Last weekend was the 6th Olive Festival at Colletta. It is one of the best social events we have and this year was no exception. We spent Friday picking olives in the traditional way. This involves laying down nets under the trees and thrashing them with bamboo cane sticks and if done properly the majority of the olives end up in the net rather than falling in the road or down the hill. Despite various fears of over-zealous pruning, the olives this year were more abundant than ever. I think we reached a record harvest of some 310 kilos in just one and a half days. Perfect sunny weather again and much laughter. We had to stop picking on Saturday morning to make our way down to the frantoio (olive press) in Nasino for lunch – Garello’s.
First we sat down to a home-cooked meal with great food and the local wine. The atmosphere is great and then after lunch all our the olives are ground between two old marble mill stones, then spun in centrifuges in some ancient ritual involving Italian engineering at its best – before being bottled. It is a magic day for everyone young and old.
However all things must come to pass and this year the shadow hanging over the day was the assemblea of the condominium on Sunday. This turned out to be a nightmare for all present. Colletta had fairly much settled down in the previous year to a more or less stable situation in Colletta where things worked, things were fixed if needed and visitors and Collettiani alike were happy. However stable quiet and happy existance seems to be impossible for some people. After 8 hours of unnecessary nonsense I thought we had reached some sort of compromise from all the machinations but I am now having my doubts. There are two proverbs applicable to all this :
“When it ain’t broke don’t fix it”
“The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”