Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Destruction and Mayhem in Central Italy … or just another day in the life of L’uomo chi fa and La Duchessa

The time had come. The “shed” had to come down before it fell down, perhaps on me!
Last Saturday we decided to do the job.
You will see from the photograph of before, the state of the shed. It had been used to store – I use that word very loosely – old wire and faggots made from old vine cuttings tied together with another vine cutting. Very clever but I still have not fathomed out what they used them for. I have used them for fire starting (oh, yesss). They are so old and dry you just need to look at them and think fire and they burst into flames. Brill.

Out we went, all three of us, Bertie was there as an observer. He’s good at that.
We did some strokey beard stuff as we had a good inspection of the structure thinking how best to go about demolition and then it was decided.
“Right La D,” I said, “Up you get. Onto the roof and start to claw the nails out of the corrugated iron roof. I’ll go underneath and help release the nails if they have been twisted over. We’ll get the roof off first and then we can take down the timbers.”
To my utter amazement, La D leapt onto the roof like a cat burglar and started using the claw hammer as if she had been born with one. Fantastic.

Bertie quickly became bored with his observing and started to chase the Three Degrees for a while, in between barking at the men who were fixing our neighbours roof. But he calmed down when we stopped for our coffee break and the treats came out. He’s such a food tart.
It was a lovely day and we got pretty warm. However, it wasn’t long before we had demolished and then had to store the corrugated iron – for use somewhere perhaps or just dumping – and the wood – for winter fuel on our open fire.
There were quite a few faggots left that when you touched them just fell apart. So following the new rules imposed by La D, I wrote out a quick bonfire request form and waved it under her nose. She took a long time to decide whether to sanction the request. I had to keep impressing on her the futility of trying to save the faggots as they were virtually all dust and if we tried to move them, by the time we moved them to another storage area they would have fallen apart. Eventually she gave in.
I had a great bonfire. The faggots burned beautifully and I was able to get rid of all the other sort of garden debris nearby.
It has made quite a difference to the aspect of the garden, as I’m sure you can see.

A Moving Experience

About two years ago we met a couple who were staying at the B&B up the road. They were from England and were spending a little time looking at the area with a view to buying a house and moving over here.
Despite a few ups and downs in their plan, they finally moved over last weekend. They have not bought over here yet, but have sold their house in England. They are renting a house, in Grottazzolina, whilst they try to settle in over here and see how it goes. They do have a youngish daughter (about 12) who will have to find schooling here. That might be problematic. A big plus in their favour is that they both have Italian parents and so speak Italian.

We went to see them last Sunday as they were staying at the B&B again and told us they had a huge pantechnicon arriving on Monday with all their stuff, including two London cabs! He had a second hand car sales business in Sussex and bought them with a view to speculative income generation such as hiring them out for weddings, trips, etc.. I am pretty sure that they must be the only two London taxis in Le Marche.

I offered to go over with them the next day and help them offload. They were very thankful as they had had loads of help packing up but there were only themselves and the driver at this end.

On Monday morning, I set off. He had arranged for another couple of people to come over and help so it shouldn’t be too bad.
We got to the house but there was no sign of the lorry. The driver was lost. Oops. Eventually this thing arrived. It was enormous. It was one of those HGVs that has a trailer as well. When I used to work in Logistics (or Distributionn as it was then) we used to call them a Dog and Pup.

The driver took the side curtaining off to reveal the contents of the trailer. I don’t think these people have ever thrown anything away in their entire existence. It was chokka.
Eventually we cleared out the trailer bar one of the taxis and then we started on the lorry. Same story, heaving with life’s materials collected over a long time.
The plan was to have the taxis lifted off by a forklift. We just had to find one. Hmmmmm. Planning didn’t appear to be one of their strong points. However, an Italian neighbour had been watching us for about three hours and talking (probably offering his verbal support, I could not understand him so I am not sure). Anyway, apparently he said why don’t you get a breakdown truck (soccorso stradale) to back up to the lorry and the trailer and drive them off. Excellent. In about 30 minutes, one had been organised and turned up. He just backed up the open doors, levelled the breakdown vehicle’s bed and the taxis were driven off. He moved off a bit and then tilted the breakdown vehicle’s bed until it rested on the road and the taxis rolled backwards. Job done. Do you know what? The breakdown man would not take any money for it. Fantastic.
We tidied up, found a kettle and had a lovely cuppa and a piece of La D’s walnut and date cake that she had sent with me.
After that, the other helpers and I said our ciaos and went of to leave them to do their unpacking.
I must say it is a lot more enjoyable helping people to move than moving oneself.

Cat in a Bin!

Ciao, mantenere la fede

No comments: