Tuesday 17 March 2015

San Severino - Campania's Matera

It was a beautiful sunny morning, so we grabbed our cameras, jumped in the car & headed south
for San Severino.

Perched precariously above the Mingardo river,
this 'borgo medievale' dates back to the
10th century and thrived on trade with Bulgaria.
The first sight of it (in the photo above)
took our breath away.

The hamlet began to be abandoned at the end
of the 19th century, when the railway was built in the valley below, but some homes remained occupied until 1977, although the state of disrepair
gives the appearance of having been
abandoned long before that.

We stopped for a coffee in a bar in
'modern' San Severino before
discovering that the footpath up to
the borgo was barricaded &
off limits to the public.
But hey, we're English, and we didn't
understand the signs, did we?
So we climbed up, exploring the ruins
and admiring the views.....

And what we found when we reached the 
end of Via Croce just totally blew me away....

Sunday 8 March 2015

Now Is The Winter Of Our Content

Yes, I know Spring is in the air, somewhere,
but we've had 48 hours of galeforce winds
with windchill factors of up to -10°
(or should that be down to?),
and cloudy skies, so it has still felt like Winter.

Anyway, let's get down to the subject of this blog, which is to talk about our
'stufa di pellet' (wood pellet burning stove).

When we were having Il Sogno finished to our specification, we were quoted €10k
to have a stove & radiators installed;
as wall space for placing furniture was at a premium, we decided not to go with that option, and had an open fireplace instead.
And while we found a log fire to be a very romantic option on more than one occasion, it really didn't warm up much of the house.

So, last October, we finally had a stufa fitted, with pipes in the loft vented to
each of the bedrooms & the bathroom -
if only we'd been told that this was
an option back in October 2010, we'd
have felt a lot warmer those first two
cruel winters!

The stufa may look like an oversized microwave, but it has made a vast difference this winter, and Il Sogno has
been the cosiest she's ever been.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Being Nanali

I went back to the UK during half term week, 
to help out with looking after our grandchildren -
my chance to be 'Nanali' for a week.

A was at Nursery for the first 2 days,
so I only had M to entertain
until Friday.

Practising our 'trout pout'

It was a week filled with lots of walks,
either to the park or to see Great Grandad;
a visit to the cinema to see Paddington -
M sat on my knee the whole way through -
lots of splashing at bathtime,
and lots of bedtime stories
(the best part of the day for me - I was
always disappointed when our
children outgrew a story at bedtime).

But most of all, it involved lots of cuddles
with my 2 favourite 'little people'....
and that's what I miss most when
I'm back home

Enjoying 'Nana Day'