One of my favourite weekends, back in West Didsbury, was the one when we ventured out into the garden, for the first time in the year, to start that post-winter/pre-spring clean up. When the weather felt deceptively spring-like and the air felt a little bit different. And that weekend was usually in March or April, usually around Easter time.

That weekend has come a bit earlier, out here in Istria – the end of January to be precise, and we hope this bodes well for a very warm spring 🙂

We’ve been a bit limited in what we can do out in the garden, as most of it is still a building site, and will be for some time to come. However, we have made some headway, clearing waterlogged pots (note to self – better drainage required!), stacking up the old Istrian stones we have salvaged which will be re-used and generally giving the plants, most of which seem to have survived a cold winter, a bit of TLC. It’s sunny today, lulling us into that idea that summer is just around the corner. However, it’s not! It’s now dark and cold, so the fire is roaring away.

However, it’s not just outside where spring seems to be close. As the builders beaver away in the kitchen – yes, on a Sunday! – we’ve been working away too, starting again to do what we can, to get the house just as we want it. Even though we’ve been outside working, it’s still just a bit too chilly to remove the windows to continue repairing, sealing, undercoating and top coating, so painting DIY today, has been indoors. The bedroom doors are going to be replaced, and we’re thinking along these lines…

But in the meantime, we want to make the ones we have look as nice as possible, so, painting has recommenced as the doors are given a make-over, giving them a new coat of the pale blue, to match the window frames and shutters. The very odd locking mechanism & handles, which we’ve never seen before, and definitely don’t work, are going too, to be replaced temporarily by some lovely decorative door knobs we brought back from England.

As the kitchen renovation starts gather a-pace, we hope that we can keep things going, DIY-wise, so that when spring really does return, we’re guest-ready 🙂