Italian Renovations – the windows arrive

 ‘All the windows of my Heart I open to the day’

John Whittier

Warmth and light…. these two simple elements now grace our home. The old discarded windows lean against the walls waiting for their fate. A reminder of the past and the many lives this house has seen come and go. My favorite place is always by the kitchen window looking out to the little road below and I wonder who else stood in just this spot, what dreams they had here. I walk through these rooms, along the narrow paths of the Borgata and I sense that they are aware and keeping watch over our shenanigans.

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house door 2 dblhouse door dblhouse door 3 dblIt has been chaotic here and the house is a jumble of tools, rocks, windows, wiring and daily life. Over the weekend we will be cleaning up and getting back to a sense of normality. It’s all systems go and we have a very special guest coming to visit late November, she is a friend I met on facebook and we can’t wait to meet her in person.

I have been a bit under the weather recently and so has Sam with his kidney stones but such is life hey especially when you have so much on your plate. I’m off to start tidying up the place so I can show you all some after photos, have a wonderful Halloween if you celebrate it and a great weekend.

Thinking of you all and sending love xxx



A life time of Memories – introducing the locals at Malpertus

‘I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old’

Charles Baudelaire


malpertus Anita

 Kindness comes in many forms, often unexpected. Anita was born here at Malpertus, she knows it’s many secrets, heartbreaks and joys. A sparkling eye and an easy laugh, thick brown stockings under worn out shoes she wanders the borgata. Always busy and most often with a machete hanging from her apron, she is in her mid eighties.

She tells us stories of the partisans during the war killing a German soldier and the resulting hardships for Borgata Malpertus. The Germans returned burning the stores gathered for winter as retribution. The furthest she has been is the local town of Bobbio Pellice two kilometers away, oh and once to Pinerolo her son tells us so that takes the total to thirty kilometers.

She has offered to show me her collection of photographs and mementos, treasures she has kept for a lifetime .

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From day one we have been adopted by our neighbors here at Malpertus big hearts and weathered hands they have taken us under their wing. Earthy, practical, and generous they work the borgata keeping goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits. One is a bit of a joker and told Sam he walks the sheep to pasture down near the town and it takes him three hours. His wife let us in on the fact that he puts them in the car a few at a time and drives them down.

With five families here in Malpertus including ours I am often overwhelmed by the sense of living history. The goats are taken out to pasture and back in at lunch time. I know where they are by the tinkling of the heavy bells worn by the goats. Carina and Luca are not to be seen until lunch time when all the children automatically return for lunch. It’s like time stood still here, we are often to be found out chatting as a group soon forms and stories are shared.

Our children have transformed and run back and forth to tell me of the baby rabbits, the two goats just born, the kitten just spotted, a new puppy being trained to watch the goats, our house rings with the sound of laughter, the boys tell Sam all about the stables on the ground floor and how best to use them. Our house is the biggest in the borgata, originally owned by the ‘Bonjour’ family with multiple levels and huge areas for animals, wine and provisions.

Our gates open directly onto the old main road of the borgata which is busy with tractors, the local postman in a tiny car, goats going to pasture and soon we are told the cows will be bought out…from where I am yet to discover but I know at least five are in here somewhere. It’s all mind boggling, I spend every day amazed and more and more in love with this wild part of Italy. Malpertus is now our home.

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It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that Anita passed away here at home in the Borgata on Tuesday 15th March 2016. We are just now heading out to attend her funeral.

I will miss her so much, she was my favorite here in the Borgata, such a sense of humor and towards the end she would stand waiting for her long lost husband to come home, I hope she gets to see him wherever she may be. Her spirit will always live on here in the Borgata.

Lisa signature 2and the gang x


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Rustic Italian Kitchen – an update

‘The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten’

 Cesare Pavese

The heart of most homes is the kitchen, our rustic Italian kitchen is starting to take shape after a bit of TLC and lots of work from Sam. Over the last few days he pulled out the old sink and tiles, mixed up multiple batches of white cement and coated the walls, then re cemented the slabs of rock on the floor.

It’s been wonderful having the entire population of the borgata come for visits to see what we are doing and give advice. Most frequently the comments are ‘rip out the fireplace and pull up the stone floor’ arrrghhh!

Meanwhile I have been busy painting the first floor bedroom, bathroom ceiling, re varnishing the timber and best of all painting the main bedroom on the top floor. My favorite room is this bedroom, high ceiling with wooden beams and so much promise. A small balcony and a beautiful view, perfect. Sam being the chef in the family is besotted by the fireplace in our rustic Italian kitchen and already researching cooking methods to use.

We leave early in the morning to work at the house and come home late so computer time is a rarity. I hope you’ll forgive us as we need to move into the house within the next two weeks. Lots to do as always, but I will show you the bedroom and introduce the neighbors who are priceless asap.

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Idea’s and Inspiration for our Rustic Italian Kitchen

We both agree we want to keep the house as close to original as possible and Sam plans to put in the rack for the cooking pot to hang over the fire. Our neighbors are already donating some ancient relics and love that we want to keep the rustic heritage alive. The only problem we now find is that the floor slopes and is wildly uneven so a table and chairs will be tricky.

We are gathering ideas and looking for the best way to overcome this. Any thoughts are most welcome, have you ever had a very crooked floor?

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thanks to everyone for sticking with us through this transition, we are expecting friends in June and again in September so ‘molto lavore’ for us as usual x

Signatureand the gang x