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.
Of course our infinity swimming pool enjoys the best of views,
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,
the national park is home to the famous Piano Grande that every July so generously gives of its tapestry of wild flowers
a trip well worth making in you can bear to tear yourselves away from the glorious poolside at Bellaugello 🙂
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!
This morning I am off to the weekly market in our local town of Gubbio, it is still artichoke and orange time, they are abundant, and so good, but I am heading by way of the consorzio, the local farmers’ store for potatoes and then straight on to the stall run by the guy from Assisi who grows and sells the most amazing young vegetable and salad plants, and so we will start planting beans, salad leaves and potatoes in our vegetable garden here at Bellaugello.
This afternoon I am spending with a fellow hotelier discussing menus and looking at new recipes. I am so looking forward to the summer at Bellaugello Gay Country House and our dinners served at our long table on the south facing terrace
Time for cheery facts: Here at Bellaugello Gay Country House all is good.
We are getting ready for the new season and will open for the 2015 season on Wednesday 1st. April.
Why not come and join us for Easter? There are still some vacancies in our luxury suites.
The weekend starts on 3rd. April with the ancient and deeply mystical “Processione del Cristo Morto” which takes place at sundown in the medieval city of Gubbio, our local town. We have our favourite restaurant booked and will once again be there to witness this very special evening, as dignitaries and townsfolk process and chant throughout the centro storico. Saturday is a day for exploring, the exhibition of Dinosaurs and the Gola del Bottaccione one of the few places in Europe where you can actually see the evidence of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs, If contemporary art is your pleasure then the unmissable exhibition of photographs by Steve McCurry runs until late April in Gubbio. Return to Bellaugello Gay Country House and sweat a while in our sauna, before enjoying a dinner served around our family table. Sunday and we are out for lunch in the valley. Once again we will be rolling eggs and joining in the festivities, it has become a tradition here. The quiet country lanes round Bellaugello give perfect possibilities for lazy walks and with the knowledge of returning to a blazing fire and afternoon tea at Bellaugello, your day or relax is almost complete.
The primroses are in flower under the fig tree, we have been busy with our maintenance programme, kilos of orange marmalade are now bottled, the sauna is now looking resplendent with its new coats of wood preservative, the vegetable garden has been dug over, a few more days for the soil to dry out and we will be planting potatoes and beans, I am nearly done restyling one of the suites, and I have a great team of guys joining me for the season, all the vacancies are filled (more about the team in a future post) and my two big pieces of news are imminent, one happening later today the other shortly….. So much to do so little time to do it all!
It is snowing here in Umbria. I woke to flurries of snow that are still hours later flurrying but refusing to settle. So strange when here at Bellaugello Gay Country House just two days ago it was hot and sunny like summer, so much so that I am convinced I have started my annual tan.
Outside is windy and wet and soggy looking, so a day to stay indoors and catch up on various tasks, some requiring serious concentration others less so. The radio is streaming over the internet, I glance at the computer and google yesterdays news. Buried half way down the pages, amongst the tragedy and woes is an article reporting a study by King’s College Hospital London into penile measurement. It seems that they analysed the findings of surveys carried out on more than 1500 men and plotted their results.
Now despite what the female journalists would have us believe I am convinced every man will have surreptitiously clicked the link, read it and reached into his desk drawer for the ruler or measuring tape to see how he measures up. For those of you who missed the article the research concludes:
Analysis of 17 studies involving more than 15,500 men revealed that the average length of an erect penis was 13.12 centimetres (5.16 inches).
The average length of a flaccid phallus was 9.16 cms (3.6 inches), while the average length of a flaccid stretched penis was 13.24 cms (5.21 inches), according to the research.
The average flaccid circumference was 9.31 cms (3.66 inches), and the average erect circumference was 11.66 cms (4.59 inches).
If you wish, do let me know how you measure up! Although I won’t promise to publish the photos a straw pole of my blog readers would be fun!
Last night, in fact it was early this morning, obscenely early I sat down to my computer and wrote. The post came to 1458 words, it was a rant. I am angry about so many things right now, but then so is the world. Indeed my rant was about the anger in the world, but before posting I thought… wait! think!
So I did, and consigned my nearly 1500 words to the draft bin. Why should I write more words of sadness when there are so many about? No reason. So following on from a theme of a chat this afternoon with a guy from Barcelona I am posting a cheery photograph of the Giardino Suite Terrace here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House.
Two guys showering in the ‘world’s largest bathroom’ I am so looking forward to summer!
Hey guys! I’m back. No, I have not been away, I spent the last week in the cosseted bliss of Bellaugello Gay Guest House, I have been working, and also at the same time thoroughly enjoying myself.
It was so splendid to have welcomed back guys who stayed here earlier in the year. This time they were on a whistle-stop tour of the galleries of Umbria and with a specific mission to see the glorious exhibition at nearby Fabriano:which has been extended until 15th. of this month. Needless to say the guys were overwhelmed. We chatted and chatted, caught up on news and through the Bellaugello network made new contacts.
Snow came lots of it.. It was beautiful but meant that some guys did not make it here for our annual New Year’s Houseparty. The guys that did make it here had a blast! They soon made friends with the other guests and a real convivial atmosphere rang out. We ate well, partied well and relaxed, the sauna was well used, utterly great heated by a log stove, the window looking out over a snow clad valley, and the icy shower fed by spring water…
We launched chinese wish lanterns into the inky black sky, opened the process and franciacorta, bubbles fizzed, the lanterns drifted higher and higher, wishes and kisses made…
So out with the old IN with the NEW
Time for me to make several changes in my life: I changed the mobile phone contract, it seems the longer you have a mobile with a company the less they respect or appreciate or reward your loyalty, so out with Tim and onto C.Voce. Only problem being that there is now a lag between the removal of one service and the commencement of the new, so I am phoneless. It is a really odd feeling. Nobody could accuse me of being a cell phone junkie, but I guess I have got used to carrying about the old iPhone and being in touch be it telephonically or internally. So weird not to have to find my phone before going for a fog walk or out so meet friends. It is like being naked but far less pleasurable.
And a stiff worded email to the internet providers. I use that term lightly. Not a change, but a continuation and change to more assertive tactics. Last September I thought in my stupidity that if I requested a VOIP connection, and thus payed a higher monthly tariff, I would receive better service. but NO! plus ça change! The Agreement was that they would transfer the existing fixed line number to the new VOIP service “ten working days required”. Now I know Italians are delighted to go on strike at any excuse, but really, I ask you have they not worked ten days since the first of November? The old line is still connected, the VOIP has a ‘temporary’ number +39 075 781 6463, do try calling it is a giggle. NO it is not, to be serious I need this change made and made now. I wrote to “T A” informing them so, to be told ‘sei troppo esigente’ – I am too fussy… Ha! now put that in your pipe and smoke it. So an email to remind them that today on 5th. January they still have not provided me with the service which of course they have already long since billed me.
Then there is Finlayson. A Finnish company. I love Finland, and Finnish guys are adorably cute and handsome, but Finlayson takes the biscuit. On ‘social network’ I discovered an advert for linens featuring the design of Tom of Finland. Now I thought, great! just the kind of product that would look good in the luxury gay guest house in central Italy. Initially I thought to a few items, maybe in my illusion I had thought in the future to also retail this range. So I went online and completed an order. I emailed requesting that they send me a tax invoice so I could charge my purchase to the business. Italian tax law is quite defined and rules have to be obeyed. A further few emails resulted in silence, then finally on day eleven came the reply:” Thank you for your mail. Unfortunately there is no space where to write the company name on the order.” Aren’t both countries in the European Union? I persevered.. but then gave up. To cut a long story short the unopened package was collected and returned. I requested a refund. On Friday they tell me that the money was credited to my card, funny my bank did not seem to know that, this morning it had not reappeared. So another strongly worded email, and I daresay a resume on f/b.
British companies it seems, are not bound by the equal opportunities act. Well, they are in some ways but not in others. They must not discriminate on grounds of sexuality, but that relates only to a person, not to a business. So it is that the travel guide “Alastair Sawday” is able to refuse my application for Bellaugello’s membership on the grounds that: “La ringrazio per averci mandato il Suo modulo di accettazione. Lo abbiamo guardato attentamente e siamo spiacenti di comunicarLe che abbiamo deciso che la Sua attività non verrá inserita nella prossima edizione della nostra guida. Non seguiamo dei criteri specifici nello scegliere i nostri alloggi ed i motivi che ci portano a decidere di non inserire un’attività possono essere svariati. Nell’interesse della guida, dobbiamo considerare attentamente ogni regione d’Italia e valutare che tipo di struttura offriamo ai nostri lettori.Per noi, non è giusto incominciare una partnership lavorativa se pensiamo di non riuscire a garantire un alto livello di clientela. Crediamo che sia importante che i proprietari siano contenti del numero degli ospiti che la nostra guida può assicurare. “So it is evident gay guys do not use their guides, the author of this email reply to me does not want them to either… what a missed opportunity, but one I can do thing about and quite frankly I advise any gay or lesbian or transgender user of the guides to desist at once.
And then there are the famous multi nationals, those names you see in the glossies, plying their wares. British based, one specific sector of business, in London highly lucrative, and again refusing to work with Bellaugello Gay Guest House. They know who they are, I will not name them now but in due course will blog extensively and campaign against them. Their treatment of gay businesses is shabby and must be exposed. I have tried to work with them since August, initially they are charming and courteous obsequious even, but on learning my business is concentrated on the gay market, they filibuster, they blank me, and do not reply to emails or telephones, or pass me to other members of the team who seem not to exist. Resolution – Revenge.. hehe!
And to the next item on my agenda of making 2015 work for me. I have an Apetto, a cute dinky three wheeler which I use on the farm and for taking the trash to the bins. The insurance ran out on 23rd. December. In Italy one has fifteen days in which to renew the policy. That takes me to today. Now I am already in long discussions with he boss of my insurance brokers – apparently they can change the contents of an existing policy at their whim and not bother telling the insured. They can and do also delay payments, to the extent that I am still waiting for payment of a claim that dates back to August 2013. Foolishly I began to have faith in this director, who promised me a swift resolution, this was after all November when he came on the scene. To date the mix up over the policy has not been resolved, the section of the policy which they removed has not been re-instated (at least I am on record as having written instructing its reinstatement) the Apetto insurance has run out so now I have to physically get to my local office in the town of Gubbio to process the payment. I have to go to the motor authority for the ‘temporary document’ they issued expires today and the original has not been sent, and I will then return home and compose another email to the director requesting that he kindly prioritise my work. Why is it all so frustrating, why oh why, and of course tomorrow is once again a public holiday.
To happier things, the sun is shining, the skies are blue, outside a great clean fresh light, 2015 is going to be a great year. I feel good. Bookings for this year are already coming in strongly, many repeat guests and many new and several on guys’ recommendations, it is all so very rewarding. Guys, I suggest if you want to chose your suite that you book now, some weeks in high season are already booked out.
I am working on two huge new projects, one will be announced later in January, it is real exciting and will so increase the Bellaugello experience, the other is for later this year and for that you will definitely have to wait. But I say that 2015 is my year. I have been let down in so many ways in 2014, led up garden paths, blindly followed into dead ends, but now I am making changes, and they feel so good!
NOW RECRUITING! Looking for enthusiastic dedicated guys to work here at Bellaugello Luxury Gay Guest House this year. I have vacancies in all departments. Guys must have a love of working with people, be enthusiastic, ‘solare’ adaptable, and highly professional. I run the best gay guest house in Italy and I need only the best staff. You will be part of a small eclectic team working with great guests in a fabulous environment.
Are you interested in Cooking? Waiting? Cleaning? Gardening? Are you a qualified Masseur? You don’t need tone be gay, just be tolerant, fit, and open minded. Send me your CV and a recent photo Skype “Bellaugello” or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have had so many wonderful greetings from you guys, many guests choose to send photos of your holidays here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House and write me personally for the festive season, I am so very lucky. I plan to find time to sit down and put the photos in order and publish some of them on the blog. In the meantime here is something more pastoral, no Bellaugello backs, or fronts… instead a photo I took the other day of the vaulted ceiling of one of the smaller and more obscure churches in our local town of Gubbio, the city of Christmas…
Announced with such delight by the Sindaco of Gubbio at break in a tedious tourism meeting this afternoon one huge bit of great news from the Huffington post today; ” Gubbio is THE place to be for Christmas” and don’t I know it! Here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House it is such fun! Gubbio is Great!
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