Grapes Vendemmia Piemonte Autumn

People power

The more astute among you (who am I kidding…) might have noticed that I was slightly angry when I wrote my last post. I hid it well I think, but there was a definite undertone of frustration there.

Five days later, the same problems still exist. We haven’t chosen a builder (though we have set in motion a process that it least makes it feel like we might be moving forward with it), Italians still have, and still share, their opinions on everything and I still don’t have a camera.

But, despite this, I feel better now. A lot better.

As soon as I posted my last blog (in which I actually didn’t mean to come across quite as down as I perhaps did) I started to receive comments. Lovely, understanding comments full of encouragement. People wishing us well, telling me to stay strong, be patient, everything will be ok… these weren’t from British people, obviously. The Brits laughed at me, told me to pull myself together and revelled in my depression, but I could tell the same sentiment was there.

Out in the real world, we’ve found people to be even nicer. Our neighbours took us out for a pizza, another called to see how we were doing, one even gave us some very odd-looking pumpkins!

Pumpkins Piemonte
I told you they looked funny…

A couple of friends – Anna of Italianna fame and Claudio from Granda Casa – came over to offer us both support and advice. Claudio is perfectly positioned to help us out, given that his company offers personal recommendations of great builders in Piemonte. He hadn’t offered to help sooner because we hadn’t asked him to and he didn’t want to be pushy. We hadn’t asked for his help because we didn’t want to take advantage of our friendship. There’s probably a lesson there but I’m not sure what it is. Anyway, they were both full of great advice and really helped calm us down.

Even our geometra has started being nice to us. He answered his phone yesterday. That’s big. He doesn’t read the blog (as far as I know), but he was unfortunate enough to turn up late for a meeting on one of our ‘bad days’. I think it’s safe to say he won’t be doing that again any time soon

A friend said to me yesterday: “I don’t want to hear about things going well for you, I want to read about disasters. If a wall stays standing keep it to yourself, if it comes crashing down, taking several other walls with it, I want to know all about it. You already live here, the last thing I want is for you to actually enjoy it!”

So, Andrew, this bit’s for you. Despite everything, the annoyances, the frustrations, the pink chinos, I still love it here. I love the colours of the vines, which are noticeably changing every day right now, I love the thick fog and the way it occasionally clears enough to offer glimpses of the hilltop villages, I love the delicious wine and the equally delicious food, but most of all I love the people… except for the builders, obviously.

Grapes Vendemmia Piemonte Autumn

23 thoughts on “People power

  1. Glad to hear you are still seeing the positive sides of living in Italy (sorry to blow your theory on the Brits)! We have been through/are still going through the same frustrations but it gets easier & we LOVE it here. Those funny looking things by the way are butternut squash, make delish soup, bang them in the pressure cooker for 5 mins OR roast them in pieces in the oven with a little olive oil, equally delish, full of nourishing vitamins & minerals too, buon appettito!

    1. Ah, I didn’t know that… so far we’ve used them for soup and risotto, I’ll give the roasting in the oven a go too though.

      We love it here too, as you say it’s just the frustrations that get in the way, but I wouldn’t change it. I’m glad you love it! Where in Italy are you?

  2. Great to hear you are rolling with the punches. I have to take my hat off to you, you are still here and for all the right reasons. I actually enjoyed your last post, it was real and totally honest because it can really suck living in a different country trying to do things you think should be pretty run of the mill. I haven’t bought property but I have my kids enrolled in the Italian schooling system…say no more!
    PS I LOVE your view!!

    1. I bet that’s an adventure… it’s the everyday things that really get to you I find. Things that should be simple but are made incredibly complicated for no apparent reason. As you say, it can suck sometimes, but we’re all doing it for a reason, you just have to remind yourself of that sometimes.

  3. Happy to hear about your advances into life in Italy ! bravo! ( and bravo to Bimbo who fixed the Italian words … I did not dare to do it because I did not know if these are blogs by non-Italians who would misspell things …) ( in the Piedmontese dialect it is : ‘ La cà granda ‘ which would explain the mix-up, but in Italy the dialects are other languages in fact… not just distorted Italian ).

    1. Hi Vera – I’m not sure about Granda Casa, although it is owned by an Italian, from Piemonte, so maybe this is from dialect, as you say. Italianna is like that because her name is Anna, so it’s a play on words. You should check out their blogs, they’re very good!

      1. It is NOT from dialect ! it may some snobbish way to try to render English ‘Grand House’ or ‘Great House’ – there is a lot of snob English that is used in Italy where there are perfectly good words in Italian. But they do not sound exotic enough ! and it ought to be ‘grande’ – unless the owner’s name is Granda – (but in that case it would be ‘Casa Granda’ – just like my house would be ‘Casa Mottino) … but if they are happy,,,, felici loro … is what we would say.
        I promise I’ll shut up after this ! sorry…..

  4. I’m happy to hear things are looking up. I would never wish for you to have so much “funk” in your lives but I have to say, it’s really refreshing to hear the real side of La Dolce vita. Thank you for sharing with us. =)

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