After the transfer of our property in April ’23, with un bel prosecco in our hands, David and I met the two guys that would stay in our house ‘anti-squat’ until the renovation would start. We thought it was a great idea that it wouldn’t just stand there all by itself on the hill, for grasp for whoever wanted to singlehandedly decide set up camp in it.

The boys were friends of the former owner’s son. Kind and appreciative. So we returned to the Netherlands all content. In order to earn some money, they would even mow the grass, especially around the 220 olive trees, which – given the many terraces – isn’t an easy job. We felt happy to have found people to take care of this, this year. A good start!

In the beginning of September, renovations would commence and our anti-squaters confirmed they had finished the work and would be out in time. And they were!  Except… they had left all their stuff behind. All of it. It was a havoc of garbage bags, wine bottles, a disconnected fridge full of food, a washing machine complete with laundry, a bed, its mattress, tutto. And the guys had vanished.

It felt hurt, I have to admit. I liked and trusted them. But Hey, the contractor would have to dispose a lot of debris anyway. The stuff the guys had left would hardly make a difference. So we had learned our lesson and moved on.

Unfortunately, however, our lesson not to trust just anyone, had a second chapter. Our neighbour Lelle had promised us to take care of the harvesting of the olives this year. He had helped the previous owner for a number of years and  was the one that had instructed us that the grass would have to be gone to be able to carry out the job.

He also became the one to discover and inform us about the fact that, despite our generous payment, our friends had NOT mowed the grass at all…, as a result of which the harvesting of the olive trees could not yet be carried out…

This, of course, is solvable too. But boy, do I start to wonder where our trust and naivety will take us next!