Thursday, June 30, 2011

A lilo and other things

I splashed out  on a new lilo today (geddit). On getting it home and unpacking it I discovered it came with a owners manual. Now, you do not need a owners manual for a lilo!

This afternoon was fairly cloudy with a touch of breeze and cooler than it has been so it was back in the grove cutting the grass. I need a couple more days like this and it will be job done.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strange but true

I often drive the local quarry and at this time of the year the guy who runs the weighbridge can often be seen strutting around his portacabin in no more than his vividly white underpants getting his tan up. It really is a very strange sight.

For reasons that are hopefully obvious there is no picture to go with this blog.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dead chuffed

Today Casa Margherita made it's first ever online sale in Italy. This is great as we have not publicised the Italian site at all, it's just up there.

Later this year we will start publicising it in advance of the new season's oil.

Market in Trevi tomorrow morning and then the Grand Prix. Forsa Alonso!

Friday, June 24, 2011


For lunch today we had some bruschetta. Our's was made with salt, olive ol, tomatoes and basil.

Bruschetta is a standard antipasta here in Umbria.

For best results you should cook the bread over wood but...

The versions available are endless and are down to you really but you have the classic bruschetta which is rubbed with raw garlic and then drowned in a good olive oil (maybe from Casa Margherita). Alternatively you can have them with thinly sliced aubergine or chicken liver pate which here has a slight vinegar taste to it which I love on bruschetta.

The limitation is solely your imagination and what's in your larder.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Changing Trevi

We went as usual to the market in Trevi on Friday and ended talking to someone who lives in the central storico. He was saying that whereas now Trevi has one alimentari (general provisions stores) and one butcher and 2 bars, there were previously three of each.

This decline is caused by two factors. One is the rise of the supermarkets which is a common factor in other locales as well. The other is the fact that populations in the old town centres are diminishing. They are no longer where people want to live. This is a situation that is common across Italy.

I think this is a shame but I must declare my hand here. It is the local family owned stores that sell my olive oil so I am biased in that regard.

Hopefully the new Trevi council can somehow incentivise people to live in the centre again. Either that or we just have to wait until it is fashionable gain as surely it will be.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Look at all this vibrant fresh new growth on this olive. They are desperate to grow.

You do tend to get this sort of growth reaction when you have pruned quite hard. They say that you should remove this sort of growth now to concentrate the trees energies where you want them.

I do tend to rip this sort of growth off as I am passing but it is not sistematic as life is too short.

Monday, June 13, 2011


This is the stem of one of our olives. This shows the dying olive flowers and the tiny green pin pricks of olive fruit which all being well will grow and be harvested in autumn.

 Further along the stem you have this years growth with the flower bud set between the leaf and the stem which will flower next year.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Winnie's weather

With the weather having been distinctly cool and wet recently - positively Scottish in fact - our Westie, Winnie, has decided that she needs her twice daily walk again. Normally by this time of year she does not get a walk as it's too hot and she is content to chase lizards and sunbath.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New works from the fienile

Rachel has been busy working in her studio (ex hay barn) at the top of the hill. She has found a new way or working that is more spontaneous and is enjoying the process and the results.

Below is one of the new works called "Life" although others can be seen on her website at

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Apropos nothing really

A night time shot of a prunus against the late evening sky. I think it looks a bit Japanese but I'm told by someone more arty than me I'm wrong. In fact she didn't say anything there was just silence which is even more indicative I'm wrong.

Anyway today we had to visit the accountant to further understand the Italian tax system. This is a journey of a lifetime so we go often.

Our accountant has a very happy persona, not put upon by the job she does. The exact opposite of most accountants. I speak here as an former accountant myself.

Monday, June 6, 2011


On Saturday afternoon we had an intense hailstorm with hailstones about a 1cm across. It was part of a thunderstorm that lasted a couple of hours but very localised in terms of the hailstorm.

It was very destructive, particularly in the vegetable garden, with the tomatoes pretty
much totally destroyed and everything else with shredded leaves.

Fortunately the olives are very hardy and so don't appear to be affected.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Anniversario della Repubblica

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the creation of the Italian republic.

It's a public holiday and will be most welcomed by many as already this year two festa days have fallen on a weekend and so no day off was forthcoming.

Also many Italians will "fanno un ponte" with this holiday and take friday off to make a long weekend of it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In transition

The olive trees here are full of flower bud which are now budding giving the trees a strange yellowy hew.

Hopefully with some benine weather these will convert into fruit.