Friday, April 10, 2009


Not really a lot to say as it has been so disastrous that everybody will have heard about it. Fortunately it was a long way from us, although we have felt a couple of the heavy aftershocks.
We can only imagine what the people involved are going through.
There has been quite a few efforts to help by the English community across Central Italy with people wanting to do something and some wanting to get personally involved. Some who have holiday homes in the region are offering them to those now without homes. Brilliant. They have made them available for at least 6 months.
We have donated some funds to the expert emergency services, which seemed to us to be the best thing we can do in the circumstances.

Gorge of Hell

I know we have talked about this before, but we have a friend staying with us for a few days and yesterday we took her up to the gorge along, of course, with Bert. Unfortunately we forgot the camera.
The river was quite full from all the water from the snow-melt and there is still quite a lot of snow on the tops of the mountains.
As we came down the path to where the gorge trail really starts there appeared to have been a huge landslide that covered the river and the path. When we got closer to it though, it turned out to be snow with all sorts of vegetative detritus. The river was gurgling away underneath it. From both ends it looked like the ingress and egress of water in an underground cavern where the water disappeared and reappeared.
There was no problem walking over it so we could be reunited with the path. We came across another couple of massive movements of snow further down the valleys. They looked like mini-glaciers (I have never actually seen a glacier in real life, only pictures so I am sort of guessing here, but the logistics must be the same).
We had a lovely walk through the gorge and Bertie loved experiencing the new terrain.
We stopped for a picnic – we had bought some porchetta from the market on our way there. Porchetta is a huge roll of herb-stuffed pork, roasted and covered in crackling. It is sold in slices. Yummy. Anyway after lunch we set off again and came across another of these snow slides blocking our way but much tinier. We walked across, the surface being very hard, but we had now left the route of the path and had to get back to it. The snow slide was petering out, but yours truly decided to take a short cut and stepped onto the snow that lead down to the path. There was a slight problem. This particular lot of snow had no substance to it whatsoever. My foot went straight though the surface and I went “a over t” with impressive speed and landed in a crumpled heap on the cold, wet, stony path. I did feel a bit of a tit I must say. Bertie thought it was a fantastic new game and came bounding over to join in the fun and started to lick me and bite my hands – strange dog. But after much rubbing off of imaginary flecks of something and muttering “I’m fine, I’m fine” to La D and our guest, I hobbled on with nothing more than a bruised ego.
Fortunately there no more incidences of the negative sort and we continued to have a very enjoyable walk.


The other morning I took Bert out for his early morning perambulation. We were walking across the fields to a small olive grove when I saw a fox starting to cross the grove. He or she was looking in perfect condition and had a beautiful coat.
I haven’t seen many foxes, but what always stands out in my memory of them is the way they carry their tails; dead straight and horizontal to the ground.
The fox turned and saw me after I had been watching it for a few seconds – Bertie had run off the other way and hadn’t seen it – and it just quickened its pace and made for the woods on the other side of the grove, it’s tail remaining ramrod straight.
A moment or two later Bert came bounding over and I was hoping he wouldn’t pick up the scent of the fox or he would have been off. He’s still very much a pup and although he’s getting better at heeding our commands, there is much progress to be made.


The hills around us are covered at the moment in cherry blossom. There is a lot of commercial growing of cherries here and it does make wonderful sight seeing serried ranks of cherry trees in full bloom. Gorgeous.

En garde!

All right, fencing. We have trebled Bertie’s area of garden that he can have the run of without going into the neighbours or onto the road. We are also attempting to keep the cinghiale out as we intend to move our orto (vegetable garden) into one place.
Anyway we will have to wait and see if it all works the way we want it to.

Temperature rising

It has been a lovely warm and sunny week so far. You can almost see the grass growing. The decespugliatore (strimmer) is back in full swing. Although I have encountered a problem whilst using it. Bertie.
Yes, that’s right, Bertie thinks this noisy, smelly machine that has an open metal blade that spins around at 7000 rpm is a cracking big toy just right to play with. The dog’s demented. So we are trying to train him otherwise. It is a slow process, but we will succeed.

Spot the difference

Ciao. Mantenere la fede

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