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Primavera è arrivata (Spring has arrived)

4 April 2012

Opening the Pool

The temperature has reached 30c  by day, the pool has been opened  but remains cool as overnight the thermometer falls into single figures. The mid teens is as warm as the water has reached.We have lunched for the first time this year on asparagus. All the doors are open and Her Outdoors is in the garden from the moment she gets up to check how much plants have grown or how many seeds have germinated overnight. This year it is all about the lunar cycle and her new bible “Gardening & planting by the moon”  We no longer have Monday, Tuesday etc but “seed day”, “root” day and “do nothing” day which in my bible is spelt “N e b b i o l o” day. Most of our neighbours follow the moon which I am not sure is a healthy thing but nevertheless everything seems to be sprouting and thankfully no hair on the palms of our hands. Walking the dogs by the river is a always a pleasure although we have already spotted the first naked cottager of Spring. I also find it strange when a car with tinted windows parks and the driver gets in the back!

Still the leather jackets, boots and body warmers are still much in evidence as Italians are still frightened by the most dreaded of diseases “Colpo d’Aria”, literally “hit of air” or chill. It will be May before summer fashion kicks in. It’s only the hardy expats and tourists who have got their shorts out. I also discovered this week that it is also illegal to drive on our motorways without winter tyres until 15th April.

The war on dandelions is in full swing and for the past week every day I have back-breakingly removed a wheelbarrow full from the lawn and orchard. Just when I think it’s all clear and am relaxing with a welcome cuppa another formation of flying seeds passes over, to the droning accompaniment of  bees . It’s a bit like the blitz and I wish our neighbours would take it more seriously. The British Bulldog spirit is alive and flourishing in Piemonte as the enemy surrounds us.

It’s a great time of year with the annual Barolo and Barbaresco dinners just around the corner and the exceptional Barbera festival in Castagnole delle Lanze. I just hope they coincide with a “do nothing” day the morning after but I don’t care, I’ll take one for the team.

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