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First there was glorious end of April.

We came down from Zagreb for Easter break with friends.

And had the most amazing weekend. Big Easter breakfast that turned into lunch outside, sun, talking and even biking (!).

Traditional onion skin coloured eggs.

And less traditional here in Croatia and so very delicious hot cross buns.

Then we went back to Zagreb for a few days and moved down “for real” on 1 May. The pictures that follow will suggest that it was a sunny May so far. But it really wasn’t. Following at least five weather apps, we tried to organise work outside on very few sunny hours.

One wall’s grout crumbled almost completely so it had to be dug out and redone. Those hands above are mine but I was only helping our trusted Tone who made the magic again.

We managed to get everything in shape just in time as always. Someone once, in my IT days, tried to convince me how “works expands to time available” – his argument being that we should push developers harder to deliver things faster. I didn’t like it then but I must admit it often is exactly like that. We give ourselves three weeks to get everything ready and it takes us exactly three weeks to be ready for first guests. Winking emoji here.

First guests of the season arrived on Monday and left today – it seemed like they liked it here and had good time. So yay us!

It is always the same. In those three weeks the jungle again becomes “chic rural retreat”.

We patched the gravel in places where plants took over a bit too much. We had a pair of helping hands from a “city” friend. I think he had hard time moving the next few days!

The beach needs re-oiling every spring.

And these doors desperately needed some love. I don’t have after picture for some reason and it is too dark now to go and take it. It looks much better now.

Of course, it is not all work, work, work. The canine/feline/human walks in the woods continue.

They are more stressful for some. Basically, Mitzy walks like this the whole time (but she never gives up). Puffed and ready. For attack.

Or so she thinks. It all goes beautifully unless we meet someone. Like today we met our neighbour and she freaked out and disappeared into the woods. Normally she follows me very closely and Mala runs around (no stress there at all). I am on the lookout for other dogs, moderately stressed. The woods around here are not all well maintained with very thick undergrowth so if they decide to run in and not come back for a bit all I can do is wait and hope for the best.

So, none of us anticipated that another human is a threat as well.

Well, it was pretty alarming 15 minutes where I couldn’t hear her, Mala kept running in and out of the thicket – no idea if she was looking for Mitzy or chasing a rabbit or a bird.

Eventually, she meowed and came out and we all reunited.

Phew.

I think we will we take few days’ break.

This lovely family is having their lunch just outside our village – luckily, not on our walking path – I do not want Mitzy to meet them.

And spring is beautiful regardless of lack of sun.

Purple and yellow everywhere.

You may remember from last post that we dug out some holes for trees at the egde of our property. The trees are here – yay! Two linden, one mulberry and two mediterranean hackberry (ladonja). They are doing great (rain is good for something) and I hope they grow big and beautiful.

It was super hard to find mulberry tree here in Istria. One that bears fruit that is. Apparently, people only buy those without fruit (?) because the fruit makes too much mess. I need the shrug emoji here now. So we bought the only one that we managed to find. There are tiny fruit on it now, maybe we will have some to eat this year!

This picture is too dark, but I decided the sky is too pretty.

The tree planting work was overseen by Mala and Mitzy.

More spring beauty with no sun – this is wild thyme and is everywhere around us.

Flowering right now.

And some cultivated beauty – lupinus is doing great this year, I guess it likes the rain.

Unlike tomatoes who were again raised from seeds in Zagreb where they looked beautiful. The cold and rain almost completely ruined them here. I am so sad I am not even taking pictures. I hope some at least will survive, we will have to buy commercial ones to fill in the gaps of those that died.

Spring is also time for asparagus, wild ones in abundance here in Istria.

So we made risottos and frittatas… yum!

And this was taken in Zagreb, but is fitting with the rain theme of this Pruga May.