Rain, Rain, Go Away …

Scott and I spent much of 2016, and quite a lot of 2017 scouring the Sabina area for a second home.  A nice little bolt hole, within  an hour or so’s drive from Rome, in which to relax and recuperate at the end of our working weeks in Rome.  Rome is undoubtedly one of the most stunning cities on the planet, but it is also one of the most frustrating, and we are always ready to break out of the smog, dirt and chaos, and head for the hills on a Friday night.  This recent news article captures Rome’s problems brilliantly here

And so we looked for a nice little pad with a view.  Somewhere quaint and old, with chestnut beams, exposed stonework, a patio, a bit of garden, maybe an olive tree or two.  And that lead us to buying a  1970s villa, with 22 acres attached.  We have just spent a weekend in the UK explaining this fact to a series of, frankly, stunned relatives, so I thought that now would be a good time to revisit one of my previous posts, which explains our thinking process: How to Buy a Farm in Italy, in 50 Easy to Follow Steps …

But at least having bought the place, we had a calm and sensible plan.  Scott was to work in Rome until early 2020, so we would spend 2018 getting the farm back into productivity, and then 2019 getting the house into some sort of order.  A bed and breakfast suite is planned, a log cabin, and a couple of fancy tents for glamping will complete our new sensible and well planned business venture, all ready for us to move into in …


The reality of this latest madness hit home last weekend.  Rain had stopped play outside, and so we lit the fire in the living room for the first time, and attempted to fill in the 15 page application form for organic certification, finalise the plans for the rebuild, complete the business plan, explaining why our farm diversification project depends on us welcoming foreign tourists, choose a kitchen, choose a bath (freestanding, to benefit from the maximum views, costing less than five million Euros), choose a new boiler (yawn), and work out which furniture has the least woodworm, so that we know which pieces to keep, and which to throw.  And to drink wine of course.  Every New Life Plan should involve a glass or three of vino.  The weather was slowly but surely becoming quite alarming, and it quickly became clear that in fact, the first priority is waterproof windows:



And so all thoughts of business plans were forgotten, and we spent the rest of the day mopping, and mopping, and mopping.

The other “little problem” that we currently have can be seen in this little video clip of our new “pet”, Cinzia the cinghiale.  Cinzia likes to come into our orchard (next to the house) for her breakfast and dinner.  Apparently Italy is in the grip of a wild boar crisis, with numbers having doubled over the last ten years, and now standing at over one million.  Boar are generally harmless, but come between a mumma boar and her babies, and be in no doubt that your life is at risk.  And of course, Cinzia is a mumma boar, and we don’t know where her babies are.  She is also pretty good at camouflaging herself.  Despite weighing around nine stone (60 kilos), Cinzia is a mistress of disguise, and her favourite hiding spot is inside the fig tree, which we pass dozens of times a day.  Poor Cinzia is also rather lame, as a result of the large bullet hole on her right haunch, so as well as being frightened of her, we feel terribly sorry for her.  And so, we decided that it was time to summon “Eddie Grundy” (yes, dear reader, I am an Archers fan).  EddieG lives at the bottom of our hill, and it turns out that he is a very big deal in the local hunting club.  EddieG supplied us with his phone number, and promised to come and shoot Cinzia immediately, the very moment we called.  But not, it turned out, on a Saturday, nor on a Sunday, nor when it is raining, and not when it is windy either.  For EddieG is a very busy man, and, of course, busy men are never at home when the phone rings.

So this weekend, as usual, we’ll be attempting to finish all the jobs that we barely started last weekend, and trying to find another guy with a rifle …


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