Adventures in Val Chisone and around

Adventures, observations,events and comments on life in an alpine valley in Italy from an English family living next door to the largest fortress in Europe. (Fenestrelle)
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Friday, 28 November 2008

Heavy snowfall celebrates 5 Years!

I have been a naughty boy and not kept my blog up to date. You know what it is like, real life just gets in the way and the blog gets put on the "will do later" pile. Well, later has arrived and the blog has to be done.
We have just celebrated our fifth anniversary of being in Italy. It seems only yesterday we were packing everything to be shipped out here. How time flies and especially when you are having fun.

So much has happened in the last 5 years. How our lives have changed. We have transformed from busy frenetic "professionals" busting a gut just to keep our heads above water in the home counties
to relaxed eco friendly business owners living a dream come true.
Sometimes the dream can seem a nightmare but on the whole it appears to be a much more positive and healthy step in the right direction.

Italy has changed in the 5 years we have been here and our view of Italy has also changed. The initial frendliness of the country is a veneer and it takes a lot of hard work to break through this and make real friends. The Italians distrust each other to the degree that you have to do the same. They hardly ever say "no" directly. They will often say yes but you soon discover that it often means "no". They are afraid of direct confrontation. This can be seen in Italy's history where they are always trying to "back the winner", changing sides whenever they feel the advantage has gone the other way. Italy is full of etremely stupid and pointless legislation yet they are still unable to prevent schoolchildren from dying when their buildings collapse or the road users from killing themselves on the roads. Being an "Anglo Saxon" as they refer to us Northern Europeans means that we can see things in black and white. However being Italian you can only interperate shades of grey. Again this is because no one can ever commit themselves to say NO. or Yes and actually mean what they say.
Enough of my ranting!

I would not stay here in Italy if I did not enjoy it here. For us there are manty things which are far more positive. The option to live a healthy life, eat quality food, enjoy clean air and most of do what we enjoy for a living instead of working for someone else so that they can enjoy their life.
We are fortunate here in the mountains, we are close enough to large cities to benefit from their amenities when we want, yet also far enough away that their problems don't inflict themselves on us.

Now that the snow is falling in abundance we are moving into the winter season with enthusiasm. Tomorrow we will be out skiing. This is something we used to look forward to once a year for a weeks holiday. Now of course we still look forward to it once a year. However for a whole season of skiing!
I must admit that we don't ski every day. There is also snow shoeing and cross country skiing as well.
This winter we are looking forward to plenty of guests coming over to discover these "alternative" snow activities. The beauty of Cross Country and snowshoing is that they do not require the dexterity and hours of instruction that is required for down hill skiing. In a morning you can pick up the basics and be out in unspoilt countryside, away from the crowds and lift queues and enjoying the real mountains.

When I look back over the 5 years I just have to look around me to remind me of why we are here. The views and ever changing scenery allied to the freedom to explore is more than enough to put a smile on my face. Why not make your escape (however brief) and join us in our little bit of winter wonderland. You will not be dissappointed!

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