Exercise, eating right, enough sleep. Oh and maybe throw in the inevitable “list” that comes about when a new year is born. I don’t think much of new year resolutions but welcome the idea of attainable goals to make the most of the next 365 days. As Harvie Krumpet would say, “Fakt 1034: Life is like a cigarette, smoke it to the butt”. With 2 high-energy dogs and a garden to maintain, I do not need a lot to keep busy.
- #1 Read a new book every month, 4 of which must be in italian.
- #2 Spend less time on the internet (so that I can finish reading that book).
- #3 Finish my list of 100 Ways to Celebrate Italy (12 more to go!)
Regarding this month, it has been the warmest that we have ever had in the chestnut forest. January is typically very cold, with snow, and dull. It is also the time for filling up on northern italian comfort dishes, not stripping down to your tshirt because it’s 20°C/68°F on a walk with the dynamic duo and you forgot the water bottle. Today it felt like early summer and the primulas are already in bloom. A good sign for things to come? Apparently it put someone in the mood for a little new year graffiti.
Look closely – notice the red paint on the road leading up to the stop sign?
Buongiorno Amore – che allegria!
So we’re back and the vacation is over (for 8 days now) but I have to say that this is one Christmas and New Year’s getaway that I wished would never end. As a last-minute xmas present to ourselves, we booked 6 days in Liguria to ring in the new year with a change of scenery and climate. Liguria, to our surprise, looked like it was in the throes of spring. Green everywhere, sunny, no snow, and for us mountain dwellers used to the cold, we were loving the mild temps!
Our farmstay apartment was situated 9 miles inland from Albenga along the riviera ponente (to the west of Genova) about halfway between Genova city and the french border. This made it an ideal base from which to visit not only France, but also the many medieval villages nestled inland and along the coast within Albenga’s environs. There are quite a few listed in Borghi più belli d’Italia, but even those not mentioned were special in their own way. Some are very quiet at this time of year, but the relevant silence made wandering the tiny alleys and narrow lanes all the more enchanting.
Colletta di Castelbianco
Waking up late, shopping at the Ipercoop in Albenga (there’s a tiny Eataly section in there) for homecooked meals, strolls with the dogs and reading books. 100% off-the-grid and not missing it one bit. We welcomed 2013 with several other guests – one of whom was from Lebanon and that was an interesting conversation! – and our hosts who had organized a festive dinner that culminated in a big bonfire of burning olive branches in their yard. The highlight of the evening? Teaching everyone how to say Happy New Year in hawaiian – Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
The xmas lights have all been taken down, the tree disassembled and stored away, and soon enough, it’ll be Carnevale. Supermarket shelves that once held everything shiny and bright are now several packages deep full of chiacchiere, frappe, bugie and cenci carnevale treats. Is it just me or is 2012 zipping by really, really fast? In the 10 whole days of vacation inertia and hoping for the white stuff to fall out of the sky, we finally received a light dusting on January 6th. It disappeared as soon as the sun hit high noon. Easter Sunday is in 90 days. Orange you glad that spring is just around the corner?