Our Full Monte Life…

The times they are a’ changing…

Things are shifting and changing around here…

Mr Nik has left the Balkans.  After years of living & working in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia and most recently Macedonia, he has packed up his world and moved to Portugal.  Whilst we know he will be in safe, supportive hands living & working with Jo & Anita, he leaves behind an emptiness that’s hard to explain and impossible to fill.  We wish him every success (aka ‘hard cash’) and look forward to welcoming him back with warm hugs and loza as soon as the grown-up practicalities of life allow.

Stay grounded my friend...

Nik’s not the only one to leave.  The economic crash has seen some folk – mainly property developers – leave in a hurry!  The crowd of local friends has dispersed – Alena, Chedo, Aleksa & Tomo are all in Belgrade; Lara has gone back to the UK to be with Ben and have her baby and Blazo will go back to sea.  This winter will be strange without them.  Of course we have lots of nice folk around us but their lives are all changing too – kids growing up into Angels & Devils; relationships maturing; responsibilities weighing a little heavier now that world’s recessed and depressed…  We will hold each other tight and thank the Universe for email and skype which keeps us close to friends and family around the globe.

The weather has turned a cold corner.  The Bura (cold, infamously fierce wind from the North) came and blew our tents over.  Time to pack up camp for this year then!  The shades of brown on the leaves are mouth-watering – mocha, caramel, chocolate, hazel & chestnut – and remind us that Autumn is here.  As do the delicate Cyclamen that pop their delicate pink frills up everywhere at this time of the year:

Autumn-flowering cyclamen

The temperature has plummeted and, shockingly, we are dressing up to watch TV in the evening – woolly hats and jumpers!  The walls of glass in our beautiful house are now our biggest enemy and ironically we are craving small rooms with doors rather than the 3 floors of open space!  Time to assume a new position… We are decamping from our bedroom with the stunning view to one we can shut the door on and heat.  We have gathered all the throws we possess and are cobbling together some curtains to insulate the glass doors and to curtain off the stairway to the upper floor where currently the heat rises and disappears.

Things are changing on the campsite.  We have recognised the value of our eco credentials in giving us a ‘respectable public face’ and are exploring possibilities in the environmental arena.  Since Montenegro purports to be an ‘Eko State’ and since there is growing awareness of the need to preserve the natural resources that feed this country’s only real source of revenue – tourism – we are going with a new flow…

Rushing to save water!

Our dear friend Vince is helping us to build a new website that will reflect our growing obsession with going green.  Following a brilliant idea of Duncan’s, we are taking the proverbial bull by the horns regarding our local profile and have invited the British Ambassador and the Mayor of Herceg Novi to an Open Day at our Eco Camp.  For the next 2 weeks, we will be in a state of nervous anticipation as we count down the days to showing our official visitors around.  Please folks, keep everything crossed for a dry day on 27th October – if it rains just before or during that day the site will be a mud bath!

Sunset inspiration

We have had a lovely summer – a gentle start, with gorgeous, well-behaved guests who said all the right things and made us feel it was all worth it.  But the harsh reality is that next year we need 10 times as many guests for many more weeks of the year.  The website will be a key marketing tool so we eagerly await its re-launch.  We are writing articles and networking on web forums – doing anything we can to raise our profile and give us a fighting chance of making this business work.  It’s time for Camp Full Monte to grow up…

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