Thursday, 11 December 2008

December in Italy - rain, rain and empty restaurants

Woke up this morning to torrential rain. More like living in the Orkneys than Italy. Thankfully, the cloud now seems to have retreated to the valley bottom and there are some intimations of blue sky. The bottom half of the dogs legs got caked in mud on their morning ramble- they are now tearing around the garden looking as though they are wearing black knee length football socks. The two boyz seem oblivious to the rain but I fear the smell of damp dog is going to be all pervading later in the day no matter how thoroughly I towel them dry.Who in their right mind would have white,long-haired dogs in a muddy,sodden climate? Low maintenance they ain't!
This mornings papers seem to have focused on two issues:Gordon Browns strangely Freudian ' saviour of the world ' slip in yesterdays Prime Ministers Questions and last nights documentary about assisted suicide. Matthew Parris in today's Times has an interesting comment about the latter.Talking about the moment of passing on he says " An anti-climax, just a gentle closing-down:gradual,not instantaneous,there's often no moment at all. The emotional charge comes from nothing inherent in the event,but from the feelings of the witness...The most moving moment of death I ever experienced was that of a mouse. All at once - bang- scores of tiny black dots emerged from its fur and scattered. For these mites - vermin to the vermin - the cessation of the heartbeat was like a fire alarm, giving parasites only minutes to find new life support". Not entirely sure where I stand on this but encouraged by the diversity of measured opinion in the press.
While waiting on the station platform to take the train back to Orvieto yesterday was called on the mobile by a young Russian politician . During our conversation he came out with the apparently serious view that the economic crisis was part of a plan by the US to undermine Russia. Replied that it was intriguing to know that the US administration had such profound insight into Moscow's financial affairs but a shame that the Fed wasn't able to use the same tools to forecast and manage their own economy. This was met with silence. Guess irony doesn't translate.
Will try a marvellous restaurant set in the old Roman forum in Bevagna for dinner tonight. There is one good thing about the winter - you don't need to make reservations. Hope to post pictures tomorrow .

No comments: