Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dog for Sale - €50,00

No, I’m not selling him for €50,00, I’ll give you €50,00 if you’ll take him. It would be more but it’s all I can afford.
We have started to prepare our planting ground for the vegetables. Now I did wonder whether Bert would be a help or a hindrance and surprise, surprise, it turns out to be the latter.
Not only does he believe spades and forks and other digging tools are just large toys for him to have fun with, like grabbing on to the ends and almost ripping them out of your hands, but he also obviously believes that he can dig far quicker and deeper than humans can with these large toys. We had planted a few early onions a little while ago. We can’t find them now. Either Bertie has dug them up, or he has covered them with soil from his dig for victory re-enactment. One of the troubles is Bertie can’t decide on one exact spot for his digging escapades, or he has been trying several digging techniques. Whatever it is, the result is that rather a lot of holes have appeared over the vegetable patches and elsewhere.
Something will have to be done to curb his enthusiasm. I have talked to him on more than one occasion and threatened him with a written warning, but he just looks at me with his lovely doleful eyes, has a scratch and a quick lick of his you-know-what, and then gets up and wanders off to see if the cats fancy playing. Honestly, he has the attention span of an adolescent. I almost expect him to say “What? What?” if he could talk.
Of course this has all been reported to La Duchessa who has taken a rather dim view of my pathetic attempts to train him so far. I have said that I will sort it out, but haven’t let her know that I have put him on E-bay. Only 40 minutes left and no offers. Damn. Looks like we are stuck with him.
Perhaps I could try hypnosis on him. Worth a try I suppose. I’ll report back on my progress at a later date.

When is a Gherkin a Pineapple?

We have very recently signed up to a trial of being able to watch British Television programmes via the Internet. Most times it is pretty good. We could do with a bit better broadband speed as it sometimes stops and starts again, but at least we can see things like the Six Nations Rugby Union matches, or most of them. Last Friday we were watching Comic Relief. There was some good comedy, as always, balanced with features on why there is a need for Comic Relief and what they have been doing for children and families in the UK and Africa.
One of the comedy bits was a celebrity Apprentice, which was pretty funny and entertaining.
There was one bit at the beginning when you saw Alan Sugar in his helicopter flying over London with this famous building in the background which was obviously going to be the destination where he was going to meet the teams. La Duchessa said “Oh do look L’uomo chi fa (I am sometimes allowed in at night times). There is that dreadful Pineapple building in London”.
I looked at La Duchessa. “I’m not sure I have heard of this building, your grace” I said.
“Of course you have. It was designed by that Norman Foster chappie, the one who did that wobbly Millennium bridge”
“I think you mean the Gherkin” I ventured.
“Do I?” La Duchessa said. “Oh yes, I think I do” she added and then in an undertone that I was not meant to hear, “Damn, he’s right”.
“Fetch me a glass of red wine please” she asked/ordered. “Yes your grace” I replied with a hint of a smile on my lips.

This means of address that I have had to adopt is a new requirement. It stems from her birthday. One of her sisters, La Marchesa, sent her a birthday card. On the front is a cartoon of a lady on a chaise longue with the words “All women over 45 are really Goddesses and should be worshipped daily”. Quite a funny card I thought, La Marquesa has a good sense of humour, but La Duchessa has only gone and taken the sentiments as real and demands daily devotions and new means of address.
Oh hum.

Biodegradable Pots and Chitting

La Duchessa loves to get her green fingers on and now that Spring does appear to be with us, is desperate to get on with growing things. She has come across an ingenious idea for small plant pots that you can grow seeds in and then plant the seedling pot and all, because the pot is made from newspaper.
Dead easy. You use and old loo roll and tear newsprint so that it is about 50% taller than the tube. You just roll the cut newsprint around the tube with the paper in line with one end of the tube. When it is wound right round, you press the paper overlap into the tube. Holding the paper, you just withdraw the tube and voila, you have a biodegradable seed pot. La Duchessa has cut down a cardboard box and filled it with lots of the paper pots in so they have some support. Great idea. But I have to be careful that she doesn’t take all the newsprint as I need to have some for my bonfires. I may need to make a secret cache somewhere.

She has actually gone a bit Prince Charlesy. We have put all our seed potatoes in various containers to “chit”. This is when the tubers start to appear and once they have reached a certain size they are then ready to plant out. She is now insisting that that whenever either one of us goes into the potting shed we have to “chatter with the chitters” in the firm belief that this will make them grow into good strong flavoursome spuds. Of course I tell her that I do chatter, but the reality is of course that I don’t. I really do not want our Italian neighbours thinking that we have become eccentric Inglese. They probably think that already so no point in further confirmation.


As you can see I did survive last Friday’s ordeal at the hospital. It was touch and go for a while, I don’t mind admitting.
La Duchessa was, as usual, an absolute brick. She came with me into the hospital, helped to find the eye section and made sure I was comfortable. She had written out a special label for me which she attached round my neck. “Just in case you wander off and get lost. But just make sure you don’t” she advised me. “Right. I’m off now. I’m taking Bertram (everybody else calls him Bertie) for a walk and then going to do some shopping. Don’t worry. I’ll be back in plenty of time after your tests to take you home”
So, I had my tests, la Duchessa came just before I had to go and have the last thing done, and we set off home. I couldn’t see a bloody thing.
Anyway, we got home and I went to have a pee. Now, I had been advised that I might go yellow for a bit and also my wee would be yellow. Well, I thought not much different to normal, straw colour. I was so surprised at the colour of liquid that came out that I just had to call la Duchessa to come and have look. “Must I?” she asked. “Yes, yes. You won’t believe it!” I told her. It was the colour of those emergency service vests, you know fluorescent yellow. It was extraordinary. It didn’t last for long. A couple more pees and it was out of my system.

I hate hospitals.

Ciao. Mantenere la fede

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