Archive for febbraio 2011

To Nonny

febbraio 21, 2011

Dear Nonny,

how are you? I’m Roberto, from Italy. I volunteered at Braziers last year, for almost nine months and i use to take english lessons with you. It’s a long time that i want to write you a letter, and eventually i found the time to do it today. To be honest, i got the chance and time to write because I’m quite ill, with a bit of temperature, so here I’m, by the fireplace, trying to write a lovely mail to send you.

I left Braziers at the beginning of november, with Julie. We went together, for a week, to visit Judith, Joe’s girlfriend, in Amsterdam. I had already been there, several years ago, but for Julie was the first time, and also Judith wanted so much us to go, that we payed a visit to her with great pleasure. It was a lovely week, and Judith was a perfect host. She lives in a beautiful house 15 minutes by train from Amsterdam, so we could go to Amsterdam several times. We went to some other towns nearby, which I found really nice and interesting. Above all, Harlem, which was a town where dutch living in amsterdam used to go on holiday. Judith introduced us to some good friends of her, and to her parents too, making hour stay even more pleasant.

After this week, Julie and I moved to Italy, because we wanted to spend some time at my house. I live in the centre of italy, by the adriatic sea, on th eeast coast, in an house in the country, 5 km from the sea. We didn’t know how long we would stay there, i was thinking up to 10 days, but we had such a good time that we stayed a month, untill Julie got back to the States, the 14th of december.

In a month, we visited so many places in my region, small medieval towns, old cities with their monuments and historic centre. We also went to the seaside, and to the mountain, and we had many walks togheter, as we did at Braziers.

Since it was the olives season, and I’ve got many olive trees, we had the chance to pick the olives up and follow the process of the oil making, which was interesting and funny at the same time, even because in those days was as warm as in spring. As a matter of fact, we’ve been very lucky with the weather.

When Julie left, I was very sad, the only relief was that Julie told me she wants to come back in Europe this summer, so I’m waiting for her, and hopefully we will visit you somewhen in July or August, because we absolutely want to come to Braziers for some days.

Since Julie left, I started to work. I’ve been lucky because i soon found a job, as a builder. I worked long time as a builder, even though I don’t really like this job. But it’s fine at the moment, since I’m planning to travel more with julie, and this job is a good way to save some money.

I spent the 2010 in England, and it wasn’t easy to go back to my previous life. Actually, I’m noticing how much the experience abroad changed me. First of all, I’m leading a much more simple life style, I’m really happy with not that much. I like to walk a lot, whenever is possible. From my house, i often go to the sea, for a walk on the shore. I also like to use more the public transports, even though in Italy they aren’t as efficients as in England. So, recently, I even got rid of my car,

I’m also cooking more then in the past at home. This is due to the fact that at braziers i found out to love quite a lot cooking. I make bread, pizza, all sorts of pastas, soups, and some good cakes.

Anothe change is that I’m working a lot in the garden, and in the orchard. I just finished to build a compost bin with pellets, and I started to fill it with green and brown. I hope it will work!!

We will soon start to plant the first crops, such as potatoes and garlic. I m very exited about it, because in England i haven t got the chance to work in the garden a lot.

I’m trying to involve some friends to work with me and share and learn with me about gardening, because i learnt at braziers that it’s much more funny working together then by oneself.

I’m sure there are many other things to write, but I’d better keep and save them for the next letters.

I still miss braziers, and the life style i had there, being all the time with people, as in a large family, being so in touch with nature, having much more spare time and also the chance to do what i like. Thank to internet, i can be in touch with some of the residents, such as Federico and Lucy, and Zoe, even though she’s just left.

What about you, dear Nonny? How are you, and Alfa? What about Simon, your grandson (or nepew, i don t really remember)? He’s a really good person. I hope he’s still coming to visit you, every now and again. And what about federico, you know he s a friend of mine, i met him in my hometown, the year before i came to braziers. Is he a good student? I m sure he improved his english a lot. You know, I m keeping on studying and practicing english, writing, reading (right now i m reading the portrait of a lady, by henry james, which i honestly found a bit boring), studing grammar on the bbc website and listening to the radio. I hope this helps me to do not forget what i learned, and hopefully learning something more. Actually, I’m a bit scared that I’m still making the same mistakes all the people from the continent make. Please, don’t kill me!!

Are you reading anything at the moment? I remember you always took a book from the mobile library.

And what about your garden, have you found someone else to help you with it.

I think that’s all for now.

I wish you, and the whole community, all the best.


take care



febbraio 1, 2011

Where i m working there’s a garden, and this morning i noticed, with great pleasure, on several fruit trees, the first hints of many buds. I was rather surprised, since i didn t expect it.  Buds are, to me, the first signs of spring, the first signs that nature is awaking. in  a month time there gonna be many flours, and colour again, everywhere. I m so exited. it’s amazing and i don t know how to describe this, but today i felt revived, stimulated by the rithm of nature. Mentally i spent the last two months in a winter mood, just relaxing, being warm, working, spending the evenings in my bedroom, being lazy, also, somehow. today i got the first sign that winter is almost gone, spring is almost ready to come, nature is coming back to life, ready for another cicle of life, something is moving and alive, ready to bring the good season. And i want to be ready for it, also changing my attitude, being more active.
For a while, this morning, summer and Julie seemed sooo close to me 🙂
I don t know if all this sounds silly. I don t know if the experience in england conditioned me for these feelings. i just lke it 🙂