinstated the second bedroom, until recently used as a work and storage area for all that was happening in the ensuite.
Although we envisaged buying fitted wardrobes for now Mr FF has moved the existing ones into the newly created space, they look fine. 
I bought a very cheap pair of off the shelf beige eyelet curtains, maybe they need an iron, but the room feels calm and of course has the benefit of the newly installed ensuite bathroom.  I'd be happy to sleep there, in fact we are toying with the idea of moving to the other end of the penthouse.  But don't think about coming over for a few days Mr FF is keen to get off to Italy.  Me I'd like to enjoy the quiet and the sunshine here for a while, I know what's waiting in a house that has been empty for 6 months and a garden that has been neglected for the same amount of time.  I could move into the second bedroom for a while before the next bout of dust and debris but we are leaving very soon.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

I couldn't wait

Having said I would take Josie Kittens sock pattern to Italy, I couldn't resist starting a pair using the Austermann Step yarn.
Both pattern and yarn got top marks, nice colour shading in a yarn that was good quality and an interesting textured pattern that wasn't too demanding.   I will definitely knit more of these especially as there are three size options.  


I am not really doing the pattern justice as I took the photos before I blocked. Sorry JK, not just in a hurry to start the pattern, in a hurry to show it off.