As Europe battles with huge snowfall, life here goes on much as usual. Living at the foot of the Italian Alps for the past 5 winters has prepared us for this latest heavy snowfall.

We have warmth from our wood fire, warm clothes, solid shoes, and a car equipped with winter tyres, our children are still able to go to school, our road is cleared of snow (big thanks to those driving the snowploughs), life here goes on.
I’ve become accustomed to ‘rugging up’ to walking with great caution outside, to wishing the ruddy snow would stop! I’m longing for spring, fed up with winter and totally over this snow, basta!!!

Of course our new neighbor is busy getting his house ready for the arrival of his family and we’ve been over helping out, never start a project in the midst of the beast from the east ….freeeezing!
We’ve had a guest these past weeks and he’s bought a gentle peace to our wildly rowdy family. Many wonderful conversations around our dinner table these nights, and we are seeing everything freshly through his eyes with a new sense of renewed purpose.

A time I cherish is early mornings at the bar in our village, the local men gather before heading out to work and each one has his special place to sit, friends that have grown up together and always laughing…. I just sit back and watch, and join in with the occasional ‘Bastardo’ re my husband which makes them all hoot with laughter!!!
Our Borgata has now grown by 4, bringing the population living full time here to ten adults and six children (including our family of four).

Perhaps one day the hamlet will be a full community as it was in days gone by. Although with new faces, cultures and beliefs.

I look forward to the year ahead and getting to know our newest family here at Malpertus. Luca will have some new kids to play with (now his sister is all grown up and has a boyfriend he’s been a bit lonely).

I’m looking forward to sunshine, to wildflowers on the meadow and the sound of the cowbells, to saying goodbye to the beast of the east for the year and to our unusual freezing weather.

I know Sam won’t mind leaving behind the minus temperatures in the early morning taking the kids to the school bus. And I’ll happily give up the hot water bottles and heavy layers every time I put my nose out the door.

Oh and I almost forgot to tell you, last week while driving home, Sam Daniele and Carina saw two big wolves on the road to our house, funnily enough it was the night of the full moon and I was safely at home with Luca (I was reading Game of Thrones at the time) and cursing that I didn’t get to seem them.

So now we are on the look out for our wolves, and thinking to call the place Winterfell.