Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quick Bertie Update

The little (?) fellah is going great guns. Eating, sleeping and, er, you know, all extremely well.
Obedience training is well on target. You tell him to sit and he starts to chew the wall. Tell him to come and starts to burrow into the corner of the settee. I can see we’ll have this training lark licked in no time, or do I mean ever?

He really is such fun to have around. The community cats have had a sniff – no more than that until he has had his second jab. Bertie seems pretty non-plussed, which is good news for him as I wouldn’t back a dog against a cat in a month of Sundays. He can climb stairs, but has yet to master going down. Of course, he has grown a fair bit. His front legs are so big; we think there might even be a touch of Iorek Byrnison in him. If you don’t know who this is, you should be ashamed of yourself.
We have introduced him to the edge of the estate, we don’t want to tire him out, as he isn’t even 8 weeks yet. (I think that is the normal age, in the UK at least, when puppies go to new homes). He needs to be introduced slowly to the land. We wouldn’t want him getting lost in our vast acreage. I should say hectarage but the spell checker says it’s not a real word. He keeps stumbling in the grass and tries to chase the big orangey-brown leaves blown from the Persimmon tree. He thinks it is excellent fun to run away from La Duchessa when she wants him to come to her to go back into the house. I find this rather amusing and when, only once mind, I laughed at the antics, the look I was given was enough to melt Kryptonite.

Big Orange Balls

Right outside the kitchen window is our Persimmon tree. Because we live on the first floor, we look right into the tree.
In the early autumn, the leaves undergo the most colourful change from green through gold to deep orange-brown-rust colour. The fruit becomes very squishy and bright orange. The leaves all blow off in the winds and there is a bare tree with big orange balls hanging from the branches. It looks as though it some sort of large garden decoration.
We don’t like the fruit much and often we see other trees in exactly the same condition as ours, so maybe the Italians aren’t too fond of them either.
But the birds adore them.
From dawn to dusk the tree has tits, blackcaps, blackbirds, finches and the occasional starling all eating away at the fleshy fruit. This goes on for weeks, well into the new year, until all the fruit has been eaten. It is great to watch, especially through the binoculars as they are probably no more than about 3-5 metres away. It must really be a good food source for them at this time of year. The community cats take a great interest in the tree at the moment and we have seen on more than one occasion, a cat just sitting high up in the tree. Some hope.
Last year there was quite a lot of small fruits on the tree. We did a major pruning job on it after the fruit had all gone and this year, there is probably a bit less in sheer numbers, but they are about twice the size.
Come on birdies, fill your boots. The picture is of a blackcap.

Olive Oil

This is a picture of OUR olive oil. Yep, our own stuff, hand-picked by La Duchessa and L’uomo chi fa whilst listening to 12 scantily clad virgins singing Clair de Lune in Italian (not French) and dancing round the olive trees accompanied by the Penna san Giovanni Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by .. OK, OK maybe I am overdoing it bit, but still the oil must be worth a fortune.

Ciao, mantenere de fede

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