Thursday, January 14

14th January, hibernation.

We decided to go for a walk today in the chestnut woods near Monte Faito, the tallest mountain in the area, but halfway there we found the road closed to traffic. So we changed plan and went to a nearby farm-restaurant, but that was closed too.

Here's a photo of our stupider cat who got stuck up a pole earlier...totally irrelevant I know.
No, problem, I said, Peppe lives just round the corner from the farm, lets go visit him! Of course we called him and he was out for the day. We stopped off quickly to admire the view from near Peppes and came up with a new plan.
I'd been told about a great burger bar in Sorrento and had been wanting to try it out for ages, so we drove back down into town...only to find the burger bar closed. I immediately (after stamping my feet just a little bit) suggested another place down one of Sorrentos side alleys, but of course when we arrived there, it was closed too.
Can we just give up and go home now?
January is hard in an off season tourist resort. Especially when most residents and friends have left for Thailand But then again: hunkering down at home, long walks nearby, books, good healthy food from the garden, a subscription to Netflix, morning runs along the coast, an affectionate dog and a lit fireplace in the evenings...It'll do, it will do me fine for a month or two.

Saturday, January 9

9th January, winter walks.

If it's not tipping it down with rain I try to get out for a walk every day. There's not a lot else to do really in the winter. Today I met some English tourists on the beach who asked me what time the shops were going to open...
"Um, around Easter-time, I should think," I told them. They thought I was joking until I explained that this is a seasonal town and really does go into full shutdown mode in the winter. They thanked me and ambled off to the church. Unfortunately that was shut too...
So, sometimes I walk the mountain pathways, sometimes I loop around town, or along the coast road towards Praiano. If I don't have much time I'll sort of jog down to Fornillo Beach, along the main beach and back up home again.
 Please take a second to admire this photo, as I didn't run away in time from the wave and got my feet totally drenched. Of course then I had to walk  squelch home, Oh, so glamorous...
 Anyway, every walk I take is stuffed full of beautiful views, lovely scenery and show the changing seasons along the Amalfi Coast. Most days I take photos or snapchat as I go. So if you want to join me,and often Holly too, on my daily walks around town (and get an idea of how many steps I climb every day) please follow me on Snapchat and keep me company!
My Snapchat username is 'Nikinpos'.

Flights climbed today: 78 floors
Kms: 7.16

Thursday, January 7

7th January, wasn't expecting that..

Lovely sunny day today, the sort of day that if you want to get somewhere on time you won't because you can't help stopping along the way to take photos of the bright blue sea.
All of our Christmas cards from abroad arrived in the post today as well, which is great as I've just taken all the decorations down. Maybe I'll save them for next year.
I took the dog out for a walk this afternoon. It was a bit late and was already getting dark, so maybe not the most sensible idea to go traipsing round a mountain path to a pine forest, but, hey, this is Positano, it's safe here, isn't it?
So, of course when I walked around this rather dark woodland corner I got the fright of my life when I came face to face with a big bearded man holding a huge shotgun. Yes, just what you expect to come across while out walking the dog.
I stopped and froze, he looked at me and...(at this point I totally thought he was going to shoot me for some reason) he laughed. He stood there holding a massive rifle and laughed at me...the bastard.. I asked permission to walk past, he nodded, murmered that he was only hunting, and I ran.
Yes, I ran along that very narrow clifftop path in the photo.
I stopped to admire the view, heard him shoot at something back in the woods and decided not to double back on myself and find another way down to the road just to be sure.
What exciting things happened to you today?

Wednesday, January 6

6th January, blue seas

Last day of the school holidays and I managed to leave the house as it rained less than the last few days. The first thing that struck me as I walked down to the road was how blue the sea was...and how dark the clouds were.
I ran/walked along the coast road for a bit, week 2, day 1 couch to 5k app, which was a bit too easy, so I looped back and walked around the town. It was oh, so quiet, I hardly saw anybody. Now is the time the mass exodus to Thailand and other warmer climates begins. Positano hibernates for a couple of months, regaining its strength for the next season.
I sort of panic at this time of year and start planning how to escape. Like last night when, oops, I booked 2 trips to London, one for each month..
It is beautiful, I know but I do wish there were more places to run or walk, one road just isn't enough. And let's not even start on the risk of being hit by a passing bus/taxi/scooter/mad driver...
I did try running around the football pitch but felt like a hamster in a wheel.
I recently bought an iphone after being a loyal samsung fan for years. I'm loving the health app which measures steps, walking distance and flights climbed every day. How many flights of stairs do you climb on average?
 Flights climbed: 84
Distance covered: 7.91
Food consumed from garden instead of shops: self-canned tomatoes, oranges, olive oil from the neighbours.

Tuesday, January 5

5th January, and a photoshoot.

Again, we awoke to dark threatening skies, constant rain and clouds floating through the garden. Another day housebound, time for yoga in the non sunny sunroom instead of improving my running skills. What to do, what to do? Its the new year so we're supposed to be trying to be fit and healthy, right? So baking cakes is out and vegging in front of Netflix all day is out too...
We decided on setting up a photoshoot. I would be the make up artist (duh) and photographer and Skye would be my model. We settled on a glamorous Cleopatra look and a more natural young teen look. It was fun and took up most of the daylight hours.

Tomorrow I don't care if it pours or not, I need to get out the house!

4th January, forecast rain.

You know those days when you wake up and it's raining, and then it doesn't stop all day and seems to be getting worse as the day goes by? Well, we have those days in Italy too and today was one of them.
A real stuck inside and thank-god-for-Netflix and adult colouring books type of day. It's not all pretty views and beach fun.
There was a day in September when Carlo and I got caught in a rainstorm as we were walking up to the road. It was so bad we had to take shelter in an abandoned pigsty for fear of being swept away. Here's a photo of the view from the pigsty:

3rd January, all about vegetables.

I woke up to dark skies, grey clouds clinging to the mountain-tops and rain threatening to fall at any moment. I took a chance anyway and went for a long walk along the coast road to Praiano and back. I even tried to run for a while, (using the couch to 5k app, which I finished 2 summers ago and am now starting from scratch).

Back home I went hunter-gathering in the garden as I couldn't face the shops. I was, as usual, nicely surprised with what I found growing:
We have every-colour-cauliflower, pink, white and green. We have potatoes, oranges, fennel, cabbages, lemons, mandarins, we have many leafy greens, about 3 types of broccoli and (drumroll.....) we have curly Kale! This is a biggie because I've never seen kale before in this part of Italy, and am not sure if it available anywhere in Italy. Dad sent me some seeds from the UK a while ago, and rather than following the instructions to plant them in late spring, I planted them in autumn. But it worked! I grew if I could only grow avocados, salmon and Cadburys chocolate I'd be set...

2nd January... and Christmas Day.

A huge family lunch, about 18 of us all together at the in-laws to celebrate the new year together. I think it is fair to say that the most amusing part of the day was watching the kids trying to figure out how to use Nonnas old telephone. We fell about laughing watching them examining it to see how we used to send text messages, before we had smart phones.
The weather has changed with the year. For the last 2 months it has been beautifully sunny and warm every day. My Dad came out to stay over Christmas and was ecstatic that he could sit in the sunny garden to have breakfast every morning.
It was so lovely that we moved our Christmas day plans from home to the beach. We ended up having a beach barbeque with a bunch of friends and it was the best idea ever!
However with the new year has come the bad weather It had to change at some point, we needed the rain, but it looks bad for teh next few days..

1st January, a new beginning.

A year and a half has gone by, what happened? Nothing terrible at all, just a bit of laziness, some reluctance to overshare and doubt that anybody cared anyway. Well, you know what? I care...I look back through this blog, 9 years of our lives recorded here in small detail. I see Skye grow from a toddler to a teen, I see my writing and photos and am amazed at myself for being so inspired. I dont want to loose that.

I have been fine without blogging but I have also missed it, I've missed that daily urge to get up and do something, to find something to write about, something to remember. Life passes by too fast and times change so quickly. When I first started blogging it was a new and exciting thing that not many people knew about..there were so few of us that I was actually in the Top 100 British Bloggers!! Imagine that, damm, if I'd kept it up I'd have been set for life!

I think I might try again for a while, for myself you understand..My content might change slightly, after all I've been living in Positano for 17 years now and have blogged about most events and things to do in town. I never wanted this to be a guide to the town so I'm going to mix it up a little, see what happens.
The last day of 2015 was spent with my little family on the beach. We walked down just before lunchtime and chatted with people in the piazza, wishing them "Auguri" for the New Year. After a seafood lunch we sat on the beach and watched the last sunset of the year, before climbing back home and spending the evening warm and happy at home, watching films. We could have gone out. After midnight on New Years Eve in Positano a huge party kicks off on the beach. But for some reason we couldn't be bothered to go, who knows why? Maybe the 465 steps to the road played a part in it.
Checking in on facebook later, I was relieved to see that many friends had also opted to stay in for the evening, so it wasn't just me!
What did you do, stay in or celebrate?

Monday, August 25

Climbing Mount Epomeo (Ischia)

Of course we couldn't leave Ischia without climbing the highest mountain on the island. But, then again it was rather hot, so we cheated and drove most of the way up. We stopped at a lookout point halfway up to admire the view:
The bay of Sant'Angelo below:
At the end of the road there was a mossy banked pathway that gently led upwards. You can actually hire horses to take you up to the top, but I doubt Holly would have liked that very much.
The pathway became narrower...
And then so narrow that it was more like walking through a drain...
Until suddenly it widened out again and we were up in the clouds. An old abandoned house stood there, surrounded by wildflowers and eddying clouds.

The top of the mountain was a real craggy peak. I watched them bound up like two mountain goats..
We were way above the clouds and could see for miles..
You know that feeling when you suddenly realize how high you are and have to suddenly sit down and grab hold of anything you can find? Yeah, that happened....
But every now and again the clouds parted and the sun shone through, giving us glimpses of the island below..

Sitting with my head in the clouds...
On the way back down we took a chance and stopped off for dinner at a restaurant called L'Arca, which seemed to hang off a rock on the side of the road. The view was amazing, we arrived just in time for the sunset and the food was excellent too. Highly recommended to refuel and reward yourselves for climbing a mountain!

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