2017 was a year of highs and lows as far as The Mandarin was concerned. The beginning of the year saw snow, the like of which in Tursi is only seen every 20 years or so. Temperatures of minus 8 every night for a week and well over a foot of icy, slipperiness. Followed by the inevitable burst pipes and influenza. Work stopped for a month. The Mandarin was just a shell; a husk with nothing inside. Problems too complicated to explain meant further halts in the work to iron out '
The Mandarin and The Kumquat are all about re loving, upcycling and reusing everything. Southern Italy probably invented recycling, many household items are remodeled and nothing is ever thrown away. Wire coat hangers for example are cut into pieces and shaped into S shaped hangers for curing salami, old skirts are fashioned into aprons. Historically hair from brushes was saved and sold, goodness knows what they did with it and used olive oil was given to the soap man in retu
It’s the start of April and l am on the beach, my biggest dilemma......deciding whether l should shed my jeans and expose my super pasty winter legs to the sun. It’s 9 o'clock and already quite warm. The sand is spotless after a winter with no visitors, the sun is making the sea sparkle like a thousand diamonds and a small fishing boat has just flashed past. A stunning day with the coastline of Calabria in sight and the still snow covered mountains of The Pollino National Par
At last l have discovered just what l enjoy doing with my life, restoring these beautiful old houses and sharing them with my friends. It’s just so wonderful when guests totally get the vibe. Ok for some it’s a bit strange without TV, but do we really need it in our life to bring doom and gloom into our 'front room'. Of course l know we should be informed about what is going on in the World. But maybe for a week we can live without it. Listening to music, watching the fire a
2017 has been a winter like no other in the last 30 years. Up until the 4th January the weather had been spectacular, warm days, sunshine, blue skies....then one morning, it was strangely quiet on waking, always still and silent, the lack of noise was different, inexplicable. On opening the curtains the prickly pear cacti which dot the hillsides were covered with a thick dusting of snow. Just beautiful, gently falling and settling on the ancient houses of La Rabatana and the
Today I am sitting at the beach writing this blog, well aware that l am very behind schedule in my once a month missive. However in these few weeks we have been to the UK and returned here to buy my dream house. To say that l have been in love with this amazing building for 10 years is no exaggeration. For those of you who know me well, you already realise that patience is not my strong point. I don’t want things achieved, tomorrow or even today, but yesterday. However all go