Thursday, April 24, 2008


The shops are full of asparagus now, but …. we have found (uncovered) some growing on our land – I hesitate to say garden. Fat ones, thin ones, long ones. They have all been succulently delicious!

Sisi update
We were taken to see Sisi’s kittens yesterday by the young lad who “looks after” her. He took to us an old shed next door where the kittens were, all seven of them! We were amazed as she wasn’t huge. They are of course, absolutely gorgeous. Two or three are sort of sandy coloured and the others are grey/black. What happens to community kittens? We don’t know, but we must not yield to temptation despite what Oscar Wilde said. Hmmm. Watch this space!! (Two more of the community cats are pregnant too!)

Potting shed door
During a recent very windy day, some idiot, who shall remain nameless because it was me, left the potting shed door open with rather damaging results. However I do have a plan that involves taking another door, dismantling it and reassembling it to different proportions. My only very small concern is that in future we would be able to see anyone passing the loo, and of course vice versa. I have not yet shared this plan with La Moglia. Do you think I should?

Sunshine and shade
As the back of our house faces South West, it receives a wonderful amount of sunshine. As the weather heats up we are going to need some sort of shade. Our future plans do include a veranda but we need to do something now. Planning is now at an advanced stage and involves hooks, tarpaulin, sticks and rope! Perhaps I should not have watched so much Ray Mears.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sisi has kittens!

Our adoptive cat gave birth to an unknown number of gattini (kittens) sometime on Sunday night/Monday morning. She is not much more than a kitten herself. The precise whereabouts of the gattini is being withheld by Sisi for security reasons. We did ask if she wanted to celebrate with a small glass of Prosecco, but she said no, she would prefer some food instead, which we duly provided.
She has been round for food a few times but then whizzes off, presumably off to her brood, or to someone else’s house for a bit more to eat.
Actually at least three more of the Gatti della Communitaria (Community Cats) are pregnant. We do remember a lot of caterwauling at the end of January into February and a lot of chasing of the cats (female) by other cats (male) and of course, this is the result! What we do not know is what happens to kittens round here. The only kitten we have ever seen here was in fact Sisi and that was about 12 months ago. As the cats don’t appear to belong to any one family here we have no understanding of the MO of who looks after them. No doubt we will find out in the coming weeks. It would be excellent if we could get a peek of them and maybe a snap or two. I might put my sleuthing hat on!

Spring is sprung.

Having been over here in early Spring before, we knew that the speed of vegetation growth is pretty rapid. Now we are living here, it is all the more impressive as you can almost see it growing! It is quite shocking. The old scythes and sickles that we inherited are being used to an effect, not total though. The more you cut the more the vegetation grows, and with renewed vigour. We are thinking very seriously of a mechanised answer to this – a man’s toy is beckoning!
But of course all this growth applies to everything. There are quite a few plants that have sprung up we have never seen and are quite lovely. The trees are blooming. Fruit is following. We have small almonds, cherries, pear-like things, walnut catkins the size of small fir cones and lots of other stuff.
The view of the land from our windows changes virtually every other day. It is lovely.
I am reminded of a dreadfully twee saying:

Spring has sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where the birdies is?

(Haven't quite got the hang of posting pictures yet. Please be patient!)

Snow caps melting

The snow on the tops of the mountains (Sibillini) is receding with the generally warmer weather, but there is still enough to make you marvel at the vista as you come round a corner on the way to our small local town. The mountains really do make a fantastic landscape at any time of year, but right now they seem spectacular.
It was a poor Winter for snow apparently, although the mountains were covered for weeks. Some friends whose sons were very much into snow-boarding, were hoping to get a lot of sport in but we are not sure whether they were able to accomplish their hopes.

Italian elections.

Silvio is back in the seat for the third time, by a good margin too. Don’t know anything about Italian politics so I can’t possibly say whether this a good, bad or indifferent thing. They had an 80% turnout which, compared to the UK, is shockingly good.
The other thing which has interested us is the use of Public Service Advertising for the election process. There have been broadcasts explaining the voting system; how it works; what voters should do. They were broadcast on all channels including MTV. We found it very enlightening and thought what a difference it might make in the UK for their elections, where if we remember rightly, no mass public education on the election process has ever been made.

Le Marche Winkers

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Introducing Si Si - one of the community cats but this one has adopted us! We had a strict rule of 'no pets allowed in the Casa' but that didn't last long as you can see! We have a sneaking feeling that she may be with gattini (kittens) and will keep you posted! Of course it may just be wind - or the amount of scraps (cuisine cooking) we feed her.