No, No, No

It is two weeks since I “became a farmer”. As I may have said before, this is a vital step along the road to being able to actually buy The Olive Hill. But, alas, I remain a farmer with a small f, because to be a Real Farmer, you must be working land, which is what we should be doing by now.


Slightly less than two weeks ago, the Three Sisters suddenly developed cold feet about allowing me to work their land. Because, eight months into what should have been a one month negotiation period, they decided to speak to their commercialista. And the commercialista said that under no circumstances should I be allowed to rent the land for thirty days before I owned it, just in case I died. Now, you should know by now that The Three Sisters are sensible ladies, and so they have decided to obey their commercialista, and so, we can’t rent the land. Which means that I can’t be a proper farmer, which means that we shan’t buy The Olive Hill until a way forward is found. I have promised to do my very best not to die, and Scott, and the “children” have promised that they do not intend to exercise their rights to become Farmers in the event of my untimely death. Friendly Estate Agent has tried his very best to convince The Sisters that I am in rude health, and very careful about checking both ways before I cross the road, but up until today, they are unpersuaded.

And so we wait, until somebody forms a plan.

Meanwhile, away from The Olive Hill, life continues as normal. My mum has had the plates from her bodged ankle surgery removed, and my dad has had his knee replaced. My son is hoping for a much deserved promotion at work, and my daughter has started applying for jobs, so that she can become a grown up when she graduates this summer. The grass is growing, the mimosas are flowering, and I’m guessing that the grape vines are budding up in Sabina. But we don’t know, because to go right now would be too depressing, and stressful.

But I have made another twenty pots of Marmalaid, (and yes, I know that most people spell it marmalade); I have also come up with a recipe for Marmalaid Gin, which is currently steeping, ready for the visit of friends in a couple of weeks. In other news, after ten months as a pet, Bella decided to sit next to us on the sofa and watch telly last night. All very exciting.

Oh! And the sun shone here in Rome last weekend, truly glorious! The temperatures were in the late teens, so we visited the Bernini exhibition in town, and went for a walk in the sunshine afterwards. This led to the discovery that, just as our Italian friends had warned us, January is indeed dangerous, should one be foolish enough to remove one’s coat, woolly hat, gloves and scarf. Which obviously, being British, we did. So I spent Monday and Tuesday in bed with sinusitis …

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