When I out of the blue mentioned to Sam that I wanted to go to Australia and see my Mum he blurted out ‘Oh are you going back to work out how to divorce me?’
…. you could say that we’ve been having some marriage problems!
Rather than loving the simple life we’re creating together it’s become a daily ‘just get through it today’ battle, little or no communication between us in our marriage.
It’s been affecting me everyday, I was even medicating (for depression caused by menopause) but I know part of what we are dealing with is contributing.
I went off the medication about a month ago without telling Sam and lashed back with ‘well I don’t want to have to medicate to be able to stay in my marriage’. It just got worse from there with hurtful things flung about, lots of swearing, crying and door slamming.
All this in front of our children.
F@# we’re idiots!
So here I am in Australia spending time with my mum, and NO not looking to divorce my husband (who I LOVE very much).
We’ll work this out, we always do, absence is certainly making my heart grow fonder, ahhh communication is the key in a marriage and I am one who keeps my feelings close to my chest. I find it excruciating to have to say ‘I’m Sorry, or even I love You’….Sam on the other hand says them both and often to me, he’s always the first to make the peace.
F%$k I’m an idiot!
He thinks I want to leave him, take the kids and go back to Australia…..
Well f#@k… he’s an idiot!
I love our life in Italy, I love our life together good and bad, I love YOU Sam, I’m not going anywhere!
Just thought I’d let you know…..
A Good Life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less,
smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how lucky you are!
Oh the Good Life
Having lived now in our beautiful Valley for three years I have started to take the Good Life for granted.
Most of our fruit and vegetables are either home grown in our ‘orto’ or locally grown. They have blemishes, are eaten ripe straight from the tree, bought from our local market at the village then placed in brown paper bags.
Food tastes real here.
Making the change from the rat race to the good life hasn’t always been easy but it has totally been the best thing we could have done for our health, our children and our wellbeing.
Our neighbors keep ducks, chickens, goats, cows and sheep, and we raise rabbits which we swap with them. Our little community is thriving, a ring of the bell and Anna is giving us a tray of strawberries from her orto, our friends offer to help us with planting the potatoes, herbs are picked fresh from the garden, it’s a chef’s delight.
This year our little ‘orto’ is packed with veggies, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, a large potato patch, we also have an orchard bringing apples and cherries, and neighbors willing to swap surplus with us.
Our potatoes and apples will be stored to last through winter, our friends are busy making jams and life is busy as always.
As well as picking from our veggie patch we also go foraging along paths that lead into the mountains. It has become a daily competition for us to see how many wild strawberries and raspberries we can gather, we eat them as we walk.
Of course that first taste of a wild raspberry is something I’ll never forget, such an intense burst of flavour.
In autumn blackberries, walnuts and chestnuts will be gathered, along with wild mushrooms.
Our valley is rich in natural goodness and I can’t imagine ever returning to a suburban life in Australia.
We are just in love with the good life here in Italy.
Apples picked straight from the tree with a crisp, juicy freshness that I’ve never know before, antique varieties with a soft pink hue under the skin that are so sweet I gasp as I bite into the flesh.
The Good Life
Are we living in paradise?
That’s what it feels like, are we living the Good Life here in our Valley at the foot of the Alps, YES I know we are.
Do you yearn to live the Good Life? Are you living it already?
We’d love to hear about it ……
and the gang x
So much has been happening here in Val Pellice these last few weeks, our Italian Life has been interesting to say the least.
Of course we’ve had the big Fair in the village held to celebrate the animals going up to the high pasture for summer. We ate fairy floss, watched as the road transformed into a bustling hub with friends and neighbors showing off their herds of cows, sheep, goats and horses.
One young man stole the show high above the crowd, as if this was quite normal even going into the bar for a drink.
It was at the fair that Sam realized his Dad Carlo was much sicker than we thought. It turned out that he has pneumonia, he is now very cranky in hospital for the last week, nobody does hospital stays quite like Carlo.
He was released a few days ago and came straight home from hospital and had a big bowl of pasta.
Both Connie and Carlo have been sick on and off since arriving two months ago. We are on a mission to get them well before the cruise they are due to take in June. Connie has been dreaming of going on a cruise since I first met her over 20 years ago.
Tonight we are going out to help them celebrate 50 Years of Marriage.
Sam is busy with his new venture [ Renovating Italy – Property ] helping a number of clients wanting to buy property in Italy. Now that the locals are aware of his service he’s been busy documenting various places for sale.
Almost everyone has us saying ‘we’d buy that if we had the spare cash’ so many bargains that with just a little TLC would transform to swans.
I’ve had a lovely break from all the tech side of the online world, instead I’ve been out weeding the trails through Borgata Malpertus, picking wildflowers, meeting friends for catch ups and soaking up the spring sunshine.
The people in the Valley are busy literally ‘making hay while the sun shines’ and newborn lambs attract a crowd of tourists up from Turin with cameras clicking.
Today we planted our potatoes with some friends and then had an al fresco lunch before heading home. These are the friends who found us through the blog and then bought the house we shared on our facebook page, they are Aussies so it’s been fun watching them go through similar things that we went through when we first experienced our Italian Life.
I’ve found homes for two of our five new kittens, they are so gorgeous I could watch them all day. They tumble and fight, doze with full tummy, and even are so brave they have befriended Fiume our dog.
We’ve found a vet that will de-sex the girls for 50 euro (if we bring in three at a time) each so when we are a bit financial we’ll get them done.
Carina and Luca are growing right before our eyes with Luca going on an excursion to the Egyptian Museum in Turin and Carina and her girlfriend spending time together without Mummy supervising at the shopping centre arghhhh!
Our Italian Life is good right now!
I’d love to hear what’s been going on with you….?
Everytime I sit down to write a post it feels like I’ve been away too long, how will I catch up, what will I share, yet like an old friend here you are. Thank you for that, the responses to the little survey I sent out were both a kick up the rear end and a reaffirmation that this is where I need to be.
Sometimes life becomes a struggle even when creating a ‘Simple Life’….. it’s been a bit like that for us lately. We seem a bit fractured, drifting away in opposite directions, every word becomes a misunderstanding. Off on a tangent.
I write about creating a Simple Life and yet I’m basically feeling burnt out and a little bit lost.
I feel a need to eat well, drink lots of water, breathe deeply, sleep well and walk in the sunshine.
I am slowly embracing a new rhythm and beginning to recreate the outline of our Simple Life and it feels good.
I have so many projects and ideas in my head, I’ve been off on a tangent learing about ‘branding’ and ‘e – courses’ and driving myself mad trying to redesign the website, create two new websites, and oh yes enjoy life, play with the kids and get myself to Tai Chi once a week.
Although I have no idea how this will all work out or which project I’ll work on first (think it’s a Gemini thing lol) my priority right now is to reconnect with my husband, enjoy the sunshine and play with my kids.
Developing the Life Mapping Italy Project has helped me realise that the most important thing is our family. Making sure we’re ok is my first priority. Everything else is a bonus.
So it’s time to take stock, look at all we’ve accomplished and set some new goals for the year. Although we didn’t get to Malta we are planning a trip in June to Venice and beyond whilst Sams parents are on a cruise (they’ve been dreaming of doing this for over 20 years) we’ll pick them up after 8 days.
We also have five new lives here in the Borgata, both Misha and Mia have had kittens so now we have 1o cats in total. If you’d like to contribute to de-sexing them then you can do so here, we have three adult girls and two adult boys and five kittens that are around three weeks old. I’m hoping we can find homes for the kittens when they are weaned.
I’ll catch you up on all that has been happening here at Borgata Malpertus over the next few weeks, I hope everything is well with you and I’m looking forward to getting back in the groove, catch ya later, with love as always…..
and the gang x
One big thing I’ve been working on is a new site dedicated to the restoration project here at Borgata Malpertus.
This year we are looking to continue with the restoration here in the Borgata. We’d love you to come and join us in 2016 either here at the blog, over at facebook or with a visit in person.
It seems like all we did over the Christmas and New Year at Borgata Malpertus is eat, and eat and eat……lot’s of delicious treats we normally wouldn’t have through the year.
Snow has been falling and the Valley looks like something from a movie, Ponte Naploleone is especially beautiful with it’s dusting of snow. When we go for walks the dog and all the cats come along with us, it’s so funny.
With our friends from Australia moving into the Valley it’s been all go here, with either us at their house or them at ours. We also had other friends staying with us for a week before they head back down to Naples. OH and then we all got sick in turn, first Luca, then Carina then me, and lastly our guest…..arghhh.
So we’re all back on deck now, the kids have returned to school after a two week break, we are living in the Apartment as it’s so warm and cosy. The Christmas tree is about to come down and it’s time to start planning for 2016.
We will be learning how to prune the apple orchard, planting the ‘orto’ (veggie gardens), raising chickens and rabbits (yep we eat them sorry), and at the end of this month we’ll be making salami the traditional way right here in the Borgata.
If you really want to experience the simple life this is the year to do it and we’d love you to stay with us and be a guest at the Loft Apartment!
We were so excited to be named winner of Italy Magazine ‘Best Living in Italy’ blog for the second year running. I would like to thank everyone that voted for us and know that this year we aim to build on all we have achieved so far.
If you’d like to connect with us and be part of the Borgata Malpertus project visit us at:
If you’d like to arrange a stay here at Borgata Malpertus visit us at:
We love to actually ‘meet’ the people who sign up for Renovating Italy, so don’t be a stranger, come and say Ciao!
As you could imagine we get lots of emails and comments on the site and on our social media and I try to reply to everyone, that said if I don’t respond I do actually read every comment and I’m so happy to have such a great group of friends online.
Drop us a line and let us know your plans for 2016, it’s going to be a big year!!
” Grow your Life from the Heart ”
Lessons from the Orto
Do you grow your own vegetables? Up until we started growing our own food I never actually realized the lessons from the orto would make a difference. That the food would taste was so superior to any I had ever eaten.
Having just now eaten a bright red tomato from our garden I can honestly say I’ve never tasted anything like it. We picked the first three of many tomatoes and bought them into the house as if they were the most precious jewels. Sliced with a sprinkle of salt and eaten just as they came from the vine……delicious.
Being a suburban Aussie girl I didn’t grow up with a farming background like Sam did, our first veggie garden was in our backyard at Strathpine in Queensland along with six chickens, we were an oddity in our neighborhood. I still remember how excited Carina was to reach in and gather her first egg, now we take fresh eggs for granted.
Spending time in our ‘orto’ has been a learning curve, I love the lessons I am learning. To help inspire you these are my five favorites:
Lessons from the Orto – Weeding is Relaxing
I never thought I’d say this but I love the late afternoon after the rabbits and chickens are fed and I get to do some weeding in the orto. It’s my quiet time, the kids are inside helping to get dinner ready, Sam is cooking and I am happily pulling weeds.
I always think of my brother Bradley who was methodical in the garden, starting at one point and not stopping until every weed was pulled up by the roots. He would laugh at my feeble attempts and redo the section I’d done. I love that his spirit feels close to me in the veggie garden when I’m weeding.
Lessons from the Orto – Growing Vegetables is Easy
Especially when Sam is doing the digging, planting, watering, picking and cooking!! But really watching him in the garden is a joy for me, it’s his relax zone, the place where he regroups, and a real source of pride when he gathers the goodness he has grown and brings it to the table for his family to enjoy.
Everyone here grows food, even in the smallest pot, the tiniest plot of land and they make it look easy and it actually is. If you get the chance give it a try or join a community garden.
Lessons from the Orto – I’m no longer scared of picking up snails
Our very first year here in the Borgata I have to tell you I was scared to pick up snails. Just the thought had me saying Ewwwww. Now with our raised beds I don’t find many but when I do I can pick them up and I toss them down to the path below and figure it will take them a while to climb back up. I can’t bring myself to kill them, but I send them on a holiday. Now slugs are a whole different thing, no way will I pick one of those up!
Lessons from the Orto – Being Lost in the Moment.
Living a Simple Life is not always easy, it feels like we have been on the go for years without pausing. Being in the garden gives me a chance to think about nothing else. My normal routine is to feed the rabbits and chickens around five o’clock, then go to the ‘orto’ and weed for around an hour. Sam comes out and waters and usually we end up with Luca helping out and our dog Fiume and our boy cat Bello supervising.
It’s one of my favorite times of the day, a chance to see what has grown, what is ready to be picked, the time when everyone is out and about, a time where I can just forget the worries of the day and enjoy the moment with my family.
Lessons from the Orto – Vegetables come in all shapes and sizes
Well who knew that vegetables came in odd shapes, not perfectly clean, ours come with blemishes and dirt clinging to the roots. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an onion with roots. That cucumbers have tiny little prickles on the skin, that potatoes don’t need a lot of water, that one bean plant can give you kilo’s of fresh green beans.
Oh and that we’d get totally sick of zucchini, that we’d grow massive ones that we couldn’t even give away as everyone else around here grows them as well. That eggplants have the most delicate skins and cook in minutes, that our glorious tomatoes have almost no seeds and are bright red all the way through, they taste amazing by the way. That picking fresh vegetables we’ve grown ourselves could give us such a sense of pride.
Lessons from the Orto – to be in the moment, to be fearless, to create life as easy, to remove what isn’t needed, to accept life just as it is and just as it is not.
Go out and grow something!
and the gang x