Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 27, 2020

Lockdown continues

I don’t have much to report from Casa Debbio. 3 days ago my gardening wanderings ended when a fierce, freezing wind came through bringing snow flurries with it.

I have been mostly sitting by the fire watching Netflix and keeping up with virus news through BBC World News. Thank goodness Filippo chopped some wood for me a few days ago.

The numbers of people getting the virus in Italy is slowing, which is great news, but the death toll was higher today. The number of people with the virus has increased in many countries, including the USA, where there are now more than in Italy. This virus does not respect borders.

I  heard today that the prime minister of Britain, Boris Johnson, has the virus, joining Prince Charles. This virus can claim anyone.

All we can do is stay home to avoid catching and spreading the virus, not too much to ask.

The thing I miss most in isolation is my morning coffee and sfoglia at Bar Italia. To help make up for this I made a pastry in my kitchen. I bought some ready made uncooked puff pastry at the supermarket and some raspberries…this is the result.

It was delicious, and I only made one. If I had made two I would have eaten both of them.

This will not continue after lockdown. I will be back at Bar Italia as soon as I possibly can.

The awful wind is not keeping the wild goats from my garden. They seem to be curious about the gazanias I planted. Shortly after I planted them they strolled in at night and ate the flowers off some of the plants. Recently they have decided to just pull the plants out. Maybe they didn’t like the flowers and want to kill them. I have started shouting at the goats to go away. I can’t see them, but I can hear them. I’m hoping I sound scary to goats.

I usually prefer to leave flowers in the garden and only pick them when there are lots, but the wind was blowing the camellias away so I picked two so I could see them inside.

The cold weather has killed a few of the new plants, but on the upside I have found another 10 baby peonies which will be transplanted to a pot once this miserable weather is over and spring warmth returns.

This afternoon the sun appeared. The wind is still wild, but tomorrow may be better.

Stay home and stay well.


  1. Stay well, Debra

    • Thank you. I hope the wind stops soon.

  2. Your pastry really looks scrumptious. Well done!

    • It was very good. There will be more.

  3. The lockdown is hard but necessary. Your pastries look delicious, David wants me to dash out and get the puff pastry today. The cameras are the most brilliant colour and look happy on a grey day. PS you will have to make a movie titled “Debra and the Mountain Goats”😋

    • Those goats and I have a history. We also have deer who like roses, porcupines who dig up dahlias and wild boar that just like to dig. On the up side we have woodpeckers, cuckoos, bees, falcons and owls.

  4. Hate spellcheck. I know they are CAMELLIAS😭

    • Spell check can be a problem!

  5. It’s a bit like that with no end in sight Deb – hope your weather improves –

    • Me too! I want to be in the garden.

  6. GOATS….No respect for your toil!!
    The camellias are beautiful and so was your pastry… I say was as the poor lovely thing didn’t last long!!!!!!
    I’m about to get into the garden this morning as it’s finally cooling down in Brissy and will be a nice diversion as we practice social distancing. But, I will miss my early Saturday morning coffee with my friends. Jxx

    • The goats are a pest! At least they don’t eat my peonies.

  7. Lovely pastry and camellias! We are having warm weather right now in Midwest USA, although that can change at any moment. I got sick over the weekend and was tested for the virus and just got my results back–I don’t have it! Yay! 🙂

    • That’s great news! Stay well.

  8. Hi Debra – I really appreciate your updates & photos. It’s good to know how you’re coping & what the reality is of lockdown.

    It’s a beautiful day in Brisbane but eerily quiet like Xmas when everyone heads to the coast.

    Stay well & send through any Netflix recommendations please – Sue

    • Isolation here is fine, better when the sun is shining.
      I have watched all of Grace and Frankie and looking forward to series 7. I am now watching Orange is the new Black. It can be a bit grim, so yesterday I watched Barefoot in the Park with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. It was made in 1967 but it has aged well and I still laugh.

  9. I want your raspberry pastry! Looks so yummy!

    • They are really easy to make with prepared pastry.

  10. so wonderful to hear from you. You inspired me to make just One pastry puff, thank you. Be safe and healthy

    • Making more would be dangerous,

  11. Your pastry looks delicious! I hope we can connect at Bar Italia one day <3

    • I will be very happy to go back to Bar Italia’s coffee and pastry. We have a date.

      • Absolutely, Dream on!

  12. Pastry looks delicious!
    Stay safe!!

    • It was, and so easy to make.


  14. Southern Finland is now isolated from rest of the country.

    • I’m sorry to hear this. Stay home and stay well.

  15. Hi Debra. We have been following your blog since 2011 and enjoyed many of your suggestions regarding restaurants and museums. My wife and I loved our stay in Ponte a Seraglio in 2011. We enjoyed morning coffee and tea at Il Monaco. Their baker was fantastic.

    Cheers and good health.

    • The bakery continues, but just Bar Italia is now open. I look forward to being back there soon. I hope you stay well.

  16. Complimenti on your raspberry tart – hang in there!

    • I’m moving on to blueberries tomorrow.

  17. I love your view and the pastry…bliss! I’m in Colorado, USA. We had the same chill air and snow come through. Didn’t have the fireplace, though. Stay well.

    • We didn’t get much snow but the higher mountains did. We got a miserable freezing wind. Thankfully it has gone now and I can get back to my garden.

  18. The weather – as icy and windy as it is – to me sounds wonderful! I really miss that feeling of bustling in to a warm home and shutting the door on the icy winds. I know the lived reality is not as wonderful! But your pastry is wonderful and so is the brilliant colour of your camelias – bugger about the munching wildlife.

    • The reality is not wonderful. I loathe wind, especially a freezing wind. I don’t like being shut inside for days. Thankfully the sun is back now and I spent the day watering my dried out garden.

  19. Debra
    Thank you for your honest insight into the reality of lockdown and for your optimism and beautiful photos that are enjoyed by many abroad.
    Here in QLD Australia the reality of self isolation has just begun . I hope you will soon be back sipping coffee at your local cafe. We are still allowed takeaway coffee here which many are enjoying in wide open spaces .
    Stay well and positive

  20. Glad to hear you are well, Debra. Stay healthy, thinking of you!

  21. that pastry looks yummy

  22. That looks so good!

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