Twenty-eight degrees at 3pm. With a soothing breeze. We expect rain tomorrow.
Here in Carmine today all is quiet but for the tweeting of chicks in their nests, the rustling of lizards in the ivy and the slithering of snakes among the grass. The Easter visitors have for the most part gone away, and the steady stream of tourists has for now slowed to a trickle.
My own brood of chicks are out in Palazzo Pollo, growing fast. They’ve come to the chicken equivalent of the ugly-wugly acne-greasy-hair stage common to many teenagers. They look as if they are about to expire from some nasty chicken disease, but in fact it’s just their second round of feathers coming in. This brood is particularly pleasing. They seem to have imprinted on me, and when I pay them a visit I am immediately surrounded, pecked and leapt upon. One habitually flies up to my shoulder where he pecks at my grey hairs, and the other day succeeded in stealing a pearl earring. One day I expect to find it again in a roast, like the peasant girl in The Fish and the Ring… I hope so, I had no idea of the price of decent pearls in this part of the world!
In the garden I’ve finally succeeded in planting tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes and basil, and we are already celebrating the first strawberries, cherries and red currants. The roses are a dream this year after a hard pruning in the winter. At San Gottardo their perfume, mingled with melissa and rosemary, filled the church.
Talking of perfume, I was several times at Galzignano, a thermal spa resort near
. (Did I mention how much I love spas? I did? Oh. Okay.) Swimming pregnant in the warm spa waters, I found myself surrounded by islands planted with flowering jasmine, and was immediately enchanted. I determined to make Carmine smell as good, and this year have finally augmented our stock of poet’s jasmine by another four plants. Venice
If you happen to pass by while they are in flower – predicted for next week - I hope they bring the enchantment of the Arabian Nights to you too.