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25.02.2020 Our upstairs terrace is a lovely place to be, but unfortunately it seems it wasn't constructed correctly and leaks water down into our kitchen-diner. To rectify this, the entire foundation needs to be redone. The builders have now removed the old tiles and 8cm of concrete, laid the first of two waterproof membranes and cast 8cm of new concrete. Once this is dry, the second waterproof membrane can be laid and then the new tiles. We have chosen travertine (marble) in Opus Romano pattern

04.02.2020 If you say "Barolo" most people think of some of the best and most expensive red wines in Italy - if not the world. But to us it's also a wonderful little historic town only an hours drive from home. The area surrounding the town of Barolo offers some beautiful scenery and great opportunities for walks. This time we had a unusual mix of fog and sunshine that made for some stunning views along the 12-13km route from Barolo to Castiglione Falletto and back

01.02.2020 I think my favourite car from this year's Automotoretrò was the top-restored yellow 1971 Porsche 911 2.4T, but as always there were lots of nice cars. Have you ever seen an American Crosley, pink Mini Moke, 139.000euro BMW 2002 Turbo, Moretti 750 Spider or Talbot Lotus 2.2? Me neither. I bought a 50mm orbital sander and a bunch of mechanics gloves, but couldn't find a fabric Porsche logo for the Boxsters indoor cover (so I can see which is front and back)

01.02.2020 Just in case you thought that I still hadn't done much to our Boxster, here's a quick update. I'm currently cleaning, sanding and re-varnishing the red brake calipers that have gone matt, cleaning the wheels and replacing the centre caps. Already completed is: "S" logo on the back, exhaust pipe, aircon display and hydraulic trunk struts (front and rear). I have also replaced the redundant cassette tape holder (yes, really!) with a phone tray, cleaned the carpets and replaced the windscreen wipers.

27.01.2020 The weather continues to be very nice in Liguria, so we still go out hiking getting a bit of fresh air in the weekend, while the air quality in Torino is really poor for the third week running. More and more often we stop at La Calamita in Bagnasco for dinner on Sunday night on our way home, because the food is good, warm, plentiful and incredible affordable (usually €20-€25 for two)

06.01.2020 I think it's fair to say that we finished the holidays in style.
First we did a 12km hike from Boscomare to Pietrabruna with a 30min lunch break on a lovely hill top in the sun with amazing views over the mountains. Then a nice hour long soak in the hot tub - and to finish of the day a homemade Swiss cheese fondue!

01.01.2020 Sometime ago I bought a bar table with the idea of adding a mosaic top. The inspiration is from Pelforth Blonde, a French beer with a pelican in their logo, and is even older and originates from our travels in Provence. Many years ago I brought home a beer coater from France! The table top is 60cm in diameter and contains nearly 3.000 glass mosaic pieces (1x1cm or smaller), so it took quite some time, but I think the end result was worth it

31.12.2019 Happy New Year to all our family and friends from Costarainera! Thank you to all of you whom we shared happy moments with in 2019 and apologies to those whom we missed - we'll try to do better in 2020. Right now we're enjoying the holidays and the lovely weather as you can see from the pictures. We have been lucky to have Mikkel visit for a few days over Xmas, which was really nice. In Italy the offices are closed all the way to Epiphany on 6th of January, so we had 17days off in total

14.12.2019 Our Porsche Boxster S is a 2002 pre-facelift car with a 3.2litre 6-cylinder 252hp engine and 6 speed manual transmission. The car was originally specified with some really nice and expensive options: Electrically adjustable/heated Sports Seats, full leather interior, sports suspension, Porsche Stability Management and 18” Sport Classic wheels (sadly no longer with the car). It has done 80.000km and needs some cosmetic attention, which is just the sort of project a perfectionist like me enjoys

13.12.2019 We had Bibi's mother Alma visit us for a few days and we spend most of them in the house in Costarainera that Alma hadn't seen yet. The sun was out and Liguria looked as good as ever. I almost finished our shabby chic shoe rack; it just needs a cushion on top. It's made from wood recycled from a box my Dad made for our grandfather clock that was shipped to Torino earlier this year

02.12.2019 When your house is facing the Mediterranean it's easy to forget that the forest is right behind you. But we can - in fact - go for a hike right from our front door, so on Saturday we did. When we got back there was still time for a dip in the hot tub before we went to dinner at a restaurant recommended by our builder Marco, called La Pignatta d'Oro in Torre Paponi 30min from our house

11.11.2019 We stopped in Prelà to get a drink about two months ago on our way home from collecting the hot tub. We both thought it was a nice cozy town and when we spotted a sign with hiking routes, we agreed to return and Saturday we did. We took the Percorso Rosso (Red Route) which was listed as 10km (13 km om my GPS) but with a few detours we did almost 15km. Absolutely lovely day out as you can see from the pictures

06.11.2019 Birgit timed her visit well and got the very best of the otherwise unreliable October weather. We took the opportunity to visit Dolceacqua, host to a medieval castle ruin with beautiful views over the valley and a bridge featured on several Monet paintings. It was even warm enough for Birgit to be tempted to try out our new hot tub and of course have an icecream

16.09.2019 The idea of a hot tub to use in the off-season really appealed to us, but the price of a wooden (€1.200+) or fibreglass (€2.500+) hot tub made us question if we would use it enough. So when I spotted this inflatable tub in unused and sealed condition on a 2nd hand website at a much more reasonable price (€300), we decided to go ahead. So far it's been really easy to set up and very enjoyable, but the real test will come when the temperatures drop

09.09.2019 As predicted we went to Imperia to see the wonderful sailing yachts that could be seen even from our house. We spend the rest of the weekend tidying up and putting stuff away, since it’s now towards the end of summer and Bibi is returning to Torino. Some weeks ago we went to see a roman bridge (Google map) in nearby Taggia that somehow escaped our attention

02.09.2019 It's the end of my summer holiday and the last weekend was a little more “lying around” that we would like, but I haven't been feeling that great lately. We did manage a revisit to the artist/hippie town Bussana Vecchia (which btw seems more and more deserted) and a visit to a new-to-us seaside seafood restaurant. The weather is still very nice and the pool actually reached 31° this week. Next weekend we plan to go to a classic yacht event Vele d'Epoca in Imperia

19.08.2019 We spend most of our summer holiday relaxing on the terrace by the pool, working in the garden or snorkeling in the ocean. But recently we visited two medieval cities: Dolcedo (on the scooter) and Pietrabruna (on our ebikes). Both are fairly unremarkable small towns, but interesting to visit none the less because of their originality. The towns have clearly grown organically, the streets are extremely narrow and the houses quirky

28.07.2019 We've had Nicolaj, Sofie and Aksel visiting followed the week after by Mikkel and Nat. It was great to see them all and we have a good time. Luckily the weather was very nice, so there were opportunities to go swimming both in the sea and in the pool. In respect of Aksel's privacy and considering he's too young to give consent, we don't share pictures of him on-line

26.05.2019 On the last day of the Marcello Gandini exhibition we visited the Museo dell'Automobile to see two very special prototype cars in particular: the golden orange 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo and the green 1970 Lancia Strato's HF Zero. It's almost unbelievable that these cars are now 40years old, and it was amazing to see them side by side. You can clearly see where the inspiration for the legendary Lamborghini Countach came from

19.05.2019 Ken had a conference in London on 15th May, so we made a weekend out of it and left on the Saturday before. The weather was beautiful and we really needed to relax, so we walked around most of time with no specific plan. We did of course stop frequently at pubs, and made time for some of our favourite food: Mexican, curry and fish and chips. We also caught two movies, one of them in the biggest IMAX screen in the UK

02.04.2019 This time we decided to do something new for Moms visit, so we went to a wine tasting at Ceretto in Langhe on Thursday and to Monaco and the Oceanographic Museum on Friday. We were really lucky with the weather so of course there was time to relax, enjoy the sun and have an ice cream ... and for Mom to work in the garden which she loves. As always we went out for dinner every night and generally had a lovely time

25.02.2019 It definitely feels like spring and even more so in Liguria - hopefully summer will come early this year (last year it was late). We're enjoying the sun and finishing up the last winter jobs from this season: the tiling in the hallway and the floors in the basement. I bought myself an electric MTB so I can join Bibi in exploring the area. It's a nice economy class bike with 28 gears, 48v 10Ah battery (250w motor as all of them), disc brakes and front suspension

02.02.2019 Automotoretrò - which takes place every year in the world famous former Fiat factory in Lingotto - always turns up a few surprises and cars you haven't seen before. Some of my favourites from this year included a Tuxedo Black 1970 Chervolet Camaro S/S (my granddad had a green S/S with vinyl roof), a handful of respectable Fiat 124 Spider's (I want one) and a Lancia F1 car with outboard fuel tanks (crazy by todays standards)