Spring has definitely sprung in Calabria. When the sun comes out it is really warm. In the shade it has reached about 19/20°C, but in the sunshine, it’s reached nearly 39°C (I like to call it track temperature). John has got a tan without trying, even the locals have commented on how dark he is. Then there’s me, even my Irish white skin has a tinge of colour on my arms. But now it is cold and windy, hopefully we won’t get the 70mph winds again.
March is a lovely month. People are starting to venture out of their homes to do things. It is like they are coming out of hibernation. There are things happening around Scalea. Workmen are working on roads and buildings and pruning large trees in the town. There was also a Carnevale just before lent where children dressed as Disney or fairy-tale characters. There were mini princesses, superheroes and other cartoon characters wandering around throwing confetti everywhere.
On 5th March, Shrove Tuesday, local restaurants do gala type dinners to get ready for Lent. We visited a restaurant called La Perla who was doing a meat festival. Each course apart from dessert, contained meat. By the fourth course we were so full, but it kept on coming. It all tasted amazing though. I didn’t have any dessert, but they were biscuit type things, so I didn’t feel too guilty. As we were so full, we didn’t eat until about 5pm the following day and even then, we probably could have gone longer. It was definitely different to the pancakes with lemon and sugar in the UK.
As the weather improved, we decided to venture down to the garden. The steps down are steep and not at all level. The garden itself is also steep, as we live on the side of a steep hill, which makes it difficult to walk around. To make it easier, we levelled parts into paths and steps, so at least we no longer feel like we might roll down the hill at any point. It gets the sun for a little while longer compared to the balcony and apartment upstairs, so it stays warmer, now we can go there if we want extra sun. The little lizards seem to like it.
We have established fig and pear trees in our garden, and they are now showing signs of life with leaves and blossoms appearing on the branches. We have bought sage, rosemary, thyme and mint plants, so we have the herbs we love at the ready. We bought basil seeds, hopefully they will grow into lovely basil plants for us to eat and include in all sorts of recipes. We bought flower seeds too; sunflower, purslane, snapdragon and large daisies. The daisies here are called Margherita, and as my late mother’s name is Margaret, I couldn’t resist to try and grow those. Hopefully they will all grow, flower and bring some colour to the garden. Fingers crossed, they will like the long, hot summer here.
Other news is, I have had some remote work, which for me has worked very well. It was for bid collation and formatting for the construction company I worked for before we left for Italy. Hopefully more work will come from them in the future. I guess I will have to try and get some more work from other people. Ideas would be great.
Also, I am doing stuff for Tony. I am doing his property plans and video walk-throughs for the properties on his books, adding music and his logo. I won’t get paid until he sells the properties that have videos and plans. Therefore, if you would like to buy a lovely holiday home or new home in Calabria, Italy, go to his website http://www.calabriarealtygroup.com and help me live here at the same time, maybe we could become friends. But, make sure you buy one with a video… very cheeky I know haha.
Bad news though, one of our bathroom floors is so bad that we have had to get the tiled floor dug up and re-laid. Basically, the water did not fall anywhere near the shower drain, which means the shower just filled up with water. So, we have got Giuseppe Scarfone and his team in to fix it. If you read my previous post you will see we love their work. They did not do the work on the bathrooms initially, but we really wish they did. Hopefully it will be finished in the next few days. So more unexpected costs. But it does prove that it is better to pay a little more to get professionals to do the work in the first place, otherwise you may pay more to get them to fix other people’s mistakes. The photos here are his photos as we were out shopping whilst all this was going on.
The good news is that John has basically finished the outside bar on the downstairs terrace. We just need another vinyl player downstairs, so looking forward to warm nights in the bar soon.
Talking of vinyl, I found a company that makes frames that enable you display vinyl on the wall but still be able to take them out and play them. I got a bit excited, I just had to buy some. They now take pride of place in our lounge, which in my mind is officially finished. Yippee!
April is very nearly here, and it will soon be Easter. It will be interesting to see what happens during Easter time. People are already starting to appear in a few holiday homes surrounding us, which is strange as we have been accustomed to being by ourselves since we moved here in December. But I guess it is nice to have people around, even if only to say hello.
So, I hope you have a lovely Easter, if you celebrate it. Until next month.