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I am writing this this blog because I have the luxury of time for the first time in my life. My other motivations are: to encourage people who feel that they have no chance of changing their lives and to promote a place that has given me a new life.

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Prima Majo

Today is the start of a wonderful two-day festival in our village. When we first arrived here, everyone kept talking about it, but we had never experienced a traditional Italian festa, so we had no idea what to expect.

It all kicked off in the piazza (quite early by our standards) and peak caps were handed out to everybody. Then a convoy was formed and we drove into the nearby countryside. We just tagged along- waiting for all to be revealed because there were no instructions or explanations.

Suddenly, we noticed movement in the thick foliage on the hillside. Blue and orange peak caps were bobbing around as people picked the wild , pink cyclamen and collected them in baskets. We were told that they were going to be used to make a floral cross.

All of this hard work was rewarded with a delicious, communal lunch back in our village. Of course, there was music and dancing too. There was a precious moment when one of the old accordion players handed the instrument to his young grandson who, pierced and tattooed, picked up the ancient tune and continued playing with gusto. Tradition being passed down the generations before our eyes.

April in Abruzzo

It is Spring in our mountain village and although there is the same rhythm to daily life, there is also a noticeable lift in demeanour of the people and in Nature’s reawakening. Perhaps it’s because I have time to stop and look, to take leisurely walks and see the vivid green leaves unfolding and actually listen to the multitude of different bird calls, that this Spring feels like it’s the first time I have ever experienced this season.

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