Reflecting on the year that was

Strange how the brain works….how many times I’ve thought about writing but the thought never actually turned into action.  It’s been all those tedious, everyday things that I don’t even think about that got done instead.

A lot has happened in the last 12 months but most of it just mundane everyday living.
When we first arrived (now 4 1/2 years ago) it seemed like I had to write about everything we did, saw or thought about. Now, most of what we do has become common everyday events that don’t register as worthy of reporting…
It doesn’t mean the year has been boring…no, no no….lots has been accomplished.
Let’s see if I can give you a brief summary of some of the major events of 2015.
1. The Bear
The Bear is just over a year old. She was a rescue dog, found by our neighbours  on Christmas Eve last year. Unable to keep her, on Dec 28 2014, our neighbour shows up at our door with the little black fur-ball.  It was early in the morning and we were probably a little groggy from a long previous night, so, without really thinking about the implications and without any info about the dog, we (actually John) agreed to take it.
Now, a year later the tiny fur-ball has really turned into a bear.
The intention was to build her a doghouse and she would live outside, like the cats, but she loves chasing cars and since we don’t have any fencing around the house (and because we just can’t bring ourselves to leaving her outside) she’s a house dog.
The 3 cats are a bit jealous because they lived inside when they were kittens but as they got older they got moved outside. They have their own 2-story house with a terrace but every chance they get they sneak into the house and try to appropriate the dog’s bed…

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2. Work
Still in the wine business. Can’t say it’s easy…I haven’t found anyone actually looking for Marche wines but at least when they taste it they’re impressed. It’s amazing how many types of grapes and wines Italy produces yet it seems like outside the country the only wines people know are from Toscana, Piemonte, Veneto and, maybe, Sicilia.
So getting out and participating in  international wine fairs, letting people taste the wines meant doing quite a bit of traveling: Dusseldorf, Verona, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Beijing, Hong Kong; and this year will be about the same. I can’t complain since I do love to travel…
3. Canada Day
We had our 2nd Canada Day party on July 1st.
Although a number of people have told me that there are a few Canadians in the area I have yet to meet any.
I was hoping we would have had some Canadian guests this year but it was not to be. No matter, we had Italians, English, Irish, Belgians, Germans, Dutch, Polish and Americans and we had a great time. Maybe in 2016 we can get all our Canadian friends to come over to help us celebrate.
P.S. A big thanks to Lina and Claude who visited for a few days in early June (our only visitors this year) who sent a surprise package filled with Canadian party decorations. Even the dog got in the mood…
4. The B&B
No, it’s not yet ready but that didn’t stop us from having guests for most of August.
It started with our German neighbours who asked us to host some of their visiting relatives for the first week of August. Then it continued with overflow from friends who own B&Bs and couldn’t accommodate everyone.
So, in the end, we had 3 guests from Germany, 2 from Rome, 2 from Treviso and 3 motorcyclists from Puglia, who actually prepared a fabulous BBQ for us on their last night.
Although the house was not quite finished and some of the guests must of thought upon their arrival and seeing the exterior “where the heck are we staying” the rooms were almost perfect.
5. The house
Well, what can I say….it’s still not finished but what’s done is beautiful. We love it!
Naturally, to accommodate the guests in August both rooms had to be finished. Well, finish is a relative term. They were “finished” but now they’re back to “unfinished” again since we just added temperature control thermostats and had to take apart part of the closets and haven’t put everything back in order again. It doesn’t matter since the rooms are still functional and good enough for now as they are.
The other major transformation has been to the exterior – both to the house itself and the landscape: We finished the parking area and driveway, planted cypress trees and hedging and built a planter wall around the terrace area. The grass is still full of weeds but the drive up to the house is quite impressive. The exterior walls are still not totally done but there’s only about a weeks’s work to do…

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6. September – our birthdays
Nothing crazy this year. John just wanted lunch at Il Coccaro (our local pizzeria in Monterubbiano) and for mine we went to Castelluccio, a tiny village (population about 150 people) in Umbria that is usually inundated with tourists between May and June when the surrounding valley bursts out with a multitude of colors as wild flowers, poppies and lentil flowers come into bloom creating a blanket of color for as far as the eye can see.
7. Halloween
Still haven’t made it out to Mogliano (a town in the  Province of Macerata that gets completely transformed for Halloween). Seems like Italians are starting to get the Halloween idea but it’s still mainly for kids and, other than Mogliano (which is also for kids) there isn’t much for adults. So, the vampire and the little devil went to a house party….
7. Christmas & New Year’s Eve
Any here we are at the end of another year.
The Walking Singers were back for a 3rd year in a row. The core group was essentially the same as last year with a few drop outs and a few new additions. So, in the end,we were about the same number as last year.
Most of the repertoire was the same as last year with one major change – no religious songs. Instead we added Fairytale of New York, Imagine and Happy Christmas (War is over), which went over really well.
We gave 3 performances:
– The first at an old folks home in Petritoli. Most in the audience were probably senile and didn’t even know what was going on. One old lady thought we were the devil and kept yelling at us to stop singing. Those in better shape seem to have enjoyed the performance. Overall, I guess we were Ok since they asked us for a couple of encores!
– The second was, as usual, outside Bar Primavera.
-The third was the main performance on Christmas Eve in Piazza del Popolo in Fermo.
The piazza was quite beautiful this year with a good size skating rink, a mini Christmas market, a huge tree and light projections on the surrounding buildings.
Unlike last year we had a crowd…and they all stayed for the entire performance. I dare say, they actually came to see the performance unlike last year where there were very few people and most of them were just passing by and happened to see us and stopped for a little while.
This year we were supposed to actually have been inserted into the official Christmas program (a booklet that the town puts out with a list of all the Christmas events) but, in the end, the councilor who was supposed to get it done apparently forgot to pass on the info…how typically Italian! But we didn’t care…we had a n audience and they loved us. We even made it into the local news. Check out this video:
And for the last day of the year it was back to Fermo.
Aperitivo a Bar Primavera, dinner at Betty’s (we cooked and brought the food and drink) and then off to the piazza to ring in the new year.
The big difference this year is that Terry was here…nice bonus.
Well, that’s it for now…I will try to write more frequently this year. It’s not a New Year’s resolution but it’s on my to do list.
Happy New Year to all!
-Tiziana
PS: This post was written on Jan 1st but it’s taken me 3 days to sort out and upload the pix…another good reason to write more often!
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7 Responses to Reflecting on the year that was

  1. Ninette says:

    Wonderful photos! Happy New Year…may the progress on the house continue. Looking forward to more parties in 2016! 🙂

  2. Eva Louie says:

    Happy New Year Tizianau!

    Wonderful pictures. Bear look so cute. Please tell me when you’re in Toronto, so I may attend one of the international wine shows. It doesn’t seem like four and half years, when is the bed-and-breakfast going to open?

    Best wishes to you and John!

    Love from another Canadian, Eva

  3. Yves says:

    Bonjour à vous deux.
    Je vous souhaites tout le bonheur que vous désirez. Faut dire que vous travaillez pour. Je vois beaucoup de plaisir dans vos photos. Vous semblez plein d’énergie et vos plans n’avancent peut-être pas à la vitesse que vous aviez planifiez (but who cares ?) l’important c’est que ça avance et qu’en plus vous en profitez à plein pendant que vous réalisez vos rêves. Je vous envie d’avoir été capable de vous bâtir une vie telle que vous la désiriez. Ne lâchez pas. J’ai bien hâte de retourner vous voir. J’aime tellement l’Italie. Votre B&B est superbe.
    Pour Rita et moi cette année en était une de grand changement. Nous avons vendu le chalet, de plus nous avons mis notre maison à vendre et nous nous sommes acheté un Town House dans Chomeday, Laval. Terry est d’ailleurs venu dans notre nouvelle maison. Elle t’en a certainement parlé. En supposant qu’elle a pût s’envoler de Montréal, la journée de la tempête ? C’est plusieurs changement dans la même année. Il nous reste maintenant à les absorbés à petites doses. Notre fis Gabriel à maintenant terminé ses études de même que ça carrière de joueur de football. Il y maintenant un travail qui répond exactement à ce qu’il désirait (c’est vraiment ça l’important. La définition du travail pour moi est faire ce que tu aimes et être payé pour.) Bref l’année 2016 sera pour nous une année d’adaptation à tous les changements et de se rebâtir une vie différente.
    Bonne année à vous en espérant de vous revoir bientôt.
    Yves C.
    xxx

    • tizianau says:

      Bonjour Yves, merci beaucoup pour ton message.
      Oui, Terry m’a parlée des changements che vous avez fait. Il me semble che vous aussi vous êtes content même si vous avez un peu d’adaptation à faire. Mais le changement ça fait du bien…
      Je vous souhaite une bonne année, pleine de nouveauté e de bonnes surprises e bonheur.
      A bientôt
      T

  4. noel1e says:

    Hi tizianu I have being trying to get in touch with you and John by phone but it is not recognising the number . Can you email both your home and cell number Talk soon Noel

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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