Summer runs on and we dash all over the place

My expat life in Istria

There’s a lot in this week’s blog – but then it was a hectic week. We ate out four times in five days and made a mad dash to Trieste – twice. Live Istria acquired a (future) new contributor, its first few back-links and its first sponsor! I gave the garden a short back and sides, while P hurt his head and foot – and the oven is fixed (we hope …).


Monday 26 September

Beautiful morning, up at 6 am – good sleep was all I needed (see last week). Couple of hours at my desk then a couple of hours pootling in the garden in lovely warm sun. 🙂

Snježana called Gorenje about our hopeless oven and had a moan on our behalf (it’s broken down nine times in six years). Amazingly, rather than just coming and fixing it – again – they will take it away for a thorough overhaul (so they say). They’ll let her know when: hope it won’t take too long.

Sally came round for coffee and a chat – she has some amazing stories. Then I plucked up courage to call Philippa to see if she’d be my boating correspondent. Whoopee, she loves the idea and is already passing Live Istria’s details around! 🙂 🙂 She’ll start writing some stuff in November and I hope I can persuade Sally to be a regular contributor too. Not a bad start to the week!

Dashed round at the end of the afternoon on laundry and domestic chores (why do I always leave everything to the last minute?) Then went for a swim. Even with warm and sunny days, they’re too short and the nights too cold to keep the pool temperature up, so every swim could be the last.Rick, Nicky and Sally playing mah-jongg

P in bed with migraine all day, but got him up for our first meal out this week, dinner with RnS and a mah-jongg session. Wish I’d left him there as he kept beating me to going mah-jongg – each time by one tile! Was tempted not to drive him home and leave him stranded in the dark Croatian countryside.


Tuesday 27 September

Up at 7 am and, while ironing, developed a finance strategy for Live Istria (you didn’t think I was solely doing this for love, did you? :)). How productive is that!

Last guests in the Little House left this morning – that really marks the end of the season, so autumn can’t be far away.

Gardener trimming our hedge with a huge huge trimmerNoisy afternoon, could hardly could hear myself think. (While Glorija was busy with the vacuum cleaner inside, the gardeners had two industrial-strength  hedge trimmers going outside! P gave up trying to put his migraine behind him and got up. Must treat him gently (even if he kept winning last night).

Pool temperature just dipped below 24°C, but now determined to swim through to the end of week, so I can say I swam to the end of September. Had dinner on terrace – the only time we ate at home this week.


Wednesday 28 September

A very busy day started with Baggy sat – make that sprawled – on my lap. Unlike Tally, she’s really too big and heavy (6 kg) to fit on my lap at my desk, so her visit was short (but appreciated).

Nicky and shears trimming rosemaryOut in the garden earlier than on Monday, so got a lot done before it got uncomfortably warm. I had the shears out and was in trimming mood, so the santolinas, rosemary and lavender all had a snip. Hair cut anyone?

Live Istria’s grown much faster than we thought and, after just three weeks, we’re nearly out of server space. P’s set up a bigger host package and we’re due to migrate on Sunday night, but I think we’ll be out of space before then. I’ll have to restrict myself to small updates for the next few days.

People advertising properties on Owner’s Direct should – I hope! – be interested in Live Istria, so I’m contacting those with websites to tell them about us. With luck they’ll be willing, and want, to give us a back-link or do a link exchange. In the middle of that, the Gorenje service man turned up (completely unannounced). He also didn’t take the oven away, but stripped it down and tested it on the spot. As a result, the electricity kept going down! Gave up trying to work and retired to the terrace with a book until he had finished.

Back at my desk, and the phone goes. Simon, a financial adviser from London due to arrive later and stay overnight, had had his briefcase’s pinched on the plane. He’d lost both driver’s licence and credit cards, so couldn’t collect his hire car … cue mad dash to Trieste to collect him. The visit seemed a bit jinxed as, due to a mix up between P and I, we set off an hour late; and being late back, we dashed straight out for a meal to Konoba Monica (one of our favourites – review coming soon) – which was shut!


Thursday 29 September

Discussed Live Istria and my financing strategy (the one I developed while ironing) with Simon this morning. As someone whose job is finance, he was the perfect ‘outsider’ to ask if it could work. I guess he thought so as he’s offered to sponsor a ‘Money matters’ section – and I didn’t even try and sell it to him! Fantastic news: all we now need is to write some financial articles … 🙂

While reading my Tweets this morning, I found out about a new flight to Pula. New flights are always good news so, feeling like a real journalist, I called them and wrote a short piece. Then I finished and issued my weekly e-mail update (which was interrupted yesterday with power cuts and Trieste trips), and continued looking at potential links.

Tally sleeping in the ironingTally seems to have taken up residence in the ironing basket. She does this from time-to-time so I keep the ironing covered with an old sheet, to protect my nice clean laundry from her muddy paws.

Dinner out again, this time with Paul and Christine (at Konoba Kažeta, another favourite I will tell you about soon). These UK-based friends own an old house nearby but, after six years, are still awaiting permissions to restore it. I’m trying to persuade Paul to share their tale with us – it’s an epic saga.


Friday 30 September

Davor checking the albizzia for aphidsNo cat at the door to greet me this morning – very unusual. Baggy did turn up later, apparently looking for some attention – but of course she was just checking to make sure ‘food god’ was on the case.

Davor came round to look at the laburnum. It’s being attacked by fungus again and he’ll need to bring his big sprayer – it’s far too tall for me. It often suffers, probably because it’s too close to the hedge, so we’ll try moving it when it goes dormant. But at least he gave the baby albizzia I’d been spraying for aphids the all clear.

Wood Stacking Elf (Ian) came for another session this afternoon. He finished stacking everything P had chopped and we now nearly have as much wood in the wood store as sitting in the front garden.

6 of us eating at Mare e Monti in UmagSwam on the last day of September – never done that before and it was lovely, if ‘bracing’.

Final meal out for the week as we took part in Croatia Restaurant Week, going to Mare e Monti in Umag, with SnS and FnV. Had a wonderful meal in a lovely location, well worth the 45-minute drive.


Saturday 1 October

Alen and Marija discussing wine in the wine cellarMet Marija at Konoba Kaštel to review an article. I had a coffee – she’d been deep-digging her vegetable patch to sow more salad seeds (I am in awe of her), so rewarded herself with a medica. (My digging will have to wait, as the veg patch is still producing cherry tomatoes – that’s my story, anyway). Went and saw the konoba’s wine cellar, where Alen explained the process after the grapes have been harvested. It was fascinating: of course I’ll write it up, but for now I can tell you  it involves microscopes … and the full moon?

P hobbling around when I got home: he dropped a log on his foot when chopping and bruised his big toe (poor lamb). Later in the day he managed to bash it again, running up stairs. Cue lots of inventive swearing.

Good news for Live Istria: spoke with Željka, founder of Croatia Restaurant Week. She is great to talk to, full of enthusiasm and I ended up promising to write something for her Facebook site (which reminds me, I must get something on mine). Bad news – still nowhere on Google. (Patience, patience – P)

Pool now 23°C, so getting rather cold. P went for a swim anyway, just so he can say he’s swum in October. But that’s almost certainly the end of the swimming season. Always a sad day. 🙁


Sunday 2 October

Baggy came for two cuddles this morning. I felt really honoured  – until I realised she just wanted me to come and check she had food (which she did – I’m a good cat mother today), and watch her eat. She does that from time-to-time. Are all cats this strange? (Answers on a postcard, please – P).Porec's beautiful coastline

Yet another glorious day, so we went for a walk by the sea in Porec (and a coffee). It’s so beautiful under the pine trees on the coast. Came home, had a BBQ and then fell asleep on the swing hammock. What more could you ask of a Sunday? 🙂


The tale continues when we finally say good-bye to the summer and hello good cat-mother.

Read my blog in the right order – from the start in July


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