Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hoopoo or Hoopoe

We hear them a lot here, with their very distinctive calling “hoo, hoo, hoo” but rarely see them. Well we saw three of them the other day, just outside on a grassy bit. They are exquisite looking birds, beautiful plumage (to coin a Monty Pythonism) The picture, I have to admit again, is not one I took. By the time I found the camera, remembered how to work the thing and finally got it ready, the birds would probably be nearing Tuscany! I guess I’ll never become a photographer, but I do try. Funnily enough my wife says that about me quite a lot. I am very trying. That’s nice, isn’t it?
Actually, do you know how she spells “in my opinion?” “Iamright” I’m sure that’s not right, but, of course , that is only my opinion! I digress.

Sun’s Up

The better weather has returned. In fact I’m setting out the draft of this blog in the shade of our gazebo (that’s what it was sold as, don’t laugh), a glass of chilled Prosecco close by. It’s 4.00pm and the little thermometer on the table is showing 32°C. The birds are singing up a storm and a gentle Italian pop ballad is playing in the far background. Ooh, it’s terrible here, it really is!

Margot and Jerry

Continuing on the bird theme, my wife has decided to call the Golden Orioles down the bottom of the estate (ahem) Margot and Jerry, honorary members of La Buona Vita! They are still pretty elusive but not by their calling. They start early! Like most of the farmers near us too in this weather. The tractors are out around 6 to 6:30 until late morning and then they might be out again about 6 at night for an hour or two, some finishing off with their headlights on.

Cultivation Update

We have decided to give our activity of watching and then copying our octogenarian neighbour in her vegetable growing labours, a name. I know some people think it’s silly personalising things that are, well, not people. I’ll let my wife respond to that – please see above under Hoopoo!
We call it “Enning” where N is in place of the person’s name – this is getting complicated. We have been advised that when undertaking a blog such as this, you should really anonymise it. Now, our neighbour probably doesn’t speak standard Italian – standard Italian only came in 1948 and we reckon she was born about 20 years earlier in which case she would have learnt the local Italian – let alone English! I doubt she has a computer and therefore seriously doubt she is a silver surfer, but I could be wrong. She could be a whizzy techno and into phishing for the Mafia in a big way. Judging by her woolly tights, I’m not too sure though. I really don’t think she would ever read this, but we will let her remain anonymous.
Anyway, we have been Enning away like good uns and the results look like speaking for themselves. Some areas in the veg patches are like green explosions. However we do have a problem with the parsnips to which I will revert at a later date.


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