Saturday, 23 March 2013

The beginning - 2010

I was pregnant and we thought hard about where we wanted to bring our daughter up and what we wanted for her future. We'd been in Le Marche in central Italy for 6 years and whilst it was very beautiful it was also very, very quiet. Great if you're retiring or trying to escape from the rat-race but we could hardly claim either of those.  

A part of our farm
We had visited Liguria for the day during a trip to Lucca the year previously. I fell in love instantly. Paul had been driving for hours and was tired and grumpy and didn't. Whenever I mentioned it afterwards he growled about it. His dream was always that picture-perfect Tuscan countryside and nothing else would really push his buttons. Something had happened to me when I had strolled under the ancient olive trees in Liguria on that trip. I can't really explain to other than to say I felt a peace I have never felt elsewhere.

We did our usual trawl of the internet in search of pastures new and saw an old olive farm with several buildings and Paul was instantly captivated. "That's it - let's go!" he said in that crazy impulsive way he has. I was 3 months pregnant and on strict instructions to do nothing from the doctor so he would have to go on his own as it is a 750km journey. We made the arrangements and off he went to look at this and one other property. This really was nothing like either of us. We had looked at over 80 houses before buying in Le Marche so impulsive house buyers we were not!

He called me all the time. I could hardly stay awake as I was still at that falling asleep stage of pregnancy. He described it all in great detail - we were so excited. He loved it. He came back and we made plans to go and see it again when I was further along in the pregnancy. It would be a great place to bring up our daughter. Quiet inland with a bustling coastline, near to Nice, Monte Carlo and the big Italian cities sof Milan and Turn plus no distance from Sanremo which has everything you need for everyday life.

We had a little holiday in Liguria in the April and our daughter Ruby was born in August. Just before she arrived we decided to buy it. We loved it. Everything about it was perfect. There were two larger properties that could become houses (one to let and one to live in) and three outbuildings that could become more accommodation - perfect for our plans for an agriturismo (or farm-holiday business). It had water and electricity nearby plus telephone. The road was not too steep nor too windy and there were plans to concrete the final part practically to our house so access wouldn't be a problem. Most exciting for both of us was the plot itself. It had beauitful views of the hilltop town of Perinaldo and the other olive groves and was all south-facing and gorgeously sunny. As we now know it is always Spring up there, even in mid-winter!

Our new adventure had begun. We didn't expect it to take quite as long to get here as it did but then this is Italy and nothing ever happens when you expect it to here.

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