Yesterday I came across the Italian proverb:
Gallina vecchia fa buon brodo which means literally: “An old hen makes good broth”.
I asked Clive what the English equivalent might be and he came up with: There’s many a good tune played on an old fiddle.
As a near sexagenarian myself, I find that one a bit more appealing!
This set the two of us writers off inventing our own satirical proverbs to illustrate recent thoughts and experiences. Here are a few examples of what we came up with:-
- He who has his olives picked will never taste his oil. [NB Our neighbour still hasn’t brought any of the oil deriving from our grove.]
- One songbird in the pot doesn’t fill the belly. [Referencing a horrible practice that exists in Italy.]
- A wise man will never admit to not knowing.
- Vehicles grey and pasta each day keep all original thoughts away.
- A promise today is the lie of tomorrow.
We found it a good way of letting off steam!
A storm brewing over the valley; maybe whirling in its midst is La Befana, the Italian Christmas Witch who visits at Epiphany.
She’ll be departing now, having done her rounds of leaving sweets and presents.
I came across an elemental description of her by the Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli:-
Viene, viene la Befana
Vien dai monti a notte fonda
Come è stanca! la circonda
Neve e gelo e tramontana!
Viene, viene la Befana
This is my English translation:-
|Here she comes, the Christmas crone
From mountains in the dead of night
How tired she is! she’s wrapped up tight
In snow and frost and all wind-blown!
Here she comes, the Christmas crone
This is the one and only four-leaf clover I’ve ever found in Italy.
Mind you, I don’t really look for them.
I’ve pressed it inside a Latin dictionary underneath a volume of the Shorter (always made me laugh as a child) Oxford English Dictionary.
I hope it comes out very erudite and brings us luck with our writing business.
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This is my last regular post on this site but please follow me to Daily Reflection on our Self-Publisher Website. There’s a sister post already there about the four-leaf clover …
I’m proud to have had your company over the last 2 years!
Queen Anne’s Lace is one of those lovely vague poetic names which can actually refer to more than one species of plant – in this case either cow parsley or wild carrot.
The photos here are of wild carrot, which has more compact flower heads and also a little red flower in the middle which is supposed to be Queen Anne’s blood from when she pricked her finger.
However it was cow parsley which I had in mind when I wrote my novel Queen Anne’s Lace and featured the plant in a pivotal scene. I also meant the title to be a comment on the complexities of family relationships.
It was windy yesterday when I went to photograph the wild carrot blooms and the intricacies became a blur so I brought a couple of stalks indoors.
Almost immediately a very attractive spider dropped out from under one of the flower heads, raced across the work surface then, finding a precipitous drop, followed its silk all the way back to the flower!
Valtopina, the name of our small town, means ‘valley of the Topino’, which is the name of the river.
Topino itself means ‘little mouse’, being the diminutive of ‘topo’ or mouse.
The whole name can therefore be translated as ‘valley of the little mouse’ or ‘little mouse valley’.
Our dentist, once he has my mouth locked in position, delights in regaling me with English translations of local town names.
Apart from valley of the little mouse there’s ‘flowery hill’ (Colfiorito), ‘singing wolf’ (Cantalupo), ‘falcon’s mount’ (Montefalco), etc.
Starting 2nd March 2012 when Clive was in Germany, I’ve been writing a novel called ‘The Wolves of Little Mouse Valley’. Today I got to the end (which doesn’t mean I’ve finished it).
It’s set locally, and has an element of the supernatural.
I told our dentist about it last time I saw him and he was very amused. I said I’d put in an acknowledgment to him!
This morning Joules was barking excitedly in the field and I thought he might have cornered some small animal. I put my bare feet into wellies and went to investigate.
I soon realised what was happening. Kepler had a white ball – which I recognised as a piece of frozen bread – and was tempting Joules to grab it but then making off with it before he could.
Kepler is very good at this game, and had me playing along until I swung my camera at him and distracted him just long enough for him not to be able to grab the bread before he ran off.
I was a spoilsport and confiscated the bread, although Kepler made a couple of lunges at it as I carried it into the house.
Joules was very happy with my intervention.
My offer of ‘Come and get it’ is much more genuine.
Anysubject Ltd awarded me this ‘Daily Blog Award’ and I invite anyone with a genuine daily blog to copy the award and post it on their site. The only thing to do, which would be much appreciated, is to include a link back to Anysubject Ltd, as the originators.
Just incorporate a link to http://www.anysubject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Daily-blog-award.jpg if you feel you qualify for this award.