Meet Scott and Emma Notman – two Brits in the throes of a rather large mid life crisis.
We met many years ago, when we were both aircrew serving in the Royal Air Force. I “retired” from military service after our two children were born, and spent the next umpteen years following Scott around, various postings, as a trailing spouse.
In the late 1990s, Scott’s service took us to Gioia del Colle, in Puglia, the heel of Italy. Here, we both developed a love of Italy: its language, culture, countryside and, of course, its FOOD.
Scott’s career then took us to Germany, the UK, the USA, the UK again, and then to Belgium. Whilst Scott was serving in Brussels, we were thrilled to learn that he was to be posted to the NATO Defence College in Rome for his final tour of duty. No sooner had we arrived in Rome, than we decided that we needed to be able to escape to the countryside for relaxing weekends with the dogs as often as possible.
So we decided to buy a caravan.
Then we realised that a caravan was a depreciating asset, so we decided to buy a small bolt-hole in our favourite region, that happened to be easily accessible from Rome.
Somehow, that little bolt-hole grew into an olive farm, with vineyard, citrus grove, nut plantation, veg plot and, oh, a 300 square metre house in need of renovation and modernisation.
We bought the farm. We’ve modernised the house, we’ve claimed the land back from nature, and now we are proud to call ourselves olive farmers.
Welcome to our world!