|ROSEMARY (and KP)|
The seeds of her existence came into our lives in the summer of 2009 as we were making our slow, weary way back up from the crag with the sun going down. The thought of spending the next hour trying to find a bed for the night (and ending up, as normal, with something ghastly and overpriced) was somewhat overshadowing the otherwise idyllic hue.
OK, admittedly we could have bought a tent like so many other climbers, but KP is a rather unfoldable 6'3" and doesn't neatly package into small spaces. Certainly not without a lot of grumbling anyway.
A eureka moment on that rope laden amble back from the crag saw us eBay bidding the next day on a cream coloured T25 with a brown stripey pop top. Three days later she was delivered to my work, and so the love affair began. A glimpse into the other side, with no looking back.
|Jaqs, a beatnik in the making|
All our spare time, not much, but just enough to kindle the flame, was spent with her. Cragging by day, camping by night. The beatnik in us was awoken.
|Summit. Monte Marsicano|
|Lago di Bomba|
|Rosemary enjoying the view, Passo san Leonardo|
|Just chillin, Lago di Bomba|
|Kokopelli olive grove/camping area|
Serramonacesca, a village on the northern slopes of the Maiella National Park. Mountains, sea and wilderness in abundance.
The house was built of old Maiella stone and comes complete with a fireplace in the kitchen, an old pizza oven in the cantina and sundrenched balconies to all three bedrooms. Outside we have just under an acre of olive grove, dotted with fig trees and with views to die for. But there's much to do.
|Our house (B&B too)|
We need to convert the barns into showers, loos, laundry, and so on. We also want to develop one of the barns to create a chilling/communal/just sort of hanging out escaping from the sun/snow sort of space. At the back of the three barns there's an amazing area looking down the valley and to the mountains of the Gran Sasso beyond, just crying out for the creation of a large terrace for barbecuing, eating, sunning and so on. So much to do!
Alongside all this, we've got the house to decorate, a vegetable patch to dig and a herb garden to grow. But, most important of all, we've got a home to prepare for Rosemary. She'll be coming with us, of course, and working alongside us. In the off-season we'll still be enjoying our weekends of cragging and camping, but the rest of the time she'll be earning her keep as a quirky alternative for our guests to sleeping under canvas.
|The barns to convert|