2015. It’s been, erm… well, it’s been a year. It’s safe to say there have been some ups and downs, so many in fact that this feels more like a counselling session than writing a blog. Anyway, let me begin…
We started the year the proud owners of a building site. There was rubble, mud and a beautiful roof, but not much else. As winter turned to spring, we literally dug ourselves out of our tiny rental house down the hill and as the weather warmed up so everything started to slowly take shape.
At Easter, we were able to move in. It was the realisation of many years of dreaming and several years of hard graft, and it was also when the real work started. With the arrival of our first guests looming we had a lot still to do… there was a swimming pool to build, dozens of windows and shutters to sand and paint, walls to fix, furniture to find and railings to paint. For two weeks I did nothing but paint railings!
For three months it felt like we were living in the final 10 minutes of a house makeover show.
By mid-July, we were working faster than ever, but the end was in sight and finally we could see that we were going to make it… just. With our first guests arriving the next day we downed tools around 10pm for a celebratory beer. At which point poor little Otto was attacked by another dog. He spent the next four days going through one life-saving surgery after another. We spent those four days crying.
By the time our first, wonderful, understanding guests left two weeks later, Otto was back home with us and had been nicknamed Frankendog due to the stitches which covered his entire body. He has since made a full recovery and is now as sprightly and awesome as ever.
Summer soon became autumn and with guest after guest arriving it all became a bit of a blur. I know we did a lot of cleaning… but looking at the photos I can see that we also truffle hunted and truffle ate, we cycled, walked, hiked, swam and drank wine with great friends, new and old.
In November we finally closed our doors for the season and went on holiday. I’ve never needed a holiday more.
And now we’re back and preparing for next year, which is already looking rather busy. Summer is more or less full, with a few guests booking in for spring and autumn too. So, if you are interested in coming to stay, please do get in touch before it’s too late.
And did I mention that we have a name now too? Villa Ribota. In Piemontese dialect a ‘Ribota’ is a coming together, a gathering of friends and family, and it also just so happens to combine all our initials. There’s even a website, check it out here!
And that was our 2015. It’s been quite the year. Thank you so much for all your love and support, it’s really kept us going at times. And now all that’s left is to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a great 2016!