Friday, 21 January 2011

Thursday 20 January - plans, schemes & dreams

I awoke in the very early hours of the morning to feel the gentle warmth of the sawdust burner easing the usual icy chill, despite the windows having been open all night long.  A quick look at the fascinating little machine in the corner revealed all to be well, with a very satisfying red glow radiating through the middle.  And no fumes whatsoever.  Feeling more confident that this innocent tin can wasn't about to poison us with noxious gases as we slept, I shut the windows and returned to bed looking forward to a non-icy and unrunny nose when morning came.

A little beauty
And it worked.  It was still piping hot.  This little beauty needs to be worked on, teased and nurtured.  We need to play around with our filling technique and with the air vent, it will also be worthwhile checking out and cleaning the flu.  If this little gem can work without belching its eye-smarting fumes we'll have a neat way of providing warmth (maybe even some cooking), and all using a natural waste resource.  Just a shame its not connected to the hot water pipes.

Our day following that little bit of early morning excitement was fairly uneventful.  It was just a nice pottering, re-grouping sort of day.  We popped round to Roccamontepiano to see Sue and talk through our instant needs with her on the things she's offered to help out with.  We had wanted to sort everything ourselves but have, after many discussions over the last few days, decided that employing her services, at least to get us up and running fast, will actually be money well spent.  So Sue agreed to change the utility services over into our name and pay the necessary stamps, register us with the council, arrange our refuse collection, get our telephone and internet connected, make enquiries for getting gas installed and, finally, make some discrete enquiries for how the commune would feel about us setting up a campsite.  Doing it on a small basis doesn't seem to be a problem at all, but how high can we go?

By the time we'd finished with Sue the shops were shut and the weather had taken a bit of a nose dive.  Apparently snow is on the way, but this was just pure rain.  And it rained all afternoon.  KP made the most of it by having a good sort through the wood pile, stacking a load by the kitchen door and making sure we have enough to last us until we go home.

I had a very pleasant afternoon writing and sorting through photographs.  Sadly, however, uploading the photos for all to see proved far too much for the dongle, so that will have to wait until we get back.  As will checking out eBay Italia.  Thinking this might be the answer to my architectural salvage and rustic antiques problem, I had a quick (or rather very slow) explore of the site.  But, no.  Waiting five minutes for each page to load was just a little too painful.  There are only so many cups of tea or small chores you can do to fill the time.

The Maiella, the playground on our doorstep
We also both had our creative heads on and had a very exciting time walking around and brainstorming our very happy purchase.  The ideas just flowed.  One after another, they didn't stop.  We just bounced off each other.  One idea led to another, and another, and another, until my head was absolutely swimming.  If we can make this work, if only, if only, if only.  But why not?  It can, we know it can.  We have the perfect spot.

Come 5pm we dragged ourselves away and wandered into Serramonacesca to check out the little shop for milk and bread.  Bugger.  Shut.  Ah well, a trip to Scafa was now inevitable.  Carrefour is bound to be open.  The supermarket rot is slowly spreading its tentacles, aided by people like us.  Not good.  This will stop as soon as we're more settled, organised and have found our way round.

Cosy kitchen
But we did need milk as I was making lasagne!  Now that is very exciting indeed as it means I have an oven!  At last, hoorah!  There is only so much you can do on a gas hob.  But I've discovered my oven is actually gas too (and not electric without a plug as we'd thought) so my culinary creativity will know no bounds.  Well, sort of.  For now we were happy with lasagne for supper.  And very good it was too.  I like my oven.  I think we can be friends.

The evening was spent reading by the fire as seems to have become our very pleasant habit.  Me finding all about the seasonal cooking, meats and produce of Italy and growing, rearing and making them all in a permaculture sort of way, whilst KP was looking very serious indeed with his nose firmly embedded in the latest Stieg Larsson.

And so to bed, minus the noxious fumes but with a still very softly glowing tin can.

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