Friday, March 27, 2009

Big Day Today I

It’s the DIL’s birthday. He’s 85, sorry, 75 - just received a large nudge in the ribs from La D (this is my new nomenclature for La Duchessa). It’s just that he looks about 95 but I thought I would be nice and kind and rewind the clock a bit. Nah, only joking DIL, Hope you have a good one.
We bought him a book of crosswords and a Chambers Crossword Dictionary as he is very keen on crosswords, as we are. He is always fantastically keen to join in when he is staying with us and we do a crossword. In fact he treats it in a very competitive manner, sitting on the edge of his seat, his look concentrated on the clue giver and blurting out answers sometimes before the clue has been fully given. It’s as though there are extra points for giving an answer before the end of the clue. But he calms down a bit after his fourth Mackays – no water, no ice – usually.
Actually, it’s high time he and MIL sorted out some flights to come over here again. I am hoping they will do so very shortly. We are always in need of his gardening skills, especially moving into spring, as well as crossword solving.

Big Day Today II

It’s Bertie’s “half” birthday too. The little fella’s six months old today. When I weighed him this morning, he came in at 26 kilos. Just thinking about it, it’s a kilo a week for the first 26 weeks of his life. I do hope he doesn’t continue with this rate because if he is going to weigh 52 kilos on his first birthday, we’ll probably be moving out, or rather forced out, of our piccola casa. We will be spatially challenged.
La D took him out first thing and he put up two deer at the edge of the estate. One of them came hurtling out of the woods right in front of La D. She came bursting through the door on her return as I was setting out the breakfast things, you know, salvers on the sideboard with scrambled eggs, kippers, bacon, tomatoes, toast, fresh pastries that I’d just knocked up, fresh coffee. Our usual breakfast fare.
“Where were you L’uomo chi fa” she announced breathlessly, “When I needed you?” She recounted her, or rather hers and Bertie’s escapades from a few minutes ago. “It could have been a cinghiale (wild pig), and it could have chased me and bitten me (she has just finished the third Hannibal Lecter book)and have done terrible things to me”
I took her gently by the arm and steered her to the breakfast (well, breakfast, lunch, dinner, reading, writing, card playing) table, and poured her a cup of coffee. “I’m sorry La D, but I couldn’t have known there was going to be a deer out there this morning could I?” I said, reasonably. She looked me in the eye as she sipped her coffee and said “Right. This calls for a change in procedure” My heart started to fall gradually towards my feet.
“When it’s my morning to take Bertie out, you will have to go out first and check that the coast is clear of all large and dangerous animals and report back that everything is OK” she said.
I thought for a bit. “Well, I might just as well take Bertie with me then” I replied, somewhat perplexed. If a cinghiale saw a human especially during the day, and with a big dog like Bertie, they would not be interested in approaching and savaging said human.
“What an excellent suggestion L’uomo chi fa. How kind of you to offer. Some toast?

We have a New Reg

Over the last couple of months we have been going through the process of re-registering our car in Italy. It’s a process that you can do on your own, but only if your seriously ill in the head. Dealing with Italian bureaucracy is best done by Italians who know how things work in your area. You would think that something that is a national “system” such as car registration (a car is registered as English, French, Italian, not as a Cornish car, or Parisian or Tuscan) would have only one method or way to proceed. Here, that’s not necessarily the case. Some people we know had to seek some legal advice about winding up a business here. They did have a legal person working for them and he told them they had to do XYZ. There was something about the advice that our acquaintances thought was strange, so they asked the advice of another legal bod and he said it was ABC. Are they working to the same set of rules.
So, to return to the story. We used the services of a driving school proprietor who had been recommended to us by an English couple who had used him three times. We went to see him, explained what we wanted, gave him all the papers relating to the car that were required, signed a couple of documents, went to an official civilian motoring centre, had the car checked over for things like brakes and lights and stuff and were then give our new number plates – DW 078 KM. I just need to put them on.
It is quite an expensive process (particularly now if you convert the Euros back into Sterling) but having read some of the experiences other English people have been through, up to now it’s been a relatively serene one.
I do like that word “serene” The weather people use it to describe clear, sunny, calm weather, Sereno.


Weather. That brings me onto the question of weather. It is definitely warming up now and we will be doing some serious planting over the next few weeks. We have already got peas, broad beans and loads of onions in. This week we planted our early potatoes. We love this time of the year.
But we will still have Bertie and his digging habits to look forward to. I am sure he will get better.

PS I haven’t received any takers in response to my Dog For Sale post. What a surprise.

Ciao. Mantenere la fede

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