Tuesday, March 17

I dropped off Skye at school and set off for a walk around town to search for signs of spring. Over the last few days the weather seems to have finally made a turn for the better. This has been the first winter here, in ten years, that I have not been able to go back to England and escape the gloom of winter in Pos. Skye is now in first grade, so a two month trip away is impossible to make.

I foudn this almond tree in blossosm quite near the school:
This winter has been hard for me. I have longed for England, pined for it, while sitting shivering in my cold house in this ghost-like town. When, a few weeks ago the school suddenly closed down for 10 days, I shouted with joy and ran home to book tickets for Skye and myself on the next possible flight.
Carlo and I have started to talk about the future possibility of spending more time in England, browsing through properties for sale online and excitedly discussing what we would do if we bought one. But for now it is just a dream.

I don't know the name of this tree, it has spikey branches with huge pods hanging off them. I wonder what is in the pods?
I have spent the winter planning and developing my soap business, experimenting with recipes, colours and fragrances. I have made (other than soaps)various creams, lotions, conditioners, scrubs and balms. I have emerged from the kitchen splattered with conditioner, smeared with pigments, slippery with oils, brandishing new concoctions for brave friends to try. I have battled for long, long hours with photoshop, trying to figure out how to use layers and the various tools to make labels that I can be proud to stick on my soaps. I'm still not quite there, but might succeed one day soon.

The citrus trees are bursting with fruit still, I love going outside to pick lemons off the trees just when I need them.
Suddenly, the sun has started shining and the town is coming to life. Everywhere I look shops are being painted, hotels are being aired out, flowers are being planted and a small trickle of tourists are coming in, no doubt baffled by all the work going on. I have one month left before I start work for the season, and one standby ticket ready to make one last quick trip to England before work starts.
I feel so relieved that the winter is over, I feel like I have been in hibernation for months. It all feels so much better when the sun is shining doesn't it?


  1. The spiky tree is a 'Silk floss tree' or 'cottonata ' as they call it in Santorella (I was about to write the real name-oops). It's a clorisia speciosa (you'll have seen the pink star-lily like flowers in summer) and when those pods break open it releases cotton wool spiked with b;lack seeds. We have a very tall one from a seed planted by my son.

    Will I see you at Easter?

  2. Yes, it does feel much better when the sun is shining! It's 14 celcius here today! Woohoo...can't wait to go outside!

  3. Spring is a lightening of the soul, a lifting of the winter burdens. Lovely post today, thank you from Annette.

  4. A really nice read that was. Spring has sprung here too, and by jove, it really does gladden the heart...hang in there..if you want England, England will be here waiting x

  5. Spring is just around the corner, I think everyone has been waiting for it to arrive!

    The sun was shining again today, went and met my friend in Oxford ..

    Ah you sound so sad in the first paragraph, and it does get harder when children have started school..

    Just look what you have around you, and when your warm weather really arrives ...it doesn't seem so bad ..or does it!

  6. Hey there, I completely understand your difficult winter. I too, seem to wait out the winter(Italian winter rain and gloom is so much worse than colder but cosier northern climates, no??) just to enjoy the summer here. Weather wise, things are looking up in Venice as well, and I can't wait to mkae my first trip down to Pos asap!

  7. It's still 30 degrees here with about 80% humidity! I'm LONGING for a cool change! Hopefully autumn will hit us soon. xx

  8. How lovely to discover your beautiful blog - thank you for introducing yourself. I have spent a lot of time in Italy over the years and your photos make me want to jump on a plane and return.

  9. Hi Charlie, you are right , what a delight when the good weather comes.I love all the photos that you have taken, thank you for sharing them with us.

  10. Bring on the sun! It has been a rather gloomy winter here, and I can hardly stand to be inside now that the sun is out. Thanks for the beautiful photos of the signs of spring in Positano! This is my first March on the Amalfi Coast, and I have really enjoyed seeing it come to life. In Amalfi the shops are being remodeled and repainted, and slowly things are gearing up for the summer. It is really lovely to see!

    Thanks Scintilla for the name the Silk floss tree. I have often stopped and marvelled at that strange, spiky tree!

  11. The sun even shone in Scotland today, amazing how it lifts my mood, roll on summer. You've been busy Charlie, can't wait to see the fruits of your labour.

  12. Just found your blog and love remembering our short time in Positano. I recently wrote about one day of our trip here:


  13. Nell said,
    Its great that your wording sounds very hopeful and full of new and exciting ideas are brewing !
    This will be the summer your business will explode on to the tourist trade.
    Small samples in tiny miniature cupcake pods of soaps, will help to
    entice potential customers .

  14. How delightful to discover your beautiful blog, Charlie. I am a regular Positano devotee, I wonder why we haven't met! I've been coming back since I was 7 years old.

    I know how deserted and gloomy that precious town can become in the winter, and I understand fully how you feel about the first rays of sun, the hotel/restaurant waiters in sweats tinting walls and the wisteria canopy starting to bud down the viale flanking the garden of Palazzo Murat.

    Hang in there and just think of the smell of Easter Sunday in Positano, the sky at 5pm and the Galli floating on the shimmering horizon at noon. Soon.

    I've always known the spikey tree by its South American name "palo borracho" (in Spanish literally 'drunken tree'). The lovely flowers that bloom between Feb. and May release a nectar that is known to attract monarch butterflies, which I dearly love.

    Next time I'm in town, I'll look you up. Can't wait to sample your saponissimo! Ciao

  15. I'm the opposite - I prefer the winter here in Italy. In Rome the summer is unbearably hot and stifling and that's when I miss the beach back hoome the most.


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