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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.

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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.

Darkness

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.

What future for Castelluccio?

November 16, 2016 Leave a comment
Road to where?

Road to where?

This is the arrow-straight road across the former lake bed near Castelluccio, which appears as a huddled mass on the left.

Following the earthquake and the dropping of the ground level by 2 feet, the place has fallen apart.

The inhabitants have been helicoptered out, all bar 13 intrepid souls who have stayed to feed the animals and protect them from wolves.

The people are saying the apocalypse has happened, but they also say they’re stronger than the apocalypse.

Under an umbrella

November 11, 2016 2 comments
Rose leaves forming an umbrella shape

Rose leaves forming an umbrella shape

There was torrential rain with loud claps of thunder when I left for my eye test today.

It was still raining hard when I came out.

I rarely carry an umbrella because I have a tendency to leave them behind, and also they turn themselves inside out in the wind and act like drogues.

But when a man offered to shelter me with his umbrella, and went out of his way to take me right to the car, I was only too glad.

Chivalry is alive and well in Italy.

Pet passport

November 4, 2016 5 comments
Florence looking proud and noble

Florence looking proud and noble

I’ve been feeding Florence in the back of the car for weeks now.

Our efforts today culminated in her jumping in without a problem to go get her pet passport, for which they needed to read her microchip.

An official came down to the car, which had to happen because animals aren’t allowed in there.

For the rest, I stupidly queued at the desk for registering her when she’s registered already.

The man before me in the queue was registering 17 puppies with separate owners (sigh) but at least we had an interesting conversation.

Although his house is sound, he told me, he prefers to sleep outside in a tent where earthquakes instead of being frightening feel as if the earth were rocking him.

If we lived in a teepee I guess I might feel like that.