Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Sorry for non-blogging in the last couple of weeks. Nothing was very forthcoming.

Autumn fires

Oh yes. I have had a couple of beauties. The heat has been enough to vaporise the mist that we have had whilst the beautiful, dense billowy smoke has enveloped the entire hamlet – by the way what’s the difference between a village and hamlet? One is where people live and the other is a play by Shakespeare.
Yes, there has been loads to burn already and with the pruning under way there will be a lot more.
We had also cut down some of our bamboo a. because it just grows like
billy-o and in fact some had totally obscured an olive tree, and b. because we will be needing some new canes for next years vegetables.
Now you may not know this but small sections of bamboo make the most fabulous bangers. If you get a length of bamboo and cut a piece off just below a knuckle and then above the next knuckle, so you have a complete piece of bamboo between two knuckles, you’ve got a cracker – literally. It must have sounded like an arsenal had caught fire here. The bangs were echoing all round the valley as the fire consumed all the old bamboo stuff we didn’t need.
So, flames, delicious heat, billowy smoke and big bangs. I mean, what more could you ask of your humble garden bonfire?

Mrs Malaprop rides again, and again

La D has been at it again. Using correct words and sayings incorrectly. Mind you, it gives us a laugh. I even caught a glimpse of a smirk on Bertie’s face but he soon switched back to his inscrutable doggy features when he saw me glancing at him.
Here’s three of note:

We were walking up the hill in the garden after a walk when we went past the vines which were due to be pruned.
“I’ve had a pre-cursory glance at the book on pruning L’uomo chi fa .. …Why are giggling, you silly man?”

One night we were listening to the new Foo Fighters single (at least it’s new over here). There’s a very good guitar solo in it.
“What a great skiff” La D said.

The other night we were playing Bezique and in the middle of one of the games I had to keep getting up to tend the fire, get more wine for La D (and myself of course), let Bertie out, let Bertie in, etc., etc.. As it was difficult to maintain a good flow of card playing, La D said exasperatedly, “Oh for goodness sake L’uomo chi fa, you are up and down like a fiddler’s elbow. Sit down. What have I said now? Oh alright, like a tart’s drawers then. Satisfied? Now can we please get on with the game. I’m just about to lay down a royal marriage, a sequence and double-Bezique, so just you dot your “I”s and cross your “T”s!
There are more, but I am saving those for later.

The Orti and Galline

Not much to report at the moment. The weather has turned almost wintry with cold rain and mists. November was lovely. So it has been too damp to do much turning over, but it will be done when it is able to be done.
The Three Degrees are still popping out three eggs a day, which considering the lack of light and the temperature is pretty good going. And of course the eggs are just fantastic. I worked it out the other day. If you discount the costs of setting up a run and coop and buying the birds, we have been getting 90 eggs a month for €5,00’s worth of feed. The shop price for 90 organic eggs is about €40,00. That is not too bad, I think you will agree.
The other thing they do of course is help fertilise the orti, either directly, by scratching and picking it over and pooping on it, and non-directly by us composting their bedding and poo to use on the orti later on. Brilliant.
We have had a lovely cauliflower last week and we have a few more almost ready along with some fennel. The peas and beans and onions that we have planted are all doing nicely.


Very organised this year. We have got all the presents sent off in very good time – we were worried about the postal strikes in the UK, but I think that has all been sorted now.
We were looking forward to a relatively peaceful time, until…………..
Bertie asked if his sister could come to stay. Well something like that.
They are a bit like children. They are quite manageable, most times, on their own, but when they are together, it’s a different story. It’s like having two giant Mexican jumping beans constantly on the go. Going this way, that way, some other way least expected. At first we probably won’t have to take them out much because they just chase each other round and round and round until they are knackered and, with this weather, disgustingly filthy. I think I’ll get the hose out again and set it up. We’ll probably need it.
I’ll report back next week.

Ciao, mantenere la fede

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