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Thursday, 16 August 2012

What I did on my holidays....

Well, firstly I had a fabulous time. Secondly I found inspiration to write.... It's difficult arranging a holiday which a teenager and a 91 year old will both appreciate. However, this year seven of us family members rented a farmhouse in Umbria which is in the middle of Italy and the farmhouse was in the middle of nowhere. I knew when I chose somewhere far up in the hills it might have been hair-raising. However, the drive to the farmhouse up steep inclines, hairline bends and on an unmade road of scree and pebbles was pretty horrendous. At one point not only did I stall, but with everyone in the car, started rolling backwards! We were however saved by a Swiss guy who drove past with the greatest of ease and offered a tow if we needed it. When we got to the top, the views were worth it. We had a spectacular view from our patio where we had all our meals, and from where we could see in the distance the most wonderful medieval village, Santa Giuliana. Apparently this is being restored and apartments were up for sale. I have just discovered this website which gives photos. Fascinating as there was still building work going on and although I and my husband wandered around (here's a photo of him standing outside)
it was all closed up and we couldn't get inside the walls even to see the outside of the houses. It did however give me a fantastic idea of what a proper medieval town would have been like. It was totally impregnable. Sheer walls, tiny slits presumably through which arrows where shot and boiling oil might have been poured. On a hilltop site you not only get to see visitors hours before they arrive, as they come across the hill, but you can hear them. We could hear distinctly what was being said at a holiday home with pool way down the bottom of the hill. All walled up in their medieval village, the inhabitants must have felt very safe and be able to prepare beforehand for any invasion. We also had some wonderful visitors, a bevy of six little wild boar piglets who came around each evening to finish off scraps we threw down the hill. They were so cute although their mum who came one day looked pretty scary! It was a wonderful holiday and I know have a crime story worked out in my head involving 3 girls who holiday in a remote hilltop house, discover a crime being carried out and .... well, you'll have to wait for the rest until I write it!

6 comments:

Kate Jackson said...

What a fabulous place, Cara. It sounds very inspirational and so glad you had a good holiday. I love the wild boar piglet, a lovely addition to your trip.

Cara Cooper said...

Thanks Kate, it really was getting away from it all. I managed to do a whole first chapter sitting by the pool pretending I was lady muck. If I'd had another couple of weeks I could have finished it!

Rena George said...

I love family holidays, and you certainly seem to have made the most of yours. The new crime story sounds very interesting, Cara. I look forward to hearing more about it. xx

rama said...

It was really nice to read about your family holiday. It is so much fun to have family around, the more the merrier.
The crime story would sound even better with the family thrown in, there can be lot of suspense, and nail biting situation thrown in.
Such holidays not only gives you the pleasure of spending quality time with your near and dear ones , but also gives lots of food for thought.

Cara Cooper said...

Hi Rama

I'd never thought of including family into the crime story, don't know why not! Thank you for giving me a great idea. Rena, I do enjoy crime writing but it's tough. You have to be well organised (NOT me), meticulous (NOT me) and logical soooo NOT me. But I'll get there in the end!

Jeny said...

Very nice post.
Cuba Holidays