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Playing with water

March 6, 2016 Leave a comment
Galileo contemplating the destruction of my cascade

Galileo by the blue pig, contemplating the destruction of my cascade

I’d been aware for some time that the water wasn’t reaching the pond from the ‘blue pig’ water tank.

It has about twenty-five metres of garden hose to go along (the original buried pipe having got furred up long ago due to the exceptional hardness of the spring water).

The thing to do is to find out where the worst blockage is, so I unscrewed in turn the joints along the length of the hose.

Aha, it wasn’t getting through the section right next to the blue pig. I substituted this piece of hose temporarily with a clean piece from elsewhere, and took the blocked length to the mains water to blast it through.

A great deal of mud, and dense sausages of algae like green icicles, plopped out.

I walked back to reposition the hose I’d cleaned. I was thinking – This is Heaven, playing with water on a windy mountain-top with a beautiful view. This must be the best activity in the world.

But fairy-feet Galileo had been drinking and climbing in the roof-tile cascade that takes excess water away from the blue pig and I had to spend a merry quarter of an hour scrambling about on the bank fixing it.

I didn’t feel quite so euphoric after that.

A hot water bottle

January 29, 2013 12 comments
Hot water bottle inside a furry cover

Hot water bottle inside a furry cover

Clive’s lymphatic fever has thankfully gone, but he’s still feeling cold at night so I’ve been getting him a hot water bottle.

Every time I do so, I find myself flooded with sensory recollections.

When we used to arrive at our holiday home in the winter as children, my mother used to prepare us each a ‘hottie’ as we called them. Other times as well, but it’s from those nights that I remember them best.

First there was the drill-like noise of water pouring from the kettle into the bottle, and the comforting smell of hot rubber.

Then a tiny clucking, gurgling sound as she squeezed the bottle to exclude the air.

I nursed my hottie all the way up the stairs.

It went into the bed before I did, creating a welcome warm patch.

I clutched it as a lifesaver before finally pushing it into the freezing depths of my bed with my feet, to lead the way.

In the morning it was useless; quite cold. But I woke up feeling as if I’d arrived in heaven.

Picture gallery

December 10, 2012 4 comments

Visually speaking, spring and summer in Italy are heaven on earth. In my experience, there’s nothing quite like the radiant, colour-enhancing light.

Decorated cabinets

Decorated cabinets

Therefore, when the long winter comes, I like to surround myself with reminders, and the cool grey of my filing cabinets is the perfect foil for some photos.

On the top drawer is a vase of roses, then descending, hibiscus flowers, pink roses and a sunflower.

On the side of the cabinet is an arch of roses over steps, and more roses against the backdrop of the house.

I’m fond of roses, you see.

On the side of the small cabinet is a picture of the local shepherd with his flock, and on top is a ‘worry sheep’ to be squeezed in moments of frustration – of which there are many.

On the other side of the desk, out of view, is a peach tree with branches outstretched, laden with peaches.

As I sit at my desk – whose brown corner just shows in the photo – all I see is beauty, on every surface.