Dawn breaks into sun..

How strange the weather can be, one moment hot hot sunshine and the next magical mist.  Here at Bellaugello Gay Country House we live in the most breath-takingly beautiful of valleys.  We look south commanding a huge view over the river Chiascio which meanders its way lazily towards the confluence with the river Tiber.

Our valley is peaceful, unspoilt, indeed so many of our guests return again and again to revel in the tranquillity and peace, they find a haven far away from the ‘madding crowd’.  Although not this morning I attach a photo taken recently as the mist which early morning dives low and then magically drifts skywards, a dawn of a new day bringing ever new surprises and joys, you can make out our infinity edge swimming pool already a brilliant azure in the morning light.

Sunlight filtering through the trees at Bellaugello Gay Country House in Umbria, Italy. #Bellaugello

Of course our infinity swimming pool enjoys the best of views,

Readying the pool - early morning at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy we swim overlooking the valley and way in the far far distance the Monte Sibylline the national park that is in the southern corner of Umbria and which borders the neighbouring region of Abruzzo,

Over the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, looking towards the Monte Sibylline national parkthe national park is home to the famous Piano Grande that every July so generously gives of its tapestry of wild flowers

Piano Grande, Umbria, #Bellaugelloa trip well worth making in you can bear to tear yourselves away from the glorious poolside at Bellaugello 🙂

 

Hmmmm…. it’s been a bit of work in the making

Clearing through photos this morning at Bellaugello Gay Country House I came across this set which brought back memories of just how the house was and all the effort we put into restoring it to make what you see today.

The south elevation of Bellaugello 2009 – 2015 enjoy!

Let battle commence! demolish the lean-toBellaugello in 2009 before demolition of the illegal stallaMore progress, looking cleaner1Progress, we are definitely getting theretoday the south elevation and Giardino suite of Bellaugello gay Country House

That glorious autumn feeling

Autumn has arrived here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, in Umbria. The leaves are turning to golds, reds and ambers, and the air has that magical slightly misty quality only found in the fall. Yesterday at the market in Gubbio the stalls were overflowing with new season citrus fruits, so scrumptious I thought I had better take a photo before we eat them all!

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Sunshine and snow, you have to see the funny side

As we prepare for the upcoming season at Bellaugello Gay Guest House we are confronted by snow and sunshine simultaneously.  It is a glorious day, the sun is hot, the wind bitter, and both make life just a little bit more fun.

New purchases for the suites need to be taken round, unwrapped, and put in place, ever so exciting.  I have ordered some fabulous brightly coloured retro chairs and sunloungers for some of the terraces, and am swithering on bright acid coloured sunshades for around our infinity swimming pool, I think they will be ok, I love the colours, the idea, they will go with the modern pool, but must not clash with the terracotta and honey coloured stone of the buildings. Hence I am slightly unsure so have not hit the ‘order now’ button.  You will have to wait and see if I have gone ahead with one or all of  lime green, cerise and azure sunshades!  I still have to find little tables to go next to our sleek black pool sun loungers, why is it that I cannot find a simple small low metal table that I like that is not ridiculously unstable, fragile or over-priced?  All I want is somewhere for guys to be able to put their iPads, books, suncream and bits and bobs.  I have searched and searched to no avail.

As previous guests here will be aware, as every suite has its own private entrance and terrace, so going round every suite involves accessing all parts of the building from the outside.  Today that involves putting on a winter jacket and trudging through driving snowflakes that because of the sun refuse to settle, but instead make lots of mud, the dining room previously sparkly clean is now less so. huh!

And talking of mud there is lots of it, and in all the places t hat I do not want it.  Last year in the summer drought the lawns suffered here, they look very bald in patches and require re-seeding, a job that I did a great deal of last year, all seemingly to no avail.  The spring last year saw verdant lawns, then came the drought and we just did not have enough water to spare so the lawns had to be given low priority.  So the compost has once again been delivered, the lawn seed is here, the fertiliser too all I need is a dry wind free day – why oh why does lawnseed blow so readily into newly weeded flowerbeds, and the promise of no more frosts or snow.

As we settle into and try and acclimatise the many changes in Rome, I learn that there are also changes in the administration of our local lovely town of Gubbio.  It seems the chief of the infrastructure  department has been ousted, there is now a new person in post, someone did refer to her as Cruella DeVille, I hope not! who will she round up?  To me this change must be an improvement, maybe finally we will see some real action on addressing many of the infrastructure and environmental problems in the commune, that have been summarily ignored.  I also learn that the young Mayor sadly whilst driving his car ran into and killed a local lady.  It seems his time at the top of the tree is numbered.  I wonder who now one of the powers behind the throne has gone they will find to replace him.  It is rumoured that there are to be elections for the local administration, maybe another comedian will be found, after all they seem to be the fashion right now.

Life here in Umbria is certainly interesting

 

Morning visitor

Snow arrived late last night and for the first time this year it stayed.  All be it there is a mere smattering but the ground glistened, sun sparkling in the icy crystals, and great reflections in the swimming pool here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House.

Snow at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy

The day is cold and crisp,snow at Bellaugello Gay bed and breakfast in Italy

and until Jenny started barking, remarkably quiet,snow and mist seen from the terrace of Bellaugello gay resort in Umbria, Italy

So just what was it that was breaking the silence?

Jenny barking at a porcupine, an early moring February visitor at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy

My Iris devouring porcupine or istrice, not a beast to argue with…a porcupine at the door in February, Bellaugello Gay Accommodation, Umbria, Italy, EuropeTo you it might look cute and cowering, but it is a spunky creature and guilty or its relatives are, of eating my iris collection.  Jenny was right to give it short shrift.

Away with you... a porcupine at Bellaugello gay guest house near Perugia, Umbria, tuscany, Italy

 

Having seen this morning the wonderful frocks at last nights Oscars I wonder if porcupine quills would make a suitable adornment for an Oscar frock next year, better use for an iris eater  lol

 

 

Wintry weather

February sunAfter a huge amount of wind last night, a storm that came straight up the valley and blew for hours on end today is a chilly but clear day in Umbria.  The sun is warm but the outside temperature still cool.  Here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House we are working hard on the alterations, it surprises me just how quickly walls are erected and spaces change, and how my conversation changes from advice on what to see and where to tour in this beautiful region, to electrical sockets and plumbing.  This morning my architect came over for a review of progress and brought a young guy from his office who lives in Colpalombo the village across the valley from Bellaugello, just seen in the photo below, the second guy from the office from the same village, it is good to have a local team.Feb sun over the poolThe snow has receded to the tops of the Apennines, fields in the Chiascio valley below are waterlogged, and this morning Jenny and Milo my dogs returned home from a walk plastered in mud, but with big smiles on their faces!  This afternoon I am off to look at stainless steel surfaces, riveting!

 

A day of changes

Flurries of snow meant that work stopped early today.

I have very mixed emotions as having spent the past week emptying the dining room at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, putting the ornaments and furniture into storage, we this morning started work on constructing a new bathroom and modifying the kitchen space.

It seems so strange to be again moving furniture, storing bric-a-brac, taking pictures off the walls, something I had not imagined doing just so soon, and an experience that I  don’t really like.

Whilst I recognise the potential requirement for a guest bathroom for diners and guys who have late departures and even those guests at the pool who do not want to always have go to their suites, it will be a useful facility, however it does mean taking space from what to me is a perfectly proportioned room, a room I adore.  At the same time my wonderful kitchen space is being altered to make storage space and a staff bathroom.  I suppose both alterations will make things better but they do involve a great deal of work and change to the spaces involved, change that I have found difficult to accept.

We carried down stanchions sheets of plasterboard, sound proofing, insulation and fixers just before the snow started and the guys decided to return to base as they did not fancy spending the night trapped in the sauna.  Then of course the sun came out, blue skies, peace, tranquillity and as I listened to the lunchtime news on the BBC the world shattering report came out of the Vatican of the retirement of the Pope.

Now as I sit at my laptop it is dark outside, the wind that this morning was nowhere to be seen, has picked up to gale force, and the rain is drumming hard on the windows, the lights flash on and off, drips are appearing from the window, trickling onto the floor, it is really wild and Wagnerian outside.

I am reconciled to the alterations here at Bellaugello, and really trying to find the positives which in reality I know are many, once the dining room is put back together it will look really splendid and the facilities will be a great improvement.  Let us hope that today a day of change, is a day for significant, positive, inclusive and splendid beginnings for all.

l’Ultimo del’Anno 2012

For what is probably my last post of 2012 a few photos to let you share the views at Bellaugello Gay Guest House which is bathed in glorious sunshine at the end of December 2012Reflections on the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Bed and Breakfast, Umbria, Italy DSCN3373 xmas tree DSCN3375 DSCN3383

It really is a fabulous place to be!  Happy New Year to ALL, hope to see you here in 2013

Jumped – Well I was shocked!

Not much surprises me these days.  The news is filled with horror stories, stories of loss and tragedy, consummate greed, skyrocketing prices, and loads of corruption, so I listen with only half an ear – my less well hearing one at that, all sorts of unpleasantness has sadly become the norm.

So being in front of the computer this morning I ordered online my Christmas present to myself, or at least I would have done if the  ‘phone had been answered.  I have fallen in love with the iPad mini (it’s ok guys I am still single).  It is highly desirable, easy on the eye, and stylish! what more could a gay guy want?  So I decided that it just had to be done.  All was good until I came to the invoicing bit.  I need a tax receipt, this is afterall a business purchase.  Now here in Italy a tax receipt is never simple, why? I have no idea, but it is not.  It seems that the system so endlessly bound up in ‘scontrini’ has not matured sufficently to produce a system for a simple tax receipt, you have to jump through hurdles.  The only way on the Apple store is to call an admittedly free telephone number, which I did, but of course it is only working 9-5 Monday to Friday, much use is that.

Now I also wanted to take advantage of Apple’s free engraving service.  Clicking that button on the ordering screen brought up a screen that said ‘delivery time two weeks’.  Ok that is fine.  On closer inspection I was able to check the exact delivery time at the stage immediately before the checkout.  Delivery time 2 weeks “Enter your post code” for an exact date…  did so  “delivery anticipated 28 December” what a jump! I then tried ordering one without engraving and the delivery hurdled to 2 January 2013

As I say none of this surprises me very much.  But I did get one gigantic surprise when out walking the dogs this afternoon.

It was one of those blustery autumnal days.  Trees golden hued tinged with red and amber, blue skies punctuated with fluffy white and grey cumulus and a bone entering dampness.  The team was nagging for a walk, so I wrapped up warmly and set off.

There are many great walks from Bellaugello Gay Guest House, many of them circular, and most on the quiet white roads that criss cross the Chiascio valley.  The team favourite is that up to the church then down the steep southerly road curving round back into the Chiascio valley and up the hill back to Bellaugello.  A walk at leisurely pace/dawdling of about one hour.  I love the views, the way the Apennines open up and disappear from sight, the changing light through the still leaf covered tree branches, and of course squelching in the muddy puddles and the magical sight of babbling brooks and crystal clear running water.

Jenny, my wee cocker spaniel never stops.  To her a walk is an additional excuse to run and run and run.  Never far from my side, but never stopping.  She is up embankments and down ditches with gay abandon.  Milo, my English setter, now thankfully quite recovered from his major operation earlier this autumn and looking ever so well and smart  ambles along smelling everything.  So I dawdle, daydream and think.

It was one of those real weird sensations when walking along on the quiet tree lined track daydreaming or scheming as usual I caught something rushing toward me.  Before I had time to focus the ‘thing’ had suddenly risen to my face height, and then just as quickly had passed me by.  What was it?  A ghoul? A wolf? I only discovered when it was past.  It was a Hare, those delightful animals hunted to near extinction by the shooters here in Umbria.  Jenny had obviously sent it running, it came down the bank in front and above me, ran along the road which of course it expected to be empty when it suddenly came across me in the middle of its track, so what did it do ?  It Jumped.  Wow how it jumped, I never knew that Hares could jump that high, as I wrote it almost reached my face height, I do not know who was more startled or surprised…. me I guess.