Hey Ho! Over we go!

Here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House autumn is upon us, a time for checking everything prior to winter.  So it was that together with Bobby and Jenny I trundled off downhill in the Apetto down the valley to the river Chiascio for an early morning dog walk.

Bellaugello Gay Guest House, seen from Valdichiascio, Gubbio, ItalyPassing I just had to snap a pic of the house,  nestling so beautifully in the Umbrian countryside.

Bellaugello Gay Guest House's Apetto in the sun dappled lanes of Valdichiascio

Down at the river, sun hot, a delicious heat, water cold, too cold for me, but the dogs had a rare old time…

Bobby from Bellaugello  in the ChiascioSunlight hitting the Chiascio, a morning walk from Bellaugello Gay Guest House

And so back up the hill, wet but happy dogs in the cab, the views magnificent, autumn colours abounding, and wonderfully fresh clean air.

Bellaugello Gay Hotel, Umbria Italy

and so on to the fields.  I decided to ‘beat the bounds’ of the estate, that is drive round the boundaries, checking on hedgerows, ditches and paths.  Onto the large flat field and on to check the olives.

Bad news, as with so many olive groves in Italy this year, the olives are in a very sorry state.  The wet summer left us a legacy of destroyed olives.  Little larvae bury themselves in the folds of the new formed fruit and the resultant insect bores its way out leaving a telltale flight hole and damaged flesh.  There will be no olive harvest this year at Bellaugello, the first time and I must admit I am sad, I so love the feel of the olives as they run through my fingers as they tumble into the nets, a sensation not for this year.

sad looking olive, the non harvest of 2014Olives ripening in the autumn sun in Umbria, Italy, but no olive harvest this year at Bellaugello Gay Guest House

It is such a shame, but that is farming for you.  Onward and upward, continue the tour of the estate.  Into the next field, steep, grass still damp, but going in from the top was fun, round a few curves, stop to check a woodland track and then a reverse twiddle forward again, try to take the uphill corner and… Yeeks! Squeal! Bang! we fall over!!  Yes the Apetto, complete with Bobby, Jenny and myself in the cab tips over and lands on its side.

We land in a wet tangled heap.  Really weird climbing up out of a door and out to survey any damage.  Luckily Apettos are light and almost seem to be designed to be easily righted.  One two three and push, over and up, the Apetto is back on its three wheels.  Damage control….  The rear view mirror is no more, the offside window has fallen out, the fixings were tired and worn and due for replacement, luckily the glass is not broken, a bit of grass and mud on the paintwork – just makes the machine look more authentic, and little further damage in evidence.  Press the starter button, it fires up! Hooray!

So gingerly into gear, dogs trotting behind and slowly up the slope and back onto the road, broken bits in the back.  I am off to the parts dealer today.



Milo, my English Setter passed away this morning.  He had battled ill health bravely, right to the end when he became slower and slower until he just stopped.

MiloSuch a character, craving affection which he gave in abundance, his head happy to be cradled on a lap, nuzzling into you, big brown eyes showing pleasure and warmth.  He was a creature of habit, each morning leaving the house at Bellaugello to walk determinedly up the road to the neighbours to say hello to his girlfriend ‘Nuovola”, the friendship was platonic, they just rubbed noses and sniffed a bit, then he came home.  He was adoring of the kitchen door, always on the lookout after dinner for a left-over scrap, and bed time, a great nester, he could move a pair of shoes, a t shirt casually thrown on the floor, or a towel for ages, round and round, paws, nose, paws in circles, then once satisfied he would toddle off to bed in the other room.  An adorer of midnight snacks, and moonlit walks, on many occasions barking to be let back in at 2am!  A real character, and part my life and that of Bellaugello Gay Guest House that will be sorely missed.