What better use of the end of year limbo (aka the Christmas break) than a quick backward look? Five education secretaries Four chancellors Three prime ministers Two Tory leadership coups And one massive omnishambles in a pear tree Oh, and I almost forgot. The Queen died. 2022 has been quite the year John Crace in the … Continue reading Wrapping up the year 2022
David’s press trips to Valdobbiadene (for superior Prosecco) and five days later, to the Euganean Hills (for more obscure wines, salumi and olive oil production and spas) provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to spend a long weekend in Venice. A holiday! Yes a real holiday ! I flew from Gatwick at midday on Thursday … Continue reading And what will October 2022 bring, I wonder? Venice!
Monday 12 September We made an earlyish start (we saw the sunrise from our bedroom window) to drive east from Alba to our first visit Ca Turin in Cisterna d’Asti at 09.00 where Alessandro met us promptly and showed us his modest cantina with four small concrete tanks (and several bags of hazel nuts). Fabulous … Continue reading Piemonte 13: Monferrato September 2022
Saturday 10 September Today we drove west, returning to the foothills of the French Alps to expand David’s material gathered in May. At Costiglione Saluzzo we met Serena Giardanino and her father in their small domestic sized winery around which they grow Qualiano as well as Barbera, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay and Favorita, used in six different … Continue reading Piemonte 12: Saluzzo (again) and Diano d’Alba and the Langhe’s eastern edge; September 2022
Friday 2 September 2022 After a busy week of birthday celebrations, it was a relief to be catching a mid-afternoon BA flight from Gatwick, accessed easily by trains (running almost to time!). Wonderful when it works! But a late departure meant a later arrival at Turin, and though Hertz’s rep was both friendly and helpful we … Continue reading Piemonte 11: the Langhe 3; September 2022
After a very hot and dry July with not one but two record-breaking heatwaves, the garden had gone from flourishing colours to rock-hard ground and shrivelled plants with yellowing foliage. Souther Water inevitably imposed a hosepipe ban, though ours were put to use siphoning water from the bath onto suffering flowerbeds and roses. Look carefully … Continue reading And what will August 2022 bring I wonder? – drought and a significant birthday!
The first set of train tickets I purchased from Andover to Bridlington were for 19 July; I planned to visit my sister and Hugh was revisiting the RSPB site at Bempton Cliffs in the hope of spotting an albatross…. Strange, but true. The day when the ‘A1 corridor’ experienced 40 degrees celsius was not the … Continue reading And what will late July 2022 bring I wonder? – heatwaves and a difficult journey north….
Raphael’s work is astonishing! Born in 1483 in the Marche (possibly Urbino) to a court painter at the Dukes of Urbino, he lost his mother when he was 8 and his father at 11, but supported by an uncle, he took over the family workshop and by 15 he was acknowledged in Perugia as a … Continue reading And what will early July 2022 bring, I wonder? Raphael at the National Gallery
We arrived home from Cyprus at the start of the extended platinum jubilee bank holiday, to a garden that blew us away! As you will see…. First the foxgloves! Wow! The very sunny May, and some conscientious watering by Hugh while we were in Italy has resulted in bright colours, strong plants and fantastic colour… … Continue reading And what will June 2022 bring, I wonder? A staggeringly beautiful garden!
A trip to Cyprus to see Rob and Joanna married on Tuesday 31 May (after a two year covid wait) The ceremony took place in the little court yard of the church used by the monks of the monastery on whose land the extraordinary Menthis Resort is now being built. The last monk died only … Continue reading And what (else) will May 2022 bring, I wonder?