Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Images of summer

Bright and dry. But the wind of change is blowing. There'll be rain within 36 hours, I'll wager.

As the chestnuts ripen in the trees and the acacia leaves start to yellow, it's time to gird my loins for the daily term-time grind - two journeys down the hill and two journeys up every day. (At least, every day we don't have swine 'flu, normal 'flu, a common cold or a stomach bug.)

The 77 days of the summer holidays have flashed by in a flurry of beach towels and baby wipes, of sparkling aperitivo fizz and sunshine on the water. We took breaks in three different countries - England, Switzerland and Germany, and it rained in them all. We came home to Carmine, and the sun rewarded us.

We celebrated special birthdays with our friends and family...




...and got some new perspectives on life and Carmine...




We practised our writing...
and our art skills...


and our 'music' rocked the Rock.



We met some interesting characters in our summer livestock research programme...


...and, for two weeks, we played host to Clothilde, the hen with the gammy leg. Clothilde spent her time in recuperative pursuits, such as reading...


...performing stairwalking exercises...

...and thieving.

During Clothilde's stay, our stock of disinfectant was seriously depleted, but it has to be said that she always paid her bill...




The summer began with a wonderful event. Our grateful and affectionate (as always) thanks go to E, A and L. Why? Because this summer, this...


...became ours at last.

It went on to be pretty hot. Hot in July. Hot also in August, when normally things are starting to cool off, and now in September it's warm and dry, dry, dry. July's evening thunderstorms were punctuated by our annual hail storm...


...which spoiled many gardens and turned down the corners of the mouths of gardeners Carmine-wide.

To cool off, we took to the water, at the lake (at several lakes)...



splashing about in Carmine's old lavatoio...




and taking it easy in our own backyard cool-tub...


Throughout the summer, we were visited by our many kind friends and neighbours - Carmine home-owners and simple appassionati alike. Day after day, the usually silent streets rang with the calls of children enjoying the relative freedom car-free Carmine has to offer. Mothers and grandmothers gossiped in Italian, German and English (sometimes in a curious mixture of all three), and husbands traded homemade beer or disappeared into the woods with lanky-legged sons in search of adventure. Night after night, there were mutterings in the churchyard and many impromptu comings-and-goings between dining tables.
The Chiesa di San Gottardo also drew many visitors every day, and I'm happy to see that our visitor's book, which we started at Christmas, is filling up with names from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, and from as close as Cannobio and Verbania. This is what they come to see...



In the garden we grew tomatoes and cucumbers, courgettes and lettuce, basil and chillies, "parslee, sage, rose-mair-ee and thyme". We raised grapes and apples, pears, peaches and apricots, and berries blue and black and rasp.

Our summer was full, full of flowers...












...and we finally had proof, if proof were needed, that it's not paradise without a snake...





So today, I'm shaking myself, packing school bags, ironing in name labels and wriggling under beds for swimming kit and gymn shoes - just like any other mother.

And I wonder to myself what it is the children will remember of summer in Carmine Superiore 2009.



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise,
This is brilliant, the best yet, what a story. I will be keeping this to read over and over again.

chrysalis said...

Really entertaining - have already read it several times. One of the best blogs you have written. Especially liked the last comment...........!!

ladyfi said...

Wonderful tribute to summer. I thoroughly enjoyed this!

Just one detail was a little difficult - this mother doesn't iron! I just write in the kids' names with indelible pen!

ladyfi said...

Forgot to say: the kids will probably remember swimming and ice cream - lots of ice cream!

KatyB said...

I hope you will keep this to remind your kids how lucky they were to grow up in a place like that.

Chairman Bill said...

I guess they'll remember an idyllic childhood.

Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

Looks like you had a wonderful summer!

Karin said...

Loved your post and the beautiful photos. Enjoyed the chicken reading, LOL!!! What a joy it was to read your story - a delightful whirlwind tour through your summer!--- Oh my, and I miss my accordion! What memories that brings back for me.

Brenda said...

What a wonderful overview of your summer. I'm sure your kids will remember carefree times of joy and security. Wonderful way to raise them.

Summer goes by all too quickly, no matter which part of the world you live in.

Ilse said...

Just the photographs of that hen doing her "reading" and exercise and thieveing and leaving a reward is a story in itself. If you add the stories about the (late) bully - omitting the slaughtering bit - you have a best-seller!

Romancing Italy said...

Today being rainy and cold, it was the perfect time to read your summertime memories and feel once again lazy summer days filled with children's laughter. I think it that one thing that makes it seem so carefree.

Just to clarify, what exactly is yours now? The door itself, or the house that the door goes with? (I ask because many times old doors, furniture and little outcasts from other homes, find a new abode here after being treated. So it would not have been unusual if it were just the door....) Bev

Louise said...

Hello Bev, Yes, I've seen these things sold separately too. Mostly to foreigners with a hankering for the antique! What we bought was the baita that goes with the door, and the beautiful garden that goes with it.

Bev said...

Is this another place that you bought - or the house with memories but no heating in the bathroom is finally officially yours?

Louise said...

It's a different place, a small tumbledown shepherd's cottage on the outskirts of the village. We've been borrowing it for the last few years, and it's home to our chickens.

bettyl said...

Great remembrance of the summer. I think back to what I remember about childhood summers and hope I make each one a great memory for the children.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Images of summer

Bright and dry. But the wind of change is blowing. There'll be rain within 36 hours, I'll wager.

As the chestnuts ripen in the trees and the acacia leaves start to yellow, it's time to gird my loins for the daily term-time grind - two journeys down the hill and two journeys up every day. (At least, every day we don't have swine 'flu, normal 'flu, a common cold or a stomach bug.)

The 77 days of the summer holidays have flashed by in a flurry of beach towels and baby wipes, of sparkling aperitivo fizz and sunshine on the water. We took breaks in three different countries - England, Switzerland and Germany, and it rained in them all. We came home to Carmine, and the sun rewarded us.

We celebrated special birthdays with our friends and family...




...and got some new perspectives on life and Carmine...




We practised our writing...
and our art skills...


and our 'music' rocked the Rock.



We met some interesting characters in our summer livestock research programme...


...and, for two weeks, we played host to Clothilde, the hen with the gammy leg. Clothilde spent her time in recuperative pursuits, such as reading...


...performing stairwalking exercises...

...and thieving.

During Clothilde's stay, our stock of disinfectant was seriously depleted, but it has to be said that she always paid her bill...




The summer began with a wonderful event. Our grateful and affectionate (as always) thanks go to E, A and L. Why? Because this summer, this...


...became ours at last.

It went on to be pretty hot. Hot in July. Hot also in August, when normally things are starting to cool off, and now in September it's warm and dry, dry, dry. July's evening thunderstorms were punctuated by our annual hail storm...


...which spoiled many gardens and turned down the corners of the mouths of gardeners Carmine-wide.

To cool off, we took to the water, at the lake (at several lakes)...



splashing about in Carmine's old lavatoio...




and taking it easy in our own backyard cool-tub...


Throughout the summer, we were visited by our many kind friends and neighbours - Carmine home-owners and simple appassionati alike. Day after day, the usually silent streets rang with the calls of children enjoying the relative freedom car-free Carmine has to offer. Mothers and grandmothers gossiped in Italian, German and English (sometimes in a curious mixture of all three), and husbands traded homemade beer or disappeared into the woods with lanky-legged sons in search of adventure. Night after night, there were mutterings in the churchyard and many impromptu comings-and-goings between dining tables.
The Chiesa di San Gottardo also drew many visitors every day, and I'm happy to see that our visitor's book, which we started at Christmas, is filling up with names from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, and from as close as Cannobio and Verbania. This is what they come to see...



In the garden we grew tomatoes and cucumbers, courgettes and lettuce, basil and chillies, "parslee, sage, rose-mair-ee and thyme". We raised grapes and apples, pears, peaches and apricots, and berries blue and black and rasp.

Our summer was full, full of flowers...












...and we finally had proof, if proof were needed, that it's not paradise without a snake...





So today, I'm shaking myself, packing school bags, ironing in name labels and wriggling under beds for swimming kit and gymn shoes - just like any other mother.

And I wonder to myself what it is the children will remember of summer in Carmine Superiore 2009.



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise,
This is brilliant, the best yet, what a story. I will be keeping this to read over and over again.

chrysalis said...

Really entertaining - have already read it several times. One of the best blogs you have written. Especially liked the last comment...........!!

ladyfi said...

Wonderful tribute to summer. I thoroughly enjoyed this!

Just one detail was a little difficult - this mother doesn't iron! I just write in the kids' names with indelible pen!

ladyfi said...

Forgot to say: the kids will probably remember swimming and ice cream - lots of ice cream!

KatyB said...

I hope you will keep this to remind your kids how lucky they were to grow up in a place like that.

Chairman Bill said...

I guess they'll remember an idyllic childhood.

Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

Looks like you had a wonderful summer!

Karin said...

Loved your post and the beautiful photos. Enjoyed the chicken reading, LOL!!! What a joy it was to read your story - a delightful whirlwind tour through your summer!--- Oh my, and I miss my accordion! What memories that brings back for me.

Brenda said...

What a wonderful overview of your summer. I'm sure your kids will remember carefree times of joy and security. Wonderful way to raise them.

Summer goes by all too quickly, no matter which part of the world you live in.

Ilse said...

Just the photographs of that hen doing her "reading" and exercise and thieveing and leaving a reward is a story in itself. If you add the stories about the (late) bully - omitting the slaughtering bit - you have a best-seller!

Romancing Italy said...

Today being rainy and cold, it was the perfect time to read your summertime memories and feel once again lazy summer days filled with children's laughter. I think it that one thing that makes it seem so carefree.

Just to clarify, what exactly is yours now? The door itself, or the house that the door goes with? (I ask because many times old doors, furniture and little outcasts from other homes, find a new abode here after being treated. So it would not have been unusual if it were just the door....) Bev

Louise said...

Hello Bev, Yes, I've seen these things sold separately too. Mostly to foreigners with a hankering for the antique! What we bought was the baita that goes with the door, and the beautiful garden that goes with it.

Bev said...

Is this another place that you bought - or the house with memories but no heating in the bathroom is finally officially yours?

Louise said...

It's a different place, a small tumbledown shepherd's cottage on the outskirts of the village. We've been borrowing it for the last few years, and it's home to our chickens.

bettyl said...

Great remembrance of the summer. I think back to what I remember about childhood summers and hope I make each one a great memory for the children.