Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sisi pregnant again?
From our special court correspondent

We have been seeing a lot of Sisi recently. Rather than coming to us for attention though, she is always on the scrounge for food. We are a bit worried about this as it reminds us of how she was when she was pregnant back in January/February. I hope that the randy old toms have not had their evil way with her. What is also worrying is that I am often catching my better half in a state of cogitation and wistfulness when she sees Sisi. I am hoping that she has no designs on becoming The Great Queen Cat Collector of Central Italy! I have not broached the subject with her for fear that she is NOT thinking along those lines at all, but when she hears what has been going on in my mind, she will think it a wonderful idea!
More to come on this front later in the year, I have no doubt.

Cupboard love?

The Parsnips – no, not Derek and Edna, but the real things.

Well, what can I report? We have planted a second lot of seeds after the first ones failed to germinate. However, there were some plants that started to grow where we had planted the parsnips. We carefully weeded round them and tended as best we could, and they were growing very steadily. A little while ago we noticed that a flower head was growing in the middle of the plants. Was this a good thing? Should parsnips have flowers like this? No, they should not. It turned out they were poppy plants! OK, they both began with P, but I guess that is where the similarities end.
The second set seems to be having as charmed a life as the first lot. This is a real shame as, my wife particularly, adores roast parsnip, and we have never been able to find any in the salumiere (grocers) or supermarkets.
Funnily, when we were looking for seeds back in the winter, parsnip was the only one we could not find here (we got them sent out from England) .. perhaps for good reason. The blasted things will not grow here!

Gorillas in the Mist

The weather, though warm, is a real mix at the moment. It seems to have a habit of changing rapidly from beautiful sunny skies to thunder, lightning and downpours in a matter of minutes. It is unusual weather at this time of year, so we have been advised by the local weather sages.
Associated with this weather pattern is lots of mist that clings to the side of the small valley we look over, moving very slowly or dissipating gently. It can be both quite eerie and lovely at the same time. I actually thought I could glimpse a few gorillas amongst the trees on the other side of the valley the other day. My wife said I should not have had that half bottle of Rosso Piceno! It was very nice though.

This a picture of the Sibillini from Sarnano last Saturday. It shows you what I mean about the mist, on a large scale compared to what we have here at home.

Italian School Holidays

Would you believe it? Schools broke up for their summer holidays (for 3 months) last Friday. Whilst the next door neighbour’s littlest boy can be good fun and a source of Italian language learning for us, he can be precocious and sometimes a reet booger.
We have just relocated our office/working area to downstairs. Sometimes he just wanders in and jabbers away at us and then starts to fiddle with things that shouldn’t be fiddled with.
We are going to have to be a bit stricter with him. I was thinking of learning some Italian idioms that correspond with some English ones such as “if you touch that once more, you will be dead meat!” or “which part of go away, do you not understand?”


For this, I have one of my sons to thank.
We have sampled the delights of downloading music from a website called soulseek.com. We have not done it before as we were (and still are) waiting for Italian telecom to live up to its promise of proving a broadband service in this area. They wrote to the town council 11 months ago stating that ADSL would be available in the autumn of 2007! So we are still on jolly-old 56k dial up, which isn’t too bad 95% of the time.
Anyway, it takes a bit of time to download song/tune, but it is brilliant.
One of the songs we have now and can play as we compute, is La Mamma Morta by Umberto Giordano from his opera Andrea Chenier. This was an aria sung by Maria Callas in the film Philadelphia. Tom Hanks listens to this as he is filmed walking around his apartment with his mobile drip. Very poignant and very beautiful.
After that we stick on some Christian Death Thrash Metal and really rack up the volume.

Red Cross Parcels

My dad-in-law is a real diamond geezer. Every so often he parcels up some newspapers, sports reports, literature and music reviews, odd magazines and occasional DVDs that he has got as newspaper give-aways, and sends us a Cultural Red Cross parcel. It is an excellent piece of post to receive.
My wife and I fight over them as soon as they arrive and the reading matter lasts for ages. We savour it.
Thanks d-i-l.

A bit of rain!


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