Not Sure We Should Be Doing This In August…Part Four


First and foremost I guess the elephant in the room here is that it’s not August anymore!  I know that, but what with travelling home, doing a mountain of admin to get up to speed now I’m back, and 101 other things, I’ve only just got round to writing this.

This is going to be more of a summary blog I guess. I’m back home in sunny (read cloudy) Camden Town, and have left that disgusting weather (read 35 degrees and not a cloud in the sky) back in Northern Italy.  It’s quite nice to write this and look back at everything we did.

First project was the “lawn”. For years we’d tried to grow a natural grass lawn there, and come back year after year to see weeds up the yin-yang. So bollocks to that anymore, time to astro turf it and have done.


Day One


P4 Astro
Have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The only reason it looks weird is that it’s green. I’m just not used to seeing that colour there! But the feel is great, the dog’s already christened it (great seal of approval), and hoping that it’ll be a lasting solution!

Second big project was the courtyard. The original idea we’d had years ago of a bit of black plastic and then shale it just didn’t work. Soil got on top of the plastic and guess what happened? Weeds! So again, we went for the lasting solution.

Now when my Dad told me my Mum has picked out patterned flags, my heart sank! My mum likes chince. I have memories of those horrible green and flowery curtains we had in the house in the 80s. Please no! Again, I was pleasantly surprised. We had to dig up the old stuff, lay a layer of sand and then get the flags down.

Not that easy in the baking sun, but…

Day Four


astro and flags

Third big project was the slope. Now this bastard has been staring at me, laughing at me even, for the last ten years. Me and a couple of mates, that will not remain nameless (Blower and Charlie), went out for a couple of weeks after we graduated and we were meant to build the steps. We did two in the whole two weeks we were there, and since I’ve had no end of comments from my family about when I was going to finish them. Well sod it, I did it!

I decided to clear the slope and start again. Again it’s a bit concrete-tastic, but you’ve genuinely got no choice given the wild plants and animals out there. By the end it was like a jigsaw puzzle that had got out of hand, but I can still remember putting that last piece in (the cut piece by the drain up on the left of the sloping bit) and a grin just went ear to ear. I don’t think I can remember such a sense of achievement/relief!

My absolute shit show of an attempt 10 years ago which looked like this…

slope pre work


P4 Slope Final
There were lots of other great jobs done, especially by the missus, who was meant to be there relaxing. Instead she recoated the entire swimming pool decking, and laid an insane amount of crazy paving with the amazing, but bloody heavy, Langhe stone that’s up there.

P4 Crazy paving

It was sad to leave, but it felt great to have really pushed the place forward so far. Already looking forward to the same next year!

Cheers all!


Other Posts In This Series:

Not Sure We Should Be Doing This In August…Part One

Not Sure We Should Be Doing This In August…Part Two

Not Sure We Should Be Doing This In August…Part Three



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