Friday, May 28, 2010

********EXCITING NEWS*************

Granddaughter has arrived!

Little Sukie Ella was born at 10:15 (UK time) this morning. She was delivered by C section after a few complications. She weighed in at 7 ponds 4 ounces. Both Sukie and her mum are doing well, so the father has reported.
Well done to them all.
I have a little bit of fingernail left!!!


Nail-Biting Time.

The latest granddaughter is nearly with us, nine days after her due date. Very early morning text messages have been received advising us of mum’s hospitalization and therefore imminent addition to the human race. It’s very exciting.

Wiltshire Winkers

We have just had a memorable time with our great friends, the WWs. The weather really cheered up for their stay which was fantastic. They took us for a beautiful meal at a restaurant called Da Rosa in the grounds of an Abbey. We had tried it before back in March to see if it was up to the required standard of our illustrious guests. It didn’t disappoint. There was also a huge sort of artisan and produce fair that was being held over four days. It was tremendous.

I think the highlight of their stay though was the afternoon and early evening spent playing a game called Cranium. If you don’t know it, it is an amalgam of Trivial Pursuits, Pictionary, Charades and a few others thrown in. It involves, miming, drawing things with your eyes closed, whistling or humming tunes, moulding plasticine shapes, all so that your team members have to guess what it is.

There are three levels of the game:

  • Standard: comprises board, questions, paper, pencils,, plasticine, as well as one glass and one bottle of wine per player.
  • Deluxe: same as standard but with two bottles of wine per player.
  • Platinum: I’m not sure anyone has ever played at this level and lived!

The Deluxe version takes longer to play than the Standard for fairly obvious reasons. This is the one we played. Men versus women.

We started at about 14:30 and continued to play, disturbing the flora and fauna all around us with a serious amount of noise, or din, if you want, until about 20:00.

I don’t think I have enjoyed myself and laughed so much as the last time I played this game, with, funnily enough, the same friends, on a cold February week-end in Lee, North Devon about five years ago.

What an afternoon. By the way, the women won ……. just.

The evening prior to their departure, we had a game of scrabble. Same pairings, but the women were very cocky and decided to give their team the name “Bellisime Bitches” – I think it was La D’s idea. Tacky I thought. Particularly as they won again. Bah.

Sadly their visit was fairly fleeting and they have now flown home. We are so looking forward to their company again, when ever that will be.

Bertie’s Sister

We’ve got Jess staying with us whilst her owners whizzed off to North Cyprus and Istanbul to watch the Turkish GP this week-end. Hope it is a good race. I did say I would probably see them in the stands. The GP is so under-audienced (is that a real term? I somehow doubt it) that they will be easy to spot as they will probably have a stand all to themselves.

Jess and Bertie just chase each other round and round till they conk out, sleep for a bit, they start all over again. Still it keeps them busy.

The World Traveller

Got news a couple of days ago that my son had managed to meet up with his uncle, my brother, in Seattle. He is having a whale of a time. He and his friends bought a car for US$1200 in Los Angeles and travelled almost 2000 miles up the east coast of the USA to Seattle. What a great thing to do. He’s off to Chicago for a few days, then on to New York before coming home.

Ciao, mantenere la fede

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weather or not?

It really doesn’t know what to do at the moment. It goes from bright blue skies to overcast and rain. We have to do our chores by the weather. That is the only planning tool we have.
We are getting some good growth from our veggies and have had the most succulent little fave (broad beans) which we eat with pieces of sheeps’ cheese called Pecorino. Simply divine. We have given some to friends who were very pleased.

Cats’ orgy-fest

The bloody cats are at it again. Bonking all over the place. We did contact our comune some months ago about having them sterilised. Apparently in this part of Italy at least, the comune will arrange for semi-feral cats to be neutered as long as you agree to look after them. Well that’s fine and dandy as long as they do arrange it. But along with many things, it all takes a bit of time. Meanwhile of course some of the older cats have been having litters when they could have been spayed a while ago.  
I got so fed up with the noise the other morning that I got up and let Bertie out at about 5:30 with the intention of him running round the house putting the bloody males off their amorous – no, that’s far too good a term, savage is better -  attacks. Not a peep from him. I think he must have paid them to watch ot something equally perverse. The noise went on and we had yet another interrupted nights sleep. La D does not take too kindly to being poorly slept. I can vouch for that.

Windy dogs

Yesterday we had some good friends over for lunch. They are the couple that own Bert’s sister Jess (she is in fact coming to stay with us for a few days while they go to Northern Cyprus and nipping over to Istanbul for the F1GP).
We were having a lovely light meal outside with the dogs running round each other and playing. They soon got fed up because of the heat and came to see us. Jess decided she wanted a stretch so she stretched out her front legs as far as they would go so her chest was almost touching the ground leaving her backside in the air, and then proceeded to do an enormous fart (La D said I must change this to "break wind") right by me. Honestly. Of course the others all thought it was highly amusing and started blaming me. What a cheek – excuse the pun.

Our parkland

I have decided that this year I will keep the third level of the estate cut. Last year I left it and then cut it once in late Autumn. Big mistake. Took me days to do it. So this year I am trying the opposite. It takes about 3 to 4 hours twice a month at the moment, which is OK and because it is predominantly up and down hill, good for my medical emergency status – I’m a diabetic you know.
So I took a couple of pics after it had been cut the other day. Looks rather good I think.


Only about a week before the granddaughter arrives on the scene. I spoke to my son last night who informed me that his wife looks as though she is actually going to explode any minute now. Ooh, I do hope not.
Will keep you posted.

A quick pic of Bert keeping guard

Ciao, mantenere la fede

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It’s not just us.

The bloody fox has struck again. Our friends who have just got into chicken keeping have been hit by the BF. It came in the middle of the day and took the lovely Gilda (she is, or rather was, the French Black Copper Marans I talked about earlier.) They had taken to letting the hens out for a bit during the day so they could get used to scratching around and feeding outside their pen, just as we have done. It was a nice sunny day. The BF had a lot of front to come and take a hen in those circumstances, but perhaps he (or she) had some hungry kittens back at the den.
Our friends, as you can imagine, are pretty fed up. They are going to put a net over the run so in effect the hens(I assume they will be getting a replacement) will be caged in. They will let them out but only when they are in the garden too and can offer some form of protection from the predators through closeness.


I can’t believe it. I received my first insect bite yesterday as I was weeding the potato patch. It got me on the crease behind my right knee. I suppose it was my fault as I put on my sexy cut-off jean shorts as soon as I can so that my little (this the word that La D uses to describe my walking limbs) white legs can get some colour in them. This will allow me to wear shorts (proper shorts of course) when I go out and will not constitute a threat to the sensibilities of old women and young children who are of a nervous disposition. I have no desire to frighten other people through the display of my little white legs.
Anyway, back to the bugs. After I had slapped the back of my leg in the vague hope of killing the thing that was literally sucking the life-blood out of me, I noticed some more starting to “sniff me up” so to speak. Well I put paid to them alright.
I completely forgot the weeding and stood as still as I could and became a bug-killing machine. As soon as they landed on my skin or clothes, I let them settle in for a few seconds, you know to get them to drop their guard a bit and feeling smug, and then WHAM! BANG! TWHACK! KAPOW! There was blood, wing bits, pieces of fly all over my shorts, t-shit and legs and arms. It was a bloodbath.
At least that was my intention. I actually got one fly, and as she (yes, it’s normally the females of the species that is deadlier than the male) had not had time to dip her needle deep into my flesh and drink my crimson body fluid to satiate her vampiric desires, there was no mess just a crumpled fly on the earth after I had whacked her on my cut-off jeans.
Although clearly she won’t do that again, it’s her relations I am worrying about now. Gulp. I must get some stuff to spray on my naked limbs that they don’t like and hopefully they will leave me well alone. We’ll see. I do seem to attract them for some reason. La D says they like rotten flesh, I personally tend to believe they like tender meat. I’m sticking to that.

Ciao, mantenere la fede