Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Not half. 38°C under the gazebo at 3:00 in the afternoon yesterday. Phew!
It’s looking good for the next couple of weeks too. Too hot to do much after midday. Blog could become short for a while.


We’ve got the round the world traveller arriving tomorrow, con sua regazza. Really looking forward to a good catch up and natter with the lad. Since he got back from his trip he’s been working as a labourer and will be able to go back to that when he returns from here. It’ll be good for his bank balance and his rugby prep too.
A week after he returns, his brother is coming out with his girlfriend, who we finally saw when we were over earlier this month. All good stuff.

The Weird Sisters

They are becoming more attuned to their new surroundings and are venturing out of the coop very readily. We are getting the occasional egg fro one of them. We think they are not that young and we should be getting eggs off all of them soon.

We have improved the pen again and we are so impressed with our work that we are going to write to the director of the last Mad Max movie to see if he would like to shoot a sequel in our hen-pen!

Ciao, mantenere la fede

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Three Weird Sisters – Chicken Update

We welcomed The Three Weird Sisters aka new chickens, to Casa Grotta yesterday. La D is doing a Hecate impression and encouraging them to work on anti-fox potions.
For those of you who are completely foxed (excuse the pun) by what I’ve just said, I refer you to Shakespeare’s MacBeth.
They are incarcerated in their coop for the moment. La D and myself are putting up reinforcements around the pen today or tomorrow, before they start to come out.
Have just checked them and unfortunately one looks as though she is being pecked by the others. They have drawn blood. Poor sister. Hopefully it will stop soon.

Ciao, mantenere la fede

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sorry about that ......

I know it has been a long time, but, well, there are no excuses really. But there have been a few things happening.

The Good and The Not So Good

Just before we were about to go the UK to see Sukie and the rest of the children and grandchildren, we were invited out to a birthday lunch for one of ur friends. We went to the Osteria del Lago at San Ruffino. Had a great time but half way through the meal, the heavens opened and the lightning and thunder started up. Upon our return home we found that there had been a power cut. We got the computer on but there was no Internet connection. Doh!
Eventually we got one of our friends to ring Telecom who informed him that the storm that had knocked out the ADSL facility on our line. Several days later, our nails bitten down to the quick through the sheer boredom of having to wait whilst we tried to do something online via a dial-up connection, Telecom appeared and checked our line here, at the house.
After a couple of minutes, he said, “Nah mate (in Italian of course), the line’s fine, your router’s f***ed though!”
Oh joy, we thought. Quickly decided to nip off to our nearest router shop, spent €60,00  and were back on line within the hour. That certainly helped us get tidied up before our trip.

Also, we found upon our arrival home from the birthday lunch, that Freddy Effing Fox had visited us, again. He couldn’t get the chickens out of the pen, so he just left the three bodies lying there while he made his escape. The wire fence was very bent were he had got in and out. Bastard. La D was devastated
I know I had said that that was going to be it if the fox came again, but we are going to give it one more go. Designs on a new sort of inverted Stalag begin tomorrow. Will keep you posted.

So we were then ready to fly off to England, all our jobs were up to date. A couple of hours before we were going to take Bertie over to stay with his sister, I found blood all over the kitchen floor. It was a lovely hot day and the outside door had been open. I thought that one of the cats must have got hold of some animal and was spreading its blood everywhere.
I went down the steps and there was more blood. I went into the office and there was blood everywhere!
Then Betie came round the corner leaving blood behind whenever he moved. He had a huge gash along the side of one of his back paws.
We groaned in unison. Checked it over and knew we were going to have to go the vets.
We were expected at Jess’ place at about 6:30 and the vet opened at 4:30, so we should be alright.
We arrived at the vets and fortunately there were no other animals waiting to be seen, but the vet we normally see, who speaks fluent English was not there, just her assistant. Anyway, he could obviously see what the problem was and started on Bertie straight away.
La D and myself were part of the surgical team. Holding the patient so he didn’t fall off the table (he’s so big!) in his anaesthetised state. We were there for almost two hours. Bertie had cut the connective tissue surrounding the bone and the vet had to do internal stitches and then external stitches. He also was going to have to wear one of those lampshade things to stop him licking the wound. Paid the vet’s bill of €94,00 and arrived at Jess’ place at 7:30.
Jess’ owners were fantastic. It was no problem leaving this dog that needed to have pills jammed down his throat and not allowed to mix with his sister and very bestest friend, Jess, whilst Jess’ owners had loads of things to do with guests and a wedding party. They really are brilliant people.

So off we went to the UK. Travel was very good. Stopped off down South for a few days and then travelled North for a few more. Weather for most of the time was fab. Children and grandchildren were on top form, all apart from Sukie of course who, being only a couple of weeks old, found it difficult to discourse with her Italian-based grandparents. She seemed very calm and relaxed, probably because both of her parents are calm and relaxed. We were also fortunate to see Ed who had come back a few days early from his round the world trip, which was fantastic.
It was great to see them all.
Travel back was as uneventful as going out and we arrived back last Friday. There was an odd smell that greeted us as we opened the door. There must have been a power cut, judging by the smell, that had occurred the minute we left the house. Both the freezers were full of warm, very gone-off food. The fridge wasn’t much better. Bloody hell we thought. We cleared out all the mess and dropped it off at the amenity tip, or Isola d’Ecologia (sounds better than the “dump” doesn’t it?) on the way to pick up Bertie. He was in fine form and his stitches were intact and his wound clean and of a normal colour.

Phew. We’re exhausted. Just had time to stop off at a supermarket on the way home with Bertie to do some shopping for the weekend and of course for the freezer. Bah!

Weather or Not ….

The temperature yesterday, which was the start of Summer, was 12°C and it tonked down for over 24 hours!!! When we left to go to England, we passed a sign outside a chemists that displays the date, time and temperature. It read 36°C, and that was at 10:15 in the morning, with a cloudless sky above. Weird.

Just a little word play.

La D came up with a real corker the other day. Again it was when we were doing a crossword.
“An instrument used by engineers building a road” was the clue.
“I know, I know.” La D piped up. “A troglodyte.” They just keep getting better and better!

Ciao, mantenere la fede