At the beginning of November our friends Kay and Elsie arrived from Wales, they regularly come to help us out at this time of year, which is normally the beginning of the olive harvest.
Firstly we celebrated Elsie’s birthday with our friends at the Bellavista Restaurant in Itri.
Pietro had previously discussed with us the possibility of bring two more horses to graze at Tre Cancelle, in particular those which had been born earlier this year and were now ready to be separated from their mothers. After a day or so’s warning Pietro arrived with horse-box in tow and the two new members of the Tre Cancelle “Neigh-Gang” !!! Pino was well intrigued !!!
The new arrivals were somewhat shaken up by their long bumpy ride and needed a great deal of coaxing to get them to come out of the horse-box.
The first to emerge was black in colour – a young female, who we have named “Lola”.
The second was a tan coloured young male, who we have named “Vinci”.
Gradually they were introduced to Pino.
Aww Bless !!! They seemed to be missing their mothers so much and it gave the impression that they were trying to cuddle each other.
Pino soon told them who was boss but after a few days they seemed to have settled down. I think he enjoys the company.
A few days later Emma and Aneurin, our youngest grandson, arrived also. Emma was also champing at the bit to get back to work in the olive groves.
Our American friends Patrick and Mindy, and along with Mindy’s Mum Donna, came over one day with her mother to help with some olive picking, however as I mentioned previously this year the harvest was not good, but we worked together to gather what olives there were by hand.
Paul and Patrick being tall were good at reaching the high ones.
Of course Aneurin helped too.
We were able to take advantage of the mild sunny weather by eating lunch together on the terrace. Not bad for November.
Many of our trees still need pruning to keep them from getting too tall and leggy and thus less productive. Our dear friends Clive and Marilyn, Brits who currently live in Gaeta, regularly come to help Paul with pruning duties. Clive is especially enthusiastic about our special Extra Virgin olive Oil.
Regrettably, last spring whilst pruning trees Clive lost his footing on a ladder and had a nasty tumble, falling awkwardly. Sadly he managed to break both his ankle and shoulder, which incapacitated him for several months. Needless to say, we felt dreadful about the accident. It just goes to show how easily accidents can happen, and the importance of tying the ladder to the tree. Thankfully because he is such a fit and strong individual he seems to have made a good and swift recovery. This Autumn Clive was keen to get back to work in the groves, Marilyn however has now banned him from climbing ladders, but he is still eager to do all he can at ground level.
Clive brought Marilyn and old friend from the UK knick-named “Smiffy” to work up at Tre Cancelle for a couple of days – Everyone worked so hard – pruning, chomping out and cutting to size logs, and burning the debris. Once again here in Bella Italia we could enjoy sitting outside for lunch.
A “Big Thank You” to every one who has so kindly given us their time, energy and enthusiam to help us progress on the upkeep and maintenance of the olive groves at Tre Cancelle. xxxxxxxx
Kay and Elsie’s holiday unfortunately soon came to end, however Emma and Aneurin were staying on for a couple more weeks.
We spent a day helping our neighbour Luca and his Mum to gather his olives, he did have a few more to harvest than us.
And of course Aneurin helped too !!! – By turning his jacket around back-to-front and using his hood to put olives into !!!
How lovely it is to have a like-minded neighbour who prefers to use natural methods of cultivation rather than the often over use of chemical agricultural products. Well done Luca, we wish you well in your endeavours !!!
All photos by me Louise Shapcott (NonnaLou) and Kirsten McRobbie