Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Lucky charm

August 17, 2013 Leave a comment
Four-leaf clover

Four-leaf clover

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.

* * *

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!

Talented toads

June 18, 2013 9 comments
Reluctant hero

Reluctant hero

3 days before the massive earthquake in Aquila, Eastern Italy, toads were seen to desert their nearby mating pond ‘en masse’.

The reason seems to be that they can detect slight changes in the chemistry of the groundwater, caused by the Earth’s crust releasing charged particles when under stress.

So toads warrant a new respect as potential predictors of earthquakes.

This one appeared on the fringes of the shadows as we were eating our evening meal outside.

The egg (in fact just the shell of a boiled egg) is there to indicate the size.

I love the expression on its face – it looks more like annoyance than fear, as if it was holding itself back from snapping: “For God’s sake stop flashing that light at me!”

That demmed elusive pimpernel

June 17, 2013 2 comments
Pimpernel - scarlet and blue versions

Pimpernel – scarlet and blue versions

The Scarlet Pimpernel was the heroic alter ego of an English aristocrat who rescued French aristocrats in the French Revolution.

Here one dashing scarlet flower is flanked by royal blue ones, which I’d never seen before we came to Italy.

The flower is also  known as Poor Man’s Weather Glass because it closes up in anticipation of rain.


May 2, 2013 Leave a comment
A spray of may blossom

A sprig of may blossom

Yesterday, May Day, was a public holiday here like in many other places.

Unlike Britain, which tucks it neatly onto a Monday, in Italy it falls as it falls; if on a Saturday or a Sunday – too bad.

I thought I would take a photo of this appositely named blossom, spreading its petals wide in the sunshine.

Just as well I took it when I did because the weather turned wet soon after.

Taking advantage of Liberation Day

April 26, 2013 5 comments
Softening the outline

Softening the outline

Yesterday was Liberation Day in Italy and Chokri was available.

With the start of the warmer weather, our living room no longer needs to serve as a greenhouse so I decided to do a bit of moving around.

The planters, which have been out all year and harbour a motley population of strawberries, coltsfoot, Virginia stock and goldenrod, we took up to the shed and sat on blocks so that the leaves will soften the box-like outline of the side panel.

The plants which have been indoors – the cacti and the grapefruit tree – we added to other tubs which had been outside all along and arranged them in front of the stone wall in the courtyard, on a new bed of clean gravel to cover the general detritus from the oak tree.

Unfortunately today the rain carried with it fine sand from the Sahara Desert, a not infrequent occurrence in Italy, so that everything was stippled with a light powder.

I gave the grapefruit a squirt with clean water to cheer it up; I have a lot invested in that tree!

All in a row

All in a row


March 15, 2013 2 comments
Rhubarb shoot

Rhubarb shoot

It sounds like the name of a pirate, but it actually means rhubarb in Italian.

I’ve never seen it for sale in Italy and I’ve never met anyone who knew what it was!

Except I suppose for the garden centres which sell little plants …

This is one of them, peeping up again after disappearing entirely for a couple of years.

I hope I get some decent stalks as I’m very partial to it!

When delivery isn’t delivery

February 20, 2013 Leave a comment

We’ve at long last, after much deliberation, ordered a shed.

It was about half the price to buy exactly the same thing from Britain as opposed to Italy, so that even with greater transport costs it worked out significantly cheaper.

We ran into our first problem yesterday when I received a phonecall from the carriers at the Italian end. Would there be someone available to help unload the shed from the lorry?

I replied that there was me, and my disabled husband, so we’d try but couldn’t guarantee anything. I also added that they could leave it anywhere they wanted in our courtyard where there was ample room to turn round.

Next thing we knew there was an email from the British end saying we had to pay extra for the lorry to have a tailgate.

Elementary, my dear Watson – even 100 years ago delivery lorries had tailgates!

"Tailgates are extra on our lorries"

“Tailgates are extra on our lorries”

Needless to say, we advised them that ‘delivery’ meant actually leaving the object behind and they had better think again.