Since Spring seems to be springing I have been spending a lot more time outside sorting out the land for the summer growing season. We have an olive grove, a vineyard and a vegetable patch that continues to grow in size; we have our work cut out!

The olives are in the final phase of being pruned and prior to the next downpour they will be fed. The main priorities at the moment seem to be linked to fending off animals. I’m trying to get the fence up around the vines as quickly as possible, before the dreaded deer and cinghiale arrive. As you may remember from my 12th July blog they are not my favourite friends…to put it lightly. They are the plague of the area… to put it accurately. The deer whilst to look at are beautiful, eat everything that you don’t want them to eat and leave the rest. On the other hand the cinghiale, a tad less beautiful, appear to serve no purpose for me apart from at dinner time. They were re-introduced to improve hunting in the area but reproduce faster than we can shoot them. The growing wolf population may help although they seem to prefer to pilfer a few lambs instead of having to tackle a stroppy and protective cinghiale sow.

Anyway the fences are about halfway done. Meanwhile, whilst the cinghiale ravage any root in their way the chickens seem intent on ruining the strawberry patch. Or indeed anything green and growing. I don’t want to have to cage off everything! Not only because I believe there are better things to do (like watch my black and white teams lose…again)! But one thing is clear this week, deer 1, cinghiale 1, chickens 1, British expat nil. Where’s the “black and white” shirt?