Archive for November, 2016

Sunshine from the window

November 24, 2016 2 comments
Golden-leaved peach tree

Golden-leaved peach tree

From the window I can see this peach tree with its foot in a puddle of gold.

I love it when the sun catches odd things and illuminates them.

This is probably my last post until our new 4G internet system is live.

Making mortal jumps

November 23, 2016 2 comments
A very young Florence making a 'mortal jump'

A very young Florence about to jump

The Italian ‘fare salti mortali’ (literally: making mortal jumps, or somersaults) means ‘moving heaven and earth’.

We did just that, and some, so we could go to the hospital on Friday morning for Clive to have his catheter checked with a view to possible chemotherapy.

Then this morning the hospital phoned and cancelled – no reason and no new appointment.

I honestly don’t know how many more mortal jumps are in me.


Deaf as a post

November 22, 2016 Leave a comment
Italians make themselves as deaf as this

Italians make themselves as deaf as this

I sometimes wonder if Italians have some vital part of their inner ear removed at birth in a process that leaves them irritated by the sound of another human voice, such that they have to drown it out.

This morning I tried to arrange for Clive’s stoma to be viewed, and was slammed through to a nurse who wanted to know why Clive would already be in the hospital on Friday.

Speaking in Italian as always, three times I started to explain, and three times she interrupted and drowned me in high-pitched gabble, guessing erroneously at reasons.

Finally I was roaring for her to listen and she was screeching to try to get the upper hand in the conversation.

Clive sat back and enjoyed himself – a good cat-fight, he said.

The upshot was that I gave up trying to arrange anything. The timing was all wrong and in any case I have grave doubts anyone would have listened long enough to help.

Sound business practice

November 21, 2016 2 comments
Sluggish, smug and impervious

Sluggish, smug and impervious

We continue to struggle with an unusably slow internet service and no news about the ISP’s upgrade.

With a view to finding a solution to fill the gap, I phoned another internet service outlet.

“Do you have any internet keys?”

“Yes. We have one left.”

“Is it for 12 months or 1 month?”

“I can’t tell you that. You have to come in to the shop.”

“But it could be a wasted journey!”

“In the time I take to talk to you over the phone, I could make an actual sale.” And he put the phone down.

I think he just won salesman-of-the-year award.

Golden foliage

November 20, 2016 Leave a comment
Autumn oaks

Autumn oaks

When the oaks change colour, they do so to pure gold.

This is the dazzling view from the back door.

The price of bacon

November 19, 2016 Leave a comment
Look at the state of that

Look at the state of that

Galileo couldn’t be more relaxed and scruffy.

“Look at the state of that and the price of bacon,” Clive would say.

The expression was new to me but I love it.

It’s similar to “What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?”

As writers in a foreign country, we rely on each other to keep the English colloquialisms blooming.


November 19, 2016 2 comments
Our current modem

Our current modem

This is our current internet modem with lots of jolly green lights on it which means it’s working.

Unfortunately the service provider is upgrading the system, and they seem to be in total chaos about it.

In their one communication, they implied we should be sent a new modem which hasn’t arrived, and we’re now way past the proposed date of the upgrade.

It’s almost impossible to get through to them on the phone at the best of times; now it’s absolutely impossible.

I’ve camped out on the line several times now and never got anything other than avant garde music.

What’s even more annoying is that the call menu only has buttons for if you’ve received your modem but not heard from a technician about installing it, or had the modem installed and it doesn’t work, or had the modem installed and it isn’t satisfactory. (Worrying that these things are being planned for.)

There’s no choice for if you haven’t received the modem!

Now the service is going down at random times so they can do preparation work.

Clive and I are heavily internet-dependent so things are going to be hell for some time to come.