Thursday, October 8, 2009

Italy’s Special Space Programme ….. or ooops!

We have been having some wonderfully warm early Autumn weather. Blue, cloudless skies in the day, with a virtually breathless wind and still very dry. Cooler in the night, so very good for sleeping.

It was time I tackled the lowest terrace of the estate with the strimmer. This piece is outside the fence we put up to keep Bertie in and the cinghiale out. The weeds were nearly all as tall as me. So it was hard going getting in and mixing it with the strimmer. But I did. Raked all the cuttings up after every session, ready to burn.

The last time, I went out to pretty much finish the strimming. I set off in a t-shirt, cut-off denims and a pair of wellies. I thought I would burn what had already been cut and whilst that was doing, I would complete the rest of the strimming. Bertie cam down with me and sat on his side of the fence and watched me with a curious look. Well that was the plan.

Now I am sure most of you will remember the famous incident of Janet Jackson’s breast (left one I seem to remember). She was performing some duet with Jason Timbertruck or Justin Timbersomething, at an Amercian sporting final, when she had what was later described as a “wardrobe malfunction”. In other words her boob popped out, either on purpose or by accident and zillions of American watching on TV were, rightly so, absolutely aghast by this lewd display. Of course the news channels all over the world, picked this up as a major piece of earth shattering news of global importance that they just had to re-broadcast and re-broadcast and analyse what it all meant for humanity. I suspect that the reality of it was that they couldn’t get over the nipple ring.

I digress a little. I had a little malfunction myself. Not of the wardrobe variety though, this was a “weather malfunction”. I had had this before and I should have remembered.

Just as the first pile of hay had caught, the f*&^ing wind picked up, didn’t it. For the next ten minutes I was running round and round this increasing large burning circle trying to stamp out the fire as it crept outwards burning the stubble until it reached another pile and so and so forth, at quite an alarming rate. As it approached more piles I at first started to move them away, out of the encroaching fire’s reach, but of course it was soon approaching them again. So I changed tack and started to put the piles into the middle of the burnt circle. I was choking in the smoke, my feet felt as though they were about to boil in the wellies and my once proud hairy legs looked as though they had been waxed. However I felt I had nearly got it under control. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

At this point I heard La D coming down the top garden carrying a couple of watering cans with the Berts at her heel. “Need any help, L’uomo chi fa?” she shouted. “It certainly looks as though you do. What did I say to you about bringing some water down as a precaution? You silly man. Here, take these and I’ll go and get some more.”

“Thanks La D” I mumbled. “It’s almost out and under control”

“Is it?” La D said. “What are those flames doing then, down at the bottom left hand corner. The ones just licking that huge pile of dried hay.”

“Oh no” I said as I ran down the hill with my hairless legs rattling in my red-hot wellies with water slopping out of the cans to douse the flames. Bertie just sat there looking almost amused at the spectacle unfolding in front of him.

A few more watering cans later, the fire was out but there is now a rather large area of scorched earth where there shouldn’t be.

As la D and I trudged up the hill back to the house she said, “I will only say this once L’uomo chi fa, although I do so want to say it more than once, but “I told you so””.

“Thanks La D” I muttered.

“When will you ever learn, that as a woman, I am always right” she said.

“Sorry, I temporarily forgot. But the fire was almost out, just a coup …….”
“Enough, Luomo chi fa” she said in a very final tone., and walked on.

I wondered why she had come out to see. The smoke was billowing away from the house so she wouldn’t have smelt anything and there wasn’t really any noise. Just as these thought were going on in my head, I looked over at Bertie. He somehow looked guilty. I looked harder at him and he sort of shook his shoulders as if to say “I didn’t tell her. It wasn’t me guv. Honest!” Then I swear I saw a hint of a smirky smile on his lips. He was beginning to look like Muttley, Dick Dastardly’s dog in The Wacky Races.

Behind every cloud, blah, blah, blah. I later contacted the Programma Italiano Spazio Speciale or PISS as it’s known, to see if I could offer some of our estate as a potential launching site. They are sending some of their personnel over to have a look to see if it might be useful for them. We’ll have to wait and see.

PS. La D has now confiscated all lighting equipment. They are to be signed out and in from now on. I ask you. It’s like living in a police state!

PPS The rellies are coming!

Ciao, mantenere la fede

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