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02.01.2019 Happy New Year! We've been in Costarainera since we came back from Denmark on the 27th. We are busy installing the matt white 10x30cm skirting board tiles I bought more than a year ago (90meters in total). It's a big job, but we've completed the kitchen-dinner and it really does make a difference. The weather is very nice, clear blue skies and 13-17°C, so we can take our lunch-breaks outside. Also, it prompted us to the first - but certainly not the last - ice-cream purchases of 2019

19.12.2018 The weather has been really nice in the run up to Xmas, the new grass is showing and we had to cut the lawns for the first time. Now it's getting cold and our focus shifts indoors. We continue to clean, dustproof and paint the floors in the basement and take the opportunity to add storage and tidy up to create a nice work environment. We have also installed the IKEA cabinet on the back of the shabby-chic bookcase towards the utility room

24.11.2018 Mom's visit came just after the big storm so the weather was wet and windy. Nothing can keep Mom out of the garden though so she still managed to level all the soil around the parking space. I had to support our two year old pine trees, but also managed to start on the floors in the basement. I want to make the rear basement room into a woodshop, and Mom & Dad kindly gave me a nice new circular saw for my birthday/Xmas. Mom loves Italian restraurants so we went out for dinner every single night

22.10.2018 I have finished the shabby chic bookcase/room divider and it looks pretty good - at least now the strange little passage behind the stairs has been closed off. We now need to go to IKEA and buy the cupboard for the utility side to finish off the job. But the weather is too good for that right now, so we went for a hike to neighbouring Lingueglietta instead. Hopefully the nice autumn conditions will last a few more week so that Birgit can enjoy them as well

11.10.2018 Autumn has come to Italy, so we decided to get the stairwell and the narrow passageway between utility and kitchen-dinner painted. In the passageway we're going to install a home-made shabby-chick bookcase and a cupboard on the utility side to block it off. We had dinner in the last restaurant in San Lorenzo al mare we hadn't visited yet: a charming little pizzaria called Torre Saracena, named after a small tower just off the coast (which we visited in the sea kayak this summer)

23.08.2018 We spend the summer holiday in the house doing a little bit of everything. I bought a sea-kayak off eBay, we planted some lavenders in the front garden, got the chorine system installed in the pool (and added 36kg of salt to make it work!), and dust-proofed the floors in the garage and workshop. But mostly we just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves this year. The cats - Candy & Shade - are obviously masters at doing nothing!

18.06.2018 The week before last we weren't at the house, because we had my colleagues over on Friday night, went hiking (17km, 4½ hour) around Sciolze on Saturday, and to the annual car show in Parco Valentino on Sunday. This week Bibi is in Denmark and I went alone. I got the pool pump and filter working and the water quality adjusted - so finally it was time to test the pool, and it-is-great! I also bought and installed an automatic watering system for our plants on the upstairs terrace, now that summer at last seems to have come to Italy.

04.06.2018 I'm still working on the pool, fitting the stairs and the winter cover and constructing a house for the pump and filter installation. I also made an outdoor shower platform for our new solar shower - which has 36liter capacity as opposed to just 6liter in the "portable" solar shower we had. Meanwhile our parking space has been finished off with a weed-proof membrane and a layer of large gravel stone. Since the weather in Torino is still terrible for this time of year, we really enjoy the sun in Liguria!

07.05.2018 We have had lots of visitors lately starting with Nicolaj, Sofie & Aksel, then my mom Birgit and finally our friends Henrik, Tilde and Alvin. I managed to get all the wood construction on our pool completed over the long weekend and filled with water the weekend after; now it's time for plumbing and then electrics. Bibi have sorted most of the landscaping after the fence went up, and with combined effort we got the parking lot ready for the gravel

15.04.2018 The fence is finished at last, but the parking lot still needs some kind of surfacing - most likely gravel. It's amazing what sense of privacy such a simple thing as a fence can provide. The plot feels much more complete and private. There is still plenty of landscaping to do, and lots of soil to distribute and level. But now I will focus on getting the pool up and ready for summer

09.04.2018 There has been little progress on the fence this past two weeks. The parking has been leveled and will be covered in gravel. Bibi and I got the first round of landscaping around the pool area done. The levels and slopes are almost correct, but the soil needs additional raking before we're ready to sow the grass. We also need to finish the small foundation for the pump and filter (you can see the pipes sticking out of the ground)

26.03.2018 After two weeks the builder has completed the footings for the fence and the foundation for the pool, and the property looks transformed already. Where you see green poles we will have green chicken-wire fence. In front of the house we will have proper black metal fence and gate (which unfortunately was to expensive to do all around). Bibi and I started on the landscaping around the pool foundation, but it's hard work so will require a few weekends

12.03.2018 In both the last two weekends we had one day of torrential rain in Costarainera (something like 50mm on Sunday alone), so we're indoors most of the time. We moved the wine fridge from Torino and created a little Danish/Italian "hygge" corner. Today Monday 12th the builders are - at last - due to start on our fence, parking and the foundation for the wooden pool. Since I'm going to Detroit next week, we will have to wait and see how it turns out, but we're well exited

15.01.2018 Nothing much has happened. The pool is ready for assembly, but we're waiting for planning permissions for the fence so we can get the pool foundation laid at the same time. Meanwhile we continue with various small projects, and we took a walk in our small local marina (we have two larger marinas either side of San Lorenzo al Mare). Our friends Kinga and Witek sent us a really nice surprise: a year's worth of English cheddar!

15.01.2018 Taking full advantage of the heat pumps keeping the house cozy and warm this winter, we enjoy almost every weekend in Costarainera. When the weather allows, we obviously try to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Indoors, we have a long list of projects, but at the moment we're just decorating and relaxing. We're waiting for planning permission to put a fence up along the road, and at the same time Marco (the builder) will make the foundations for the above-ground wooden pool

06.01.2018 Around Savona we saw a huge number of broken or uprooted trees caused by the storm Eleanor, but fortunately our house was left undamaged. The storm did deposit a large amount of debris on our local beach, so we scavenged four large bags of assorted driftwood for future projects. The sun was out, so we made our first stop of the year by ice-cream bar on the way home. At home Bibi decorated the hallway, while I framed and hung some more pictures.

16.12.2017 This year it seems we are going to get some proper winter in northern Italy. December has been cold and there is already snow in the mountains. In Costarainera we have seen 4°C which combined with 17m/s wind felt freezing cold. In preparation for summer, the blacksmith have put up 5 poles to support our sun shade sails on the two terraces. This will be the last update in 2017, so we wish you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

20.11.2017 We never got around to hanging much on the walls in our house in Costarainera, but this weekend we really made an effort. Some things are "old friends" from Torino (or much older), and some things were acquired for the house. Bibi gave me a metal fish wall decoration for my birthday, so that went up first. Saturday was a bit gray and windy, but perfect for a walk along the seaside and a visit to a small recently re-opened local park.

20.11.2017 Autumn has come to Italy and we had our first day of rain in ages, so I decided to fit the glass mosaic tiles I bought for our kitchen splash back. It was a relatively straight forward job, and I'm pleased that the gaps seem very even so you can't spot the joints. We have also severely cut back the bushes and trees on the other side of the road to improve our sea view for the front porch and kitchen.

02.11.2017 It's been an eventful week with Birgit visiting us, an extra long weekend to bridge a national Italian holiday, our 10 year wedding anniversary on 27th October and then Nicolaj and Sofie's son was born on 1st November. Birgit is now safely home after a lovely week blessed with sunny weather, and Bibi is planning to go to Denmark next week to see our first grandchild.

10.10.2017 It's been another lovely warm autumn weekend in Costarainera. We had hoped to go sailing on the last whale watching tour of the year from Imperia, but unfortunately it was too windy so the sailing was cancelled. Instead we went for a hike around Costarainera and Cipressa. Oh, and we finished yet another door (only four more to go now)

03.10.2017 The large yachts are returning to Imperia for the winter, and it's a good opportunity to see some amazing boats. Bibi have picked all our homegrown olives which we hope to eat; and we continue sanding and oiling the doors (5 more left to go now). I have made two solar-battery-powered garden lanterns from green wine carboys found in the basement

26.09.2017 The pool has arrived, but we have decided to postpone the groundwork to January, so we can get the fence done at the same time (more about this later). The wooden pool has been laid out to dry and will be protected by a dark brown stain before installation. Meanwhile we continue sanding and oiling the windows and doors; and I bought a new terracotta table for the terrace

04.09.2017 Preparations for the 2017 Invitation Only International Pétanque Tournament, to take place in Costarainera 1st November 2017 have begun. The volunteers have cleared the terrain (track), new equipment has been ordered in from the United Kingdom, and on Sunday the first players began practicing

04.09.2017 We have realised that it will be years before we can afford a proper pool, so have decided to purchase a good quality above-ground wooden pool. The chosen location is right next to the terrace, where the pool is comfortably close but doesn't obstruct the views. Unfortunately we had to clear some plants to make way for the concrete foundations to be laid later this month

16.08.2017 Well, it hasen't all been about storage. We decided to install a 5x5x5m sun shade sail on the terrace, and it really is great - much better than any parasol. The front overhangs by the kitchen and basement stairwell needed painting, and there was a little bit or iron railing left to paint. After some windy days the sea has calmed down again and visibility is great ... so you get a few more pictures of fish!

14.08.2017 Storage. That's the best word to describe what we have been doing the first part of our holiday. We bought a large sliding door IKEA wardrobe for the master bedroom, and a slimmer but similar one for the single guest room. In addition we decided to put in two tall cupboards in the utility room. Of course there was also time to go to the beach every day, and out for dinner on a couple of occasions.

31.07.2017 It was lovely to have first Nicolaj and Sofie, and later Mikkel and Nathasja, visiting us. This time of year we can pretty much guarantee good weather - something Denmark hasn't seen this summer! I have also made two decorative items for the house: a big metal gecko for outside and a driftwood background for the ceramic fish we bought last year in Sicily. Next weekend our new IKEA wardrobes and extra cupboards for the utility room arrives, just in time for the summer holiday (9-23 August)

06.06.2017 We had a great time with Kinga, Witek and the kids, and as you can see from Witek's pictures they look like they enjoyed themselves. We have painted the black metal fences. Bibi and Witek cleared the front lawn that we want to lay to grass. I have cleaned up our two hardwood sun loungers. The glass mosaic tiles for our kitchen splash-back have arrived. It's been warm enough to go swimming, and even the Internet now works! So I could replace the old stereo with the Sonos Bibi gave me for Xmas

01.05.2017 Helle & Lars weren't that lucky with the weather, but we still had a great weekend, and hopefully they will be back. Birgit was slightly more fortunate in the week she was here. As you can see we've started painting the railings around the house and oiling the window frames, while the blacksmith has installed the two cages for the a/c units, to prevent them being stolen. I have also made a big heavy parasol base in situ - not to save money - but to save my back carrying it up on the roof terrasse.

05.03.2017 Finally some progress. The plumbers have installed the two heats pumps, and the four internal units, ready for the electrician to connect. Very nice job, with no pipes on internal walls, and only a fairly discreet copper duct on the outside. They also connect the water under the new kitchen sink, so we could finish the cabinet underneath and move the dishwasher in, which in turn made room for the washer in the utility room. As if that wasn't enough the gardener planted our line of thuja trees on Friday, and Marco not only made us a new cement entrance walkway (to be paved later), but also ran three new pipes into the house for ENEL the electric company and TIM the Internet guys ... none of whom have kept their appointments recently!

31.01.2017 The kitchen is almost finished. We got the last drawers in, put up the oven and the microwave. I fitted all the handles ... and then Bibi was ready to move in. We still the plumber to connect the water and drainage before we can move the dishwasher, and the electrician to finish the connection for the ceiling light, but it looks and feel like a kitchen now. We even had dinner at our new 'breakfast bar' area.

22.01.2017 The electrician finished his work this week, so I could get on with the kitchen. Some of the drawers (still without handles) on the island went in, so did our clever little socket. Then I installed the elements against the wall, including the worktop and the induction cooker. Bibi painted the utility wall, where the old water-heaters were, and around our 'new' front door, amd she assembled our new IKEA coffee table/footstool.

15.01.2017 Bibi decided she was going to paint the guest bedroom this weekend, while I continued with the kitchen. We were able to get the worktop on the kitchen island - although it was quite heavy. That meant I could get the sink installed. This week the electrician should do his bit, and then I can finish the kitchen. We also had time to try a new restaurant down in San Lorenzo al Mare, which was okay.

07.01.2017 After a lovely and cosy Xmas with Ken's parents and all four of the kids in Barløse, Mikkel and Nat joined us in Costarainera for New Years. It was nice to have them around and they helped in the garden as well (to keep warm, I suppose). Towards the end of the holiday the plumber turned up, and installed our new water heater in the basement, and the extractor with external motor. That meant we could eliminate the two water heaters in the utility room, and that I could fix the kitchen island cabinets in place.

11.12.2016 Last weekend Dana & Mike went with us to Costarainera; and we visited Imperia. The tradesmen had installed our new green/white front door and the three black doors in the basement. This week the blacksmith had put up the bars for the basement windows and upstairs terrace door. Now the house is secure and we can get our things out of storage (soon).

30.11.2016 There is a pattern emerging here: I work on the kitchen, while Bibi continues to clear the rest of the garden. We both made progress last weekend. The plumber also came by to look at the jobs we have for him and prepare a quote. The electrician didn't show, but promises to come on Saturday. This week the front door and the three doors in the basement should be replaced, so we're looking forward to that. Next weekend Dana & Mike are coming with us ... I think they miss their furniture already!

20.11.2016 Our new shutters has finally arrived, and they look great. We have gone for aluminium, as the wooden shutters survived less than 5 year in the harsh climate, but we kept the same traditional green colour. Bibi cleared the rest of the rear garden, while I got started on the kitchen.There is something like 33 drawers to assemble, and I got 16 done this weekend. Now the final position of the cabinets has been tested, it's time to call the plumber and electrician.

15.11.2016 We managed to clear the entire rear garden this weekend. It wasn't as difficult as the front garden, which was full of rubbish and building debris, but still hard work. The garden has now been cleared on three sides, and the only patch left is behind the house. On Monday our IKEA kitchen arrived, and I had time to put a couple of cabinets together; the rest will follow over the next weekends. As we left Costarainera, we spotted a van with our new shutters heading for the house!

04.11.2016 Birgit was obviously keen to see our new house, and choose a good week to visit. First because there were two Italian bank holidays so we had a long weekend in Costarainera, and second because the weather was really nice. Birgit and Bibi cleared a lot of stones from the front garden, and levelled the banking off the driveway. Ken's back was playing up again, so he had to stick to light work; moving the lawn and sanding and painting our pizza table. There was also time to visit the beach and local restaurant.

24.10.2016 Our friends Dana & Mike are going back to Texas end of the year, and sold us most of their furniture. It's getting chilly at night - although temperatures are still 23°C during the day - so it's nice to have a comfortable sofa in front of the fireplace. Over two wekends we managed to clear another good part of the garden, it's hard work as it's obviously unkept and full of building debris. Saturday night we walked over to the local pizzeria in Cipressa.

24.10.2016 With the ramp down to the garage we now have vehicle access. Next step was to take down the wall between the garage and the workshop to allow me to get my motorcycle in. Unfortunately the foundation was full of reinforcement steel, which wasn't structurally save to remove, so we ended up with an indoor bike ramp between the garage and the workshop. We are now waiting for the new doors, and the iron bars to go in front of the windows, before we think it's safe to take all our stuff - including my four classic bikes- out of storage.

04.10.2016 Equipped with a new lawnmower and wood chipper - both from Stiga - we have started clearing the garden. Bibi trimmed all the bushes and trees, while I moved the "lawn" which I had previously cleared with a bush trimmer. Not only does it now look better, the views form all the bedrooms improved as well. I also got a bit further on the utility room, which I hope to finish next weekend, if only I could find the parts that I need - the hardware shops in Liguria seems to be completely out of stock!

22.09.2016 Week before last we got the driveway down to the garage laid, and it looks great. Bibi and I decided to paint our bedroom and the kitchen-diner in preparation for the arrival of our furniture and kitchen. We bought a load of furniture from some American friends, who are returning to Texas. The kitchen is in the final stages of planning and we hope to have it in by Xmas. Most of the whitegoods already arrived including: fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washer and dryer.

14.09.2016 Nicolaj and Sofie came to visit for Bibi's birthday, and to see our new house in Costarainera. The weather was nice - as usual - so we did a few little things around the house and then went snorkling to enjoy the fish. Of course we also went out for dinner in Cipressa our neighbouring town, as there are no restaurants in Costarainera

05.09.2016 We didn't check out the beaches in Costarainera before we bought the house, but we have been pleasantly surprised to find the best snorkeling beach we have ever been to (not counting Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt). Costarainera has two sandy beaches and then further south a rock beach. This is where the water is clear (no sand to whirl up) and where the fish are. It's absolutely amazing snorkeling, as you can see from these pictures, taken with my new Nikon Coolpix S33

05.09.2016 We spend a few days of our summer holiday in our house clearing the rest of the junk, which took four 2m3 skips. Next on the improvements agenda is the driveway down to the garage, which hopefully will get done by a local contractor this week. Then in October our new aluminum shutters, to replace to rotten wooden shutters, should arrive. In the meantime we will start on the kitchen, which will be located in the L-shaped room at the front of the house, to create a large kitchen-diner

03.08.2016 In our second weekend, we managed to clear the rest of the house of the previous owner's possessions. The garage is full of junk from the house, and we still need to clear the basement, but we're getting there. We also made our first visits to our local beach, which was really nice; not crowded at all, with a café on the promenade and lovely warm seawater for a swim. There was even time to clear a bit more of the front garden and to try our new solar-heated shower.

25.07.2016 After 3½ months, we finally got the keys to our house on Wednesday 20th July. Mikkel and Nathasja were in Tornio visiting, so I took the Friday off, and we had a lovely long weekend in Costarainera. It was wonderful to be back, and having two extra set of hands meant that we cleared all the ground floor rooms of the previous owners junk, and got the house nicer and cleaner. It now looks - and smells - a lot better. We even got the front garden cleared a bit; removing a few plants and cutting the long grass.

02.04.2016 Ever since we met, Bibi and I have talked about living on the Mediterranean coast when we retire. Last fall we started looking for a house, and now we just had an offer accepted! The property is in Costrainera, a small community of 800 people, in the province of Imperia in Liguria, located about 9 kilometres southwest of Imperia. On this map our house is the neighbour to the east (right) of the red pin

The plot in around 1.000sqm and is 1.1km from the sea as the crow flies - 2.2km following the roads. The previous owner died before he could finish the house, so there is a bit of work to be done, which is perfect for us. The house is around 140sqm, with a 55sqm attic, and a full 140sqm basement plus a 45sqm underground garage. In addition there is a great big 45sqm roof terrace, with a beautiful sea view, see picture above

It will be another 2-3 months before we get the keys, property deals are never quick, and in Italy it's certainly no less bureaucratic ... they love paperwork. Doesn't really matter, this is a long-term project anyway, and we have the next 10+ years to get the house sorted before we are actually going to live there full time. Here are some unsorted pictures