Thursday, January 13, 2011

Felice Nuovo Anno Tutti!

This means Happy New Year all, in Italian, as if you couldn’t guess.

Well, what have we been up to? Not a lot really.

We have had Bert’s sister with us again for a week whilst her owners, M&S, went to Austria with M’s parents. They went to look into some family history as it has only come to light quite recently that M’s father’s father was not his real father, but somebody else altogether who died in WW2.
They had a revelatory few days and have discovered a whole chunk of family they did know existed and of course vice versa. Fascinating.


Some news on the family front. My eldest boy and his wife are going to have a baby. This will be their first (and last?). They have waited quite a while but both are getting on, in terms of having babies that is, and also his wife is almost 40 so I suppose they didn’t want to leave it any later if they were going to start a family. Also he has been so busy whizzing up and down motorways and things for his job and she has been running stables and been very involved with horse jumping things, that we are quite surprised.
Anyway, many congrats to them.
So, we will be grandparents again. The child is due at the end of June.

Also we have just been informed that my nephew is getting married in the Autumn. We have met his fiancé when they both came over and stayed with us in 2009. She was part of the crew of a boat in a Trans- Atlantic yacht race a couple of years ago.
So many congrats to them too!

My nephew’s dad, my brother, has just moved. He was living up a mountain about 250 miles from Seattle on the west coast of the USA and he now lives 3000 miles east in Maine on the Eastern Seaboard. Apparently, whilst loving the area,  he and his wife got fed up being so far from any services and suffering from the extreme winters and the extreme summers. Although they did know this when they moved there seven years ago.  It took them ten days to make the journey and the trip was not without interest. At one stage they had to drive through a proper blizzard!!.
My brother now knows a sure fire way of putting on weight. Drive across America! The only eateries he ever came across were those that sold burgers and fries. Very comforting but not too good for the waistline and scales.


In an effort to eke out our wood supply for the fire in the kitchen, I have been doing some foraging in our woods at the bottom of the garden. It’s brilliant. There is quite a lot of dead wood, big branches, that have fallen from the trees whether in a bit of wind or just through age.
I go down there with my wheel barrow, bow saw – La D doesn’t like me to use my chopper too much -  and a length of old TV aerial cable and cut up loads of this wood. The reason for the cable is that the timber is very light and I can stack the barrow really full of it without making it too heavy to push up the hill. The problem is then one of stability. This is where the cable comes in. I just keep going under the barrow and over the load with the cable, tie it down tightly and I can then easily transport my spoils up to the wood shed by the house. Free fuel. Excellent.
It makes very good fire starting material as well as being useful to get the fire going again if I have forgotten to keep it fed. I have to admit I do do this occasionally and then I incur the wrath of “she who must be obeyed” and I’d rather not invite her displeasure.  

Ciao, mantenere la fede

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