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Three discoveries

December 16, 2016 2 comments
An impressive strawberry tree, photo taken with the phone

An impressive strawberry tree

This morning the usual car park I go to in Valtopina was full so I was forced to go to another one.

I was rather glad I did.

The first thing I discovered was a bank of orange marigolds in full bloom.

The second thing was a single purple anemone in flower at the edge of a lawn.

The third thing was strawberry trees laden with fruit, putting ours in the shade.

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Near-flood

December 12, 2016 4 comments
The stove with the catchment bottle showing on the right

Stove with catchment bottle showing on right

I was sitting at my desk when I heard a small sound like something tearing.

I tracked it down to the stove, where a vigorous jet was coming out of the overflow.

I set it running into a 3 litre bottle, then phoned our plumber/electrician who by chance was due later anyway.

Over the next few hours, the stove pumped out more than 10 litres of water – just as well I’d realised!

The plumber/electrician said the problem was due to an increase in pressure in the mains water and that it ought not to recur, which thankfully it hasn’t as yet.

Counter current

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment
The counter current machine in action

The counter current machine in action

When we part-emptied the pool to repair a leak round the inlet, the Badu Jet counter current machine stopped working.

The motor whirred but didn’t push the water.

I phoned the Badu Jet company first in the USA and then in Germany only to be told to do exactly what we’d already done – prime the pump in the normal way.

The last port of call was our trusty plumber-cum-electrician who struggled a bit but finally got it working.

Now I can swim properly for the first time this winter.

Narrow squeak

December 8, 2016 Leave a comment
Almost too dark

Almost too dark

This sunset photo shows the car (the grey one in front) of the Tiscali technician who came to change our arial and modem, back on Friday 25th November.

If there hadn’t been a break in the rain of a couple of hours allowing the roof to dry, he wouldn’t have come. And then it was getting dusk …

After his visit, it was almost a week of nail-biting internet blackout before the system went live on Thursday 1st December at 8.20 pm.

Today being the Feast of the Immaculate Conception has made me think how glad I am we didn’t trip up over this particular Public Holiday, which in so many years past has seemed to get in the way.

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.

Second tremor

October 27, 2016 7 comments
A monster lurks under here

A monster lurks under here

There was a second, more violent, tremor last night – 6.1 this time.

I heard it coming across the courtyard – it was like a monster pushing itself under the house.

All the spoons hanging on hooks over the stove started jiggling. A few things fell over.

Florence was very alarmed and hid behind the sofa.

I was outside today, looking across the olive grove to the mountains, thinking about what terrible things there are underneath …