An Italian Happy Farmer

The blog came to a halt whilst on social media the Happy Farmer was a hot topic of conversation as he posed in his green woolly socks tucked into brogues, a perfect pairing, or so it would seem until you add the shorts!
We have taken time out. A ‘cheeky wee break’. A much-needed holiday squeezed in between a beautiful family wedding in Glasgow and then a fabulous Diamond wedding celebration on Islay.
Apologies for the silence, but how could I resist when the Happy Farmer scooped me up, popped me on a plane and whisked me away to Venice for a week of sunshine and relaxation in one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world? Hopping on a water taxi to get from the airport to our beautiful Venetian Hotel, and not a car in sight, was bliss.
We arrived in darkness and as the boat motored along the Grand Canal, the streets were twinkling with alfresco diners, lining the banks. In the morning I opened my eyes to angels on the ceiling, and at this point did wonder if the Happy Farmer had grown a set of wings in the night. Then sunshine, beautiful warm sunshine, lighting up gorgeous narrow streets, with tall, spectacular buildings, and curved stone bridges linking the alleyways and pathways between the canals. Large piazzas bustling with cafes and bars. The friendliness of the local people, and the pride they take in their wonderful city, the pasta, pizza and local wines all made for a perfect break away.
Nothing however topped the hospitality of Gimo and Jessica from Leo Vanin. I first met this lovely couple when they were visiting my little pottery studio back in February. They too are farmers and have a prosecco vineyard in Italy. When they heard we were visiting Venice a case of their lovely prosecco was shipped and waiting at our Hotel. Midweek we circumnavigated the busy Italian train system to travel to the lovely medieval city of Treviso to meet Gimo and Jessica. Our hosts treated us to a guided tour of their beautiful town, tucked away behind the high historic walls, and surrounded by a moat, the town is a maze of canals and old medieval buildings. Much to the Happy Farmer’s delight it is the home of Tiramasu and a traditional Italian dinner with Gimo and Jessica made for an incredibly special evening. Their hospitality is a lasting memory of this beautiful corner of Italy. We are already looking forward to welcoming them back to Islay where we will return their wonderful hospitality and enjoy their lovely company again.
Now no trip to Venice would be complete without stepping onto a Gondola and being taken on a magical journey through the waterways. Gondolas are a symbol of history, tradition and romance in Venice. So, sat in the low comfy cushioned seats of the narrow, flat bottomed boat, we were ably rowed by our Gondolier, our feet resting on the footstools. At this point it became apparent that the Happy Farmer had taken charge of his own holiday packing. He had not heeded my promise of a relaxing break, sitting enjoying the waterways and café life, probably wisely, as we walked over 10 miles on our first day (according to the Happy Farmer). As our legs stretched out on the Gondola my sandaled feet, complete with painted nails, were enjoying a break next to the Happy Farmer’s brogue clad feet, complete with woolly green socks. You have got to love a Happy Farmer on his holidays.
Arriving home to Islay off the evening plane on Friday, our taste buds were still tingling from tasty Italian feasts. We couldn’t resist stopping off at Peatzeria then for a few take away pizzas. Peatzeria, Islay’s Italian restaurant, is no secret on the island. Their consistently delicious food is simply irresistible. It is a regular haunt of ours and who knows just maybe that is what inspired the Happy Farmer to sweep me away to enjoy an Italian holiday.
Back at Persabus the sun was shining, and the farm was party central as the Happy Farmer’s relatives had come across on the ferry to join us for a weekend of celebrations. Islay and Margaret Campbell were celebrating sixty years of marriage with a huge party in Islay House. The family treated us all to a beautiful island ceilidh with performances from the island’s pipe band, the local Gaelic choir and highland dancers. There was singing and dancing, great company, fantastic food and hospitality and at the centre of these celebrations, a lovely Islay couple who married over sixty years ago. It was a beautiful celebration of love, romance, family and friendship.
Until next time…