A37F016F-A608-424D-B9D4-9820596CE71F_4_5005_cHi! Fiona here

My journey began some decades ago. Raised on the blueberry laden rocky Atlantic shores of Canada by immigrant parents from Europe, I wandered across the pond at an early age where I met the love of my life, Alessandro; ‘the man of my life’ as they say here in Italy. But life had other plans for us and we parted ways. After over 20 years – me working in the cultural relations and international development sectors as a marketer, programme and event director and trainer travelling to many beautiful parts of the globe and him pursuing a career as an author, musician and actor – we found our way back to each other and made a home in the north-west of Sardinia where my, now, husband had spent his childhood.

This picture of us, btw, was taken a few years ago in a charming little seaside town called Bosa when we went to check out the local basket weaving and murals. We both have a few more grey hairs now!

With a shared love of nature, seasonal living and a desire to create beauty and harmony, we crafted a dream. And, so, The Citrus Grove and a beautiful partnership was born. We bought our sunny hillside with views of the Med in 2015. It’s full of wild olive trees and macchia mediterraneaHe is sculpting and nurturing our wild, romantic garden, which rambles through an actual citrus grove that we’ve planted, while I spend my time cooking, gardening, and painting… with a little life coaching practice in the spaces between. Nurturing and harnessing creative juices is, for me, the key to happiness, to living a meaningful life.

We’re sharing our day to day seasonal living here on the blog. I’m not a trained chef by any means! My German grandmother was an amazing and generous cook, my mother less so but she had her specialties, especially baking, and my father was the Christmas goose man who would save the fruit infused fat in the fridge to use as butter on his rye bread through the winter. He was also a great soup maker and insisted on putting mustard on everything – the main seasoning prep for any meat was a generous coating of mustard. Alessandro is also a fantastic cook and I’m constantly learning about Italian cooking from him. Anyway, I’ve always loved cooking (or maybe better to say eating!) and have picked up a few culinary bits and pieces over the years. I put myself through years of university working in restaurants and travelled the globe from an early age and throughout my career in cultural relations, enjoying everything from street foods to fancy white linen service. So, what I offer here is just stuff I like, basic home-cooking really, from recipes I’ve picked up over the years from family or from places I’ve eaten, adapted and experimented with. What I love about living and cooking here in Sardinia is the seasonal living – fresh local produce and emphasis on whole foods and plant-based diets – a key lesson from the Blue Zones. I confess though that I do have a weakness for butter! Better to eat less but better, I say. I had a small stroke in 2021 so eating and living well are definitely a priority. Just to note though, what works for one in terms of health may not work for another and it’s always best to check in with your doctor!

I’m currently exploring the idea of running well-being and creative retreats. I was raised by two creative spirits: an artist and an entrepreneur and our retreats pay homage to them. They each inspired my love of creativity in their own unique ways. From my entrepreneur mother, I learned the art of creativity in a business context and the value of nurturing talent… and how to bake. From my painter father, who was also an avid gardener, I learned to see and appreciate the beauty in the world and the value of making space for creativity… oh, and how to make fairy houses in the roots of forest trees. One winter, shortly after completing my MA in comparative literature and gender studies, I joined my father on an art workshop in Mexico, which he helped a friend run for many years. This event was a milestone for me and so inspiring, it ignited a life long dream to facilitate creativity centred retreats. My appreciation for the benefits of making time for creativity has grown in recent years. After my stroke, I started making art myself as a kind of therapy and it’s becoming a wonderful, very fulfilling daily practice and passion. I want to share the joy and Sardinia has a vibrant arts community with so many modern and traditional arts and crafts to explore across all art forms.

Maybe we’ll see you here one day! In the meantime, please do follow our adventures and connect with us here and/or on social media. Don’t be shy!

O love! What hours were thine and mine, In lands of palm and southern pine; In lands of palm, of orange-blossom, Of olive, aloe, and maize and vine!
Lord Tennyson

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