Today the architects rang and said we need to decide what we want to replace the front door and garage doors with, so they can apply for permission from the local council and the regional government. Having walked around town, through all the little alleyways and side streets, staring at (and photographing) the doors of our fellow residents, we went to the architects and tried to explain what we had in mind. Apparently we can’t change the colour of the shutters on the front of the house because we are in the historic centre, and all the other shutters in our street are chocolate brown. We can however change the ones at the back and so they will be a grey/green; described by all as “the colour of the underside of the leaf of an olive tree”.
Vast sums have been handed over to plumbers and electricians today for sundry radiators and wiring. Now it is beginning to feel a bit more real (i.e. scary). Having illuminated our flower box with Christmas lights and decorations, another house further down has opted for bedraggled father Christmases climbing up the frontage and now the neighbours have upstaged us all by a tasteful fir tree, red ribbon, white twinkly affair. Drat. Although I think ours is more “pop art”; being snowflakes with alternate red and yellow then blue and green flashing lights. The jury is still out.
This evening was spent with a lovely friend that we met here in September. Her house is a wonderful stone farmhouse in the hills outside of town. It apparently took three years to restore and inside you can certainly see why, with its beautiful terracotta floors and oak beams. She has a swimming pool and, presumably, a stunning view. But it was dark, so that photo will have to await until spring. The drive there, down a wiggly dusty track, suggests that it certainly is in a great location.
She invited us for an ‘aperitivo’ which again turned out to be (several) glasses of lovely local wine wine accompanied by an array of about 8 different snacks. Not your usual crisps and peanuts but sun dried tomato dip, salamis, olives the size of plums, raw vegetables, ‘caponata’, flat breads, toasts with rosemary, etc, etc.
This afternoon I planted the two yellow rose bushes (Arthur Bell) brought from England and also visited the local garden centre to check out the plants and buy some soil for the planters in the garden. We brought over a selection of orange tulips too and they should look amazing next spring. The garden centre had a very good selection of plants and an even better selection of citrus trees. We really wanted a lemon but it may be too cold. A Seville orange is tougher and so home-made marmalade need not be a thing of the past once we are here.