It’s been almost three months since my last blog, so what have we been doing with ourselves you might well ask. We’ve both taken separate trips back to the UK. Jeremy drove over with a friend to make oil deliveries and pick up enough teabags, marmite, oats and treacle to last the year. He also brought me back some veggie treats, such as tofu, haloumi and tahini. I flew back and divided my time visiting family and friends, shopping and fitting in as many curries as possible. The best curry was most definitely the Sree Krishna in Tooting (an old favourite of mine back when I lived in Wimbledon a good 20-odd years ago). I also managed to stuff my suitcase with spice and all sorts of other things nice.
Trips back home always cause a backlog of work and I’ve only just caught up with myself, which hopefully means more blog and craft time. I’ve just made some new bedding and cushions to go in the tent we’ve erected in the garden. Jeremy picked up a canvas bell tent when he was in London, so we can provide some luxury camping accommodation for the many volunteer workers we’ve got arriving over the summer. We picked up a selection of spectacularly hideous curtains at the second hand section in the market yesterday to use as rugs to cover the ground sheet. Maybe it’s not quite glamping but it feels pretty comfy in there.
We’ve a long list of jobs for our visiting HelpXchangers; including helping build a pergola, polytunnel and some raised beds, taking suckers off olive trees, general garden tidying, moving the compost bin to the vegetable plot as we’ve managed to source some worms to start a wormery where the compost currently resides.
Speaking of the garden, things are growing well this year, thanks to an improvement in the soil following the addition of lots of manure, ash and charcoal. Getting creative with courgettes has once again become an obsession so expect some courgette-based recipes soon.
Not surprisingly we’ve been eating a lot of barbeques, as both June and July have been gorgeous. It’s been very hot, but there’s always been a breeze. High temperatures have brought the reassuring sound of summertime, as cicadas produce an overpowering hum during the day and crickets take up the chirping at night. Italians call summertime i giorni delle cicadidi e notti delle grillidi (days of cicadas and nights of crickets) as they provide an unmistakable and unrelenting chorus throughout the summer. During the night the odd praying mantis provide a few clicks and rattles to the nightly serenade.
Next week temperatures are predicted to reach the 40s, so I’m guessing we may make our first beach visit of the year. I’m a little jealous of the German helpers Jeremy is picking up from the station today as I suspect it will be cooler in the tent than the house next week.
With a heatwave on the way I’m just going to make Jeremy some Thai fisherman’s pants which he can wear to the beach and a sundress for myself. If I haven’t melted by next week I’ll write about sewing our new beach wardrobe in my next blog.
I’m also hoping to turn some olive suckers into baskets, so watch this space for some seriously rustic basketry. I’ll be happy if I can produce just one small one which I can use to collect eggs and mushrooms in. But I’d really love to get proficient at it and make large baskets to keep logs in.