February 2022 gives us gratitude but also fear.

First the Gratitude

It is February, the month that is the transition from winter to spring. And the weather has demonstrated that. We have had beautiful sunny days but also very rainy and cold days. The mountains surrounding Scalea are still snow-capped and the snow melts a little when sunny and then returns when it rains. Also we have had very windy days. On these days, we have to place our garden furniture and potted trees close to our property to protect them from the strong winds. We are yet to acclimatise to the winds, they are just really annoying.

Rainy weather coming in

If you are a regular reader, you will know that we have a cat called Freddie who appeared on our stairs one day in 2020 as a very skinny and extremely hungry 3-month-old. So we took him in. He is still a feral cat at heart but enjoys his home comforts of shelter and food. He really doesn’t like being forced inside, not that we do.

When it rains or is windy, he sits at the window to see if it is OK to go out. If it is not OK, he meows at us, acting like he wants us to change the weather for him. One day during a break in the heavy rain, he went out. But while he was out it started to rain again. We thought he would just find shelter as there are plenty of places for him to be under cover. But later, when the rain did eventually die down, he came in ridiculously soaking wet. He has come in wet from the rain before. The first time I towelled him dry. Now he really enjoys it and he enters the house with a specific meow pretty much announcing that he is wet and demands to be dry. This time he was very loud. So of course, I towelled him dry. I have realised I have become a cat drying slave though.

Picnic in Praia A Mare

During a warm sunny day I decided I wanted a little picnic in the sun. So John suggested we go to the beach of Praia A Mare. It was so lovely. We only had sandwiches and a beer but it was so nice. The sun was warm and the sea was calm. There was a large log on the beach that we sat on overlooking Dino Island and the sea. It felt like a micro holiday. We are so fortunate that we are able to do that.

On another beautiful day we decided to look at the view at San Nicola Arcella (my favourite view) and maybe have a drink or lunch at a place we like in the old town called Qcècè SocialCafè. While we were walking towards the view, we saw our friends Justin and Michael from the You Tube Channel Prego Italia. It was so nice to see them. They were in the middle of filming for their next video. Yes, we are in it!! We wanted to go to Qcècè but unfortunately it was closed. During the winter it is only opened at weekends in the evening. So John suggested the trattoria we have been to many times before but Justin and Michael hadn’t, which is located to the south of Scalea, Il Gallo Bianco. We had a lovely time. The food was lovely and it was great that it wasn’t planned. Justin and Michael enjoyed it very much too. You can see what happened on their video here….

Gate Upgrade

February was the month that John decided to mend the entrance gate to our property. It is probably the same age at the property around 40 years old. The sun, winds, rain and maybe salty air over the years had affected the gate especially the bottom which was very rusty and falling apart. So a few months ago John bought a welder and we ‘sourced’ some replacement iron. While we were walking, we came across some lying around the local area, just dumped, so John took what he needed. Quite a lot of fly tipping happens around here so it is great to recycle when you can. Also as the gate is not covered, we decided we wanted more privacy because in the summer, people tend to come down our steps to look at the amazing view but we don’t really want them to look into our terrace.

We noticed that a lot of people around Scalea have wood panels in between the metal uprights of their gates and fences and thought it would be a cost-effective way for us. So John bought wood panels from the wood supplier we used before and started working on it. After cutting the bottom off the gate and welding on a new piece, John realised that the uprights are not evenly spaced out, pretty much each space was a different size. This meant that he had to cut or sand a lot of the wood panels lengthways to fit the various sizes, which was a pain. But over a few days or so of work from John, we now have a gate that is not rotting at the bottom and we have more privacy.

We have no idea why the panels are different shades as John used the same tin of stain throughout. We are still deciding whether to keep as it is or repaint the lighter ones, maybe say what you think in the comments or contact page.

Thank you Johnny and Heather

We are helping our friends Heather and Johnny in Canada by checking out their property every now and again. They haven’t been able to come over here for over two years, probably nearly three. They kindly sent over to us some albums on vinyl and copies of Heather’s two books. Heather writes poetry and has decided to publish two books on Amazon. They are listed on Amazon Italia and Canada so probably other countries too. Check them out here.

We really enjoyed them. We really enjoyed the vinyl too one of which we placed in one of our vinyl frame as the vinyl artwork is so good, so thank you both!

Now the Fear

Unfortunately, February was also the month that Russia invaded Ukraine. I don’t really know what to say. I was not expecting that to happen but weirdly no real surprise. I know I have readers from both countries and I wish you all peace and love and strength. I also understand that the Russian people do not want this to happen and are very scared themselves. We are all scared.

I have donated to the Red Cross who help with humanitarian aid. But there are lots of charities who are helping. A lot of global press sites are listing the legitimate ones so if you want to help and are able to, look at your local new sites or even local councils. I know that Scalea has set up a point to receive warm clothes and other needed items.

Hopefully it will end soon. Hope is all we have.

So on that note, it is the end of this post and see you next time.

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