Tag Archives: Pizza

Glitter Shoed Gardening In Umbria

Hanging The Hammock,Rocking Dog

Hanging The Hammock

Good morning from Rocking Dog. I had good intentions of continuing to garden at 5.30 am on my return to the kennel, but alas….! To escape the piercing heat of the Umbrian sun I did indeed choose to garden as dawn arrived in the garden. I was awoken by my own dawn chorus of naughty chattering birds flitting busily on the ancient olive tree outside our bedroom window. I gardened in linen nightie and glittery sandals and as a result my legs are in a scratched and sorry state! The Italian version of Sticky Willy is coarse, barbed and unforgiving.

Umbria has had no rain for a few weeks now and the land is parched. It has been unusual to have such high temperatures so early in the summer season and there are real concerns for this years olive crop. The little olives have had no chance to develop before being hit by temperatures nearing 40 degrees. For those of us who pick olives as a pleasurable hobby a poor crop is sad but not an economic disaster. Meanwhile for those who depend on the crop for their livelihood a poor harvest is a severe body blow. Of course a poor crop trickles down to whole communities (pickers,olive oil pressing facilities, bottle & can suppliers,retailers etc…) Olive oil really is a way of life in Italy.

It is not only olives which have been affected, we witnessed vineyards blackened by fire and food crops struggling in the earth for moisture. A huge field of sunflowers have been planted over the garden fence and we hope that in a months time there will be a blaze of yellow on the horizon. Sunflowers are a rotational crop, so it may be a few years before the cheery yellow field reappears so close by.

Our grass resembles cattle driving prairie land. We hope rain will come soon. It was too hot to plant anything new, so leaf clearing and tidying was the order of the day. Planting will be done in October when we will assess what needs replacing after the sweltering summer.

We hung the hammock, added pretty lights and watered the thirsty geraniums. I found the most exquisite little nest on the path. It was truly an architectural masterpiece with grasses and soft pulpy seed heads. It was so soft, so delicate and tear jerkingly beautiful. I didn’t get to sit in my oak tree’d reading nook, nor use my telescope, the swinging chair remained un-sat in .. but getting close to unfamiliar plants was enjoyable.

And Suddenly it’s Evening by Salvatore Quasimodo

Everyone is alone on the heart of the earth
Pierced by a ray of sun:
and suddenly it’s evening.

It wasn’t all about work in the garden, we managed to fire up the ancient pizza oven after some remedial internal grouting. Of course the pool provided delicious respite from the unrelenting heat, and Michele’s provided the perfect escape for Prosecci and cake!

So, it’s back to verdant woodland management back at the kennel and I think wellies may be rather more sensible than glittery shoes!

Have a good week and at least the rain is on the way here.

Love Rocking Dog x

Watering The Geraniums,Rocking Dog

Watering The Geraniums

Garden Treasure,Rocking Dog

Garden Treasure

Unpromising Crop,Rocking Dog

Unpromising Crop

Lighting to Hang,Rocking Dog

Lighting to Hang

View To The Village,Rocking Dog

View To The Village

Early Morning Dip,Rocking Dog

Early Morning Dip

Escape For Cake,Rocking Dog

Escape For Cake

Fire Up The Oven,Rocking Dog

Fire Up The Oven

Back To Woodland Gardening,Rocking Dog

Back To Woodland Gardening

The Week That Simply Came & Went!

Yes It Went!, Rocking Dog

Yes It Went!

Do you ever have weeks that simply came and went? I realised that nine days had passed without posting anything on my Rocking Dog blog.

Last weekend we were at a Fox Terrier Rescue Fundraising Fun Day in Hertfordshire. Real Live Rocking Dog and pal Zac dressed up as the Sushi Boys in blazing sunshine. It was great fun and the Sushi Boys had the company of another seventy or so fellow Fox Terriers. There were grumpy ones, feisty ones, old ones, Cruft’s winning ones and ones that needed new homes.

Sewing resumed on the patchwork quilt and it is coming along slowly but surely. It should be a finished project by the weeks end. I have also been starting to think of lovely things to create for Christmas 2015. The elves will worryingly be working in the Rocking Dog workshop very soon!

A lovely morning was spent with my lovely neighbour Laura and her gorgeous boy Noah at St Werburgh’s City Farm, Bristol. It’s a great place to take children with its rustic playground and range of farm animals. Beware of the butting nanny goat! The farm also has a great cafe with truly delicious cakes and coffees.

An afternoon was spent teaching some young carers to make pizzas. I was told off by the youngsters for not bringing in olives, such are the cosmopolitan tastes of the group. The washing up session was epic!

This weekend Andyman and I travelled by train to London with Real Live Rocking Dog by. The plan was to walk him across London through some of London’s parks and the embankment to my sister’s house. The weather unfortunately had other plans so RLR Dog ventured onto the tube for the first time. On Friday we were at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium. Nearly full to capacity there was a great atmosphere in the stadium, especially with the appearance of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.

On Saturday I was with my girls in Maltby Street, a thronging Saturday foodie haunt. It is also the location of a branch of Lassco, a fantastic Architectural salvage place with truly gorgeous furniture etc… but usually with equally fantastical price labels! After a brunch of the most amazing Reuben sandwiches by Monty’s Deli’ we headed to Victoria to see Billy Elliot. The show was tremendous and it took me back to evenings spent as a child scrabbling around for candles during the frequent power cuts of the 1970’s. There were the meals cooked on a gas camping stove and the constant uncertainty of when light and power would resume.

Looking back on the week, although it simply came and went it was packed with quite a lot!

The Sushi Boys, Rocking Dog

The Sushi Boys

Perseverance Patchwork, Rocking Dog

Perseverance Patchwork

Caring Cooking, Rocking Dog

Caring Cooking

Farm Food, Rocking Dog

Farm Food

C Word Planning!, Rocking Dog

C Word Planning!

Anniversary Games, Rocking Dog

Anniversary Games