the start of spring 2024

This winter definitely hasn’t felt as long as previous ones we’ve spent in Istria. When summer ended and family went home after four long, fabulous weeks, we had two autumn visits from friends, when we experienced a really warm October, feeling that summer was still stretching itself out. At the start of December, we met up with Didsbury friends in Bergamo for birthday celebrations, and at Christmas, family came out again. We then had a lovely surprise New Year visit, from the friends we’d gone to Bergamo with, so by the time January arrived, we almost felt that summer was only just over.

January and February have been pretty mild, too – no snow, so far, and we are crossing our fingers it stays away this year. We’ve had rain and wind and fog,but who doesn’t in winter? And although we’ve been here long enough now, to know that the weather doesn’t settle into a summery rhythm until later April/early May, March has arrived and brought with it warm weather, blue skies and sunshine.

We’ve been keeping ourselves busy, doing a BIG de-clutter. The outside cellar has finally been cleared and rationalised – seven years worth of *stuff* has been either stored away neatly and tidily, or put on the ever growing pile for the municipal tip. We can finally get inside it now, and get to the overspill fridge – very handy in the summer! – instead of stumbling over boxes, bags, bicycles, pots of paint and all of the paraphernalia that comes with a long house renovation. We also have two sheds in the garden – one that was supposed to be a storage place for all things gardening related, the other, a home for all of the garden furniture cushions and throws and lanterns etc. Of course, these have also become dumping grounds and nothing has had its own place, so cushions have been squashed up against terracotta planters and lights and lanterns have just been shoved wherever there was a space. Not any more though – everything now has a home, and we feel super organised and ready for the onset of very warm weather. Maybe the budding trees and plants have motivated us, but we feel very re-energised and ready for a big summer of adventure.

Published on 26th March 2024