Hello to you all - sorry about the gap in publication, but I have been on holiday. Tuscany is beautiful at any time of year but in May it is probably at its best, when all the wild flowers are busy getting their flowering and going to seed over before the really hot weather sets in. There was a preponderance of yellow flowers of all kinds but the real show-stoppers were the ubiquitous red poppies which popped up all over the place and made a real statement.
It has been a lovely break, with a super group of people. We stayed in nice hotels, ate good food and saw some lovely places as you can see from today's photographs. No country seems to display its food in a more artistic way than Italy - their fruit shops and their ham and cheese shops are almost works of art.
It is, of necessity, a short blog today. You will understand why when I tell you that we left the island of Elba at eight o'clock yesterday morning, travelled to the mainland by ferry and then
(mainly because of BA strike action) travelled across to Bologna for a flight to Gatwick. We arrived in Gatwick at 8.30pm and were then brought home by taxi, arriving at the farm at 3am this morning.
Here on the farm there has been a distinct lack of rain. The grass in the fields we need for silage has not grown at all and is beginning to look very droughty. Our neighbouring farmer has already rung up today and asked the farmer to dig out the beck to let a little more water through as his water source for the cattle to drink is fast drying up.
In the hedgerows the may blossom is in bud but not yet in flower - its flowering is one of the highlights of my year, so am poised with my camera to record it for you. In the meantime the various indigenous crab apple trees are in full blossom, the buttercups are beginning to show yellow in the meadows and in another day or two the lane will be edged with cow parsley.
By tomorrow we hope to be more or less back to normal. I shall pop over now and see what tomorrow's poetry bus has to offer.
It is lovely to be back. Thank you so much to those of you who sent me e mails to enquire if I was alright and why I was not blogging. I do appreciate your concern. As far as my back goes - the walking on the holiday has done it no harm and may well have strengthened it a little. See you all tomorrow when my blog will - hopefully - return to normal. In the meantime enjoy the photographs.
Probably the highlight of the whole holiday for me was seeing the Pierro della Francesca frescoes
in the basilica in Arrezzo - the clarity and freshness of the colours, the 'modern' look of work which is six hundred years old, the magic of actually standing in the building rather than looking at photographs - wonderful - shall do a blog on it all one day soon.