Home again. Again.

We have arrived.

The house was cold but soon warmed up. Oh the joys of central heating. Those who know our English house are aware that it can be quite … “bracing” and we are dependent on our large wood burning stove to keep things toasty, downstairs at least. The easy decision was also made to go to Coppetta’s for a warming bowl of soup and Daisy was absolutely ready for that!

Cittá della Pieve has had the same stretch of freezing weather that we suffered in Bristol, complete with snow and temperatures below zero. It looks like our poor Seville orange tree suffered considerably and is totally frazzled.

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I will wait to prune off the worst once I am sure the temperatures have steadied, and hopefully it may recover as there are still some greenish branches. However, the neighbours mimosa tree, that was all ready to bloom when we left in February, in time for ‘Il Giorno della Donna’ (Women’s Day when branches of the flowers are given to women) the poor thing is now brown and scorched and looks completely dead. All over town the mimosa trees and the oleander shrubs are brown and look beyond hope, all due to the week when temperatures stayed at 10 below zero.

Even though the days are warm, there has been a really strong wind blowing, turning ‘hanging out the washing’ into an Olympic sport with extra pegging to make sure our undies and tea towels didn’t end up in Siena.

The main square and surrounding streets have been closed off for the Easter celebrations. I made the mistake of going to collect the newly varnished steps for the attic staircase and returned to find that our road was no longer accessible and I had to use the next one up. I parked, unloaded and then, turning in the wing mirrors and breathing in for luck, managed to exit down the narrow street. Parking will be an issue for the next few days over the Easter holiday so probably best not to go out and about until Tuesday.

Despite the wind, the tented booths for the Easter market have been erected and are pegged down by huge bucket-shaped concrete blocks. Already some have been occupied and we will again be spoilt for choice amongst the usual salami and cheeses, cakes and chocolates and the more unusual produce – liquorice, hemp beer, scarves made of bamboo and many things containing saffron.

Today is Good Friday and so we had lunch at Da Laura which specializes in fish dishes. Seafood spaghetti was my colourful choice although twice as large as necessary maybe, and Jamie had ‘trenette’, a kind of twirly pasta shape, in a sauce of fresh baby tomatoes and tuna.

No room for pudding though, just coffee, as back home in the fridge is a box of yummy pastries, purchased earlier on my trip to the carpenter in Tavernelle. These are our Easter Egg alternative and will do very nicely, thank you.

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