A guest in the house

Daisy dog has a bark that would shatter glass and resonates through the sparse corridors, landings and tiled floors of this house, deafening to any unwary visitor or delivery person.  With the arrival of our first guest she has had to get used to their unannounced appearance at the breakfast table and we still need to consider this a work in progress….maybe running a B&B might not be such a hot idea.

Weather all week has been changeable and there is a definite autumnal feel with the evenings cooling down quickly once the daytime sun has set and the warm terracotta bricks of the town lose their stored warmth.  We have had a few showers and even some thunderstorms over night but largely it has stayed sunny enough for trips on Lake Trasimeno and further afield.

The garden is in desperate need of a tidy now that the crop of melons and tomatoes are over.  It simply will not be warm enough to ripen the fruit that is left so green tomato chutney may be an option.  The remaining ripe tomatoes have been made into soup and the chillies dried in the warmth of our attic.  The herbs are still going strong though and the basil made a delicious pesto for our spaghetti last evening.  I had to check with our local newsagent, as I happened to be in her shop, whether it was to be made with pine nuts or ground almonds.  The answer was an emphatic “pine nuts and Italian ones not Chinese, as they are bitter and taste like turpentine!”  Fortunately pine nuts can be bought lose from the supermarket and we now have a jar of them; 100gms goes a long way as they are very light and most recipes only call for a tablespoon or two. A recent visit to a restaurant in nearby Paciano, suggested another use for them; our dessert was a delicious slice of apple and pine nut cake.

The starlings in the garden next door to ours are living up to their collective name.  A ‘murmuration’ is exactly what they sound like as they spend hours in the sunshine  eating the berries off the ivy covered walls of next door’s garden.  I really like their chattering and then all of a sudden, as though someone has flipped a switch, they stop and disappear.

This morning the delivery from Oppiarelli Furniture arrived and we are now the proud owners of a kitchen table.  The top is lovely gnarly oak and the legs look like cut off rusty RSJ’s, but it goes with the rustic look of the tiles, radiator and worktops without looking too industrial.  It has an extension for large dinners but otherwise fits the space quite well and now all we need are chairs.

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