April 2012

We spend Easter (Catholic) in Assisi, mainly to see Brother Tom before he returns to UK at the end of his tour of duty as Chaplain to the Anglican community there. Raining and generally wet, but a joy to be in such a beautiful town. The congregation is so welcoming too. We stay in a delightful hotel (Albergo dei Viaggiatori) close to the main square.

Mixed progress on the house. Vasko comes up with some proposals. A major one is raising the whole building by one level, so that the cellar is no longer semi-underground but fully at ground level. This avoids excavating material for the cellar, so saves costs. He also proposes putting the parking on the south-west corner, immediately off the road, instead of accessing from the north-west corner. His argument is that the slope on the original position will be too steep, that we need a wall on the south-west side anyway, and it saves building another one on the north-west side. From our point of view, while we have the top floor higher, it also means we have to climb up more stairs!

James is asked by the government’s Office for Sustainable Development to present some ideas on the Green Economy at a 2-day conference on 24th & 25th. This takes place in a luxury hotel in Kolasin, about an hour and half up-country from Podgorica. Very interesting. While there we visit a lovely exhibition of photographs by Miroslav Jeremic of mountain flowers to honour the botanist and environmentalist Danijel Vincek who established the Dulovine botanic garden near Kolasin. On the way back we try to take the inland road across to Savnik and then Niksic, but get stopped by snow still blocking the road at about 1000m up the pass towards Savnik – clearly no-one had been further since the snow had fallen.