Mad dogs & Englishmen … go out in the mid-day sun. According to Noel Coward, that is. Well it must be catching. A goodly number of Italians, some quite young but many of “a certain age”, take to the hills on a regular basis. I was invited to join one such group by a German friend who […]

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In the grip of winter For the past few months we’ve been getting really quite smug about the bountiful warmth of the climate. Our wood pile was looking like it would serve us out not just for this winter but perhaps well into next. But now reality has struck, with temperatures falling into low single figures […]

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A dog’s life Just under two weeks ago my daily morning routine changed. Instead of the usual lie-in before showering and breakfast there’s now a one-hour trek with the dog. We usually take the path beside our house up into the hills and follow it for a kilometer or two, then either turn back or follow […]

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A new member of the family This is Buffy. Say hello to Buffy. Good girl Buffy. Buffy is (most probably) a miniature pinscher (MinPin), crossed with something like a pointer. She’s a year old and had been at the local boarding kennels for the past two months after her previous owner smashed himself up comprehensively in […]

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The footie Although those who know me know I’m no fan of team sports, I must share this news item about the “World Cup Fan Park” in Manchester, built on a former Granada Studios site: World Cup Fan Park Just below the last big picture in the article is a reference to aromas being pumped around […]

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Hot It’s all come as a bit of a shock. One day it’s – well, chilly; the next it’s stonking hot. At lunchtime today our house was the hottest place in Europe or North Africa. That’s official. Y’see, I’ve been using a social networking app called Wezzoo, which exists for people to post reports about their […]

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Labour saving in the garden When I first moved to Italy in 2006 I spent most of the first year out in the garden, a rocky hillside not far from where I now live, digging a couple of vegetable beds. In fact, I don’t recall doing much else that year. Then circumstances changed and for […]

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Permision needed You often hear people complain that the road outside their house is like a race track. Well ours actually is. The Sanremo Rally takes place every year, as a series of stages in which owners of sporty vehicles drive them up and down the local mountain roads. Perhaps not actually a race in […]

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A river runs along it No, this isn’t about a Robert Redford film. Readers of this blog will have noticed my obsession with the weather, the damage it has done to the roads and the bonanza of free firewood to be picked up all along the coastline. Basically, rainfall in January over most of Europe was around four […]

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(B)logs to keep warm by Firewood takes a fair bit of work, starting with some advance planning. You need to cut it at least a year before you want to burn it. In the meantime it has to be felled, cut into rounds and stacked for a season or more – depending on where you […]

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