It's views like these that I have to put up with when I'm out for a run.
And it's bunches of grapes like these, dripping off the vines, that I have to run past without tasting a single one. That's only because I would hate for the farmer to be two grapes shy of a bottle of wine and for it to be all my fault...
And anyone who grows grapes for wine I hold in the highest regard.
Here's the little village we live in. Our house is just below and to the right of the big church, just FYI.
These are photos from a new running route my husband discovered a few weeks ago. It goes down the hill from the village, around the corner, then climbs climbs climbs up the other side of the valley thus providing spectacular views over our village and the surrounding countryside.
Vineyards and olive groves galore, fig trees, peach trees and apple trees, all at this time of the year with their branches weighed down from the ripened fruits they bear.
I'm telling you, there is nothing quite like going for a run up a few killer hills and then picking a fig or two at the top as a reward and a natural fructose sugar rush. Truly, it's awesome. And addictive.
On this particular photo-taking run I encountered the usual nasty little yappy dogs who always run out at me and try to bite the wheels of the buggy, Max's feet and my ankles. But on this day there was a woman with them and witnessed my predicament with her dogs (and hopefully didn't understand the few choice English words I called her dogs which would have left her ears burning...).
And so, being hot, tired and very angry at her dogs I let her have it.
In the nicest possible way.
In my limited Italian.
"Senora, every single day your dogs try to bite me and my child! Every day!"
She apologised profusely while throwing the sickle she was carrying at one of the little s**** who was having a go at my ankles (unfortunately she missed...) and said they weren't actually her dogs but her neighbours. We got talking and I told her my usual story about how I am living over here with my three boys and my husband works in London but visits every 2-3 weeks etc etc.
She told me I need to carry a stick with me to keep all dogs at bay (there are a few places along this running route where grumpy little dogs try to bite my ankles - what is their problem?!) and then she gave me a handful of tomatoes she had just gathered from her vegetable garden.
As I continued on down the road toward home I felt that this had indeed been a very productive run.
I was glad to have made a new acquaintance.
I'd scored some lovely big tomatoes.
And a very large stick.