Saturday, 31 January 2009
Lovely start to the day here. At first light Wilf was off down the drive in pursuit of adventure. There was a quite thick frost this morning so he had a fun time using his paws to smash the ice that had formed on the puddles overnight. Don't tell me that humans are alone among God's creatures in knowing how to have fun!
Friday, 30 January 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Here in Umbria the local murder trial continues to dominate the headlines in the morning press with the court once again in session. Last year a young British student at Perugia university was found with her throat cut. Initially an illegal immigrant was held responsible, and subsequently charged, but then the investigation widened to include the murdered girls American housemate and her boyfriend. This morning the investigating judge has released a ruling showing that the American student was indeed at the house at the time of the murder despite her protestations to the contrary. The sad story hits all the buttons in the popular imagination - murder, sex, drugs, immigrants,satanic rites, violence etc. The trial and police investigation have been going on for more than a year and have attracted a huge amount of coverage. With the formal court sessions due to run for another 9 months I can't help but wonder how long a trial like this would take in the US or UK ?
Monday, 26 January 2009
Sunday, 25 January 2009
Saturday, 24 January 2009
The red sky at dawn pressaged what in Scotland we would call a 'dreech' day - wet and windy. The barometer has fallen to its lowest level since we arrived here, so I guess we are slap bang in the centre of a huge low pressure system. The weather has now abruptly changed again and we have blue skies and an eerie stillness.
We gave them their worming tablets last night.I hate doing it as the chemicals clearly are powerful and upset their stomachs but the alternative is even less appealing. If I could find a natural remedy for worming that really worked I would switch to it in an instant. Digby is as right as rain this morning but Wilfy is off his food and keen to have a long post walk rest. He's settled down in front of the door so that he can monitor all movements in and out of the house - a very hard wired sheepdog trait to herd his family.
Friday, 23 January 2009
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
In town en route to the cantina I came across this shop window advertising its sale items. The photos are bad but the reductions are very precise 43%, 26%, 28% and the end price of E25.65 oddly annoying.I would have expected to see 25%, 30% or 50% or a rounding out to a nice even number such as 25 Euro's exactly but such esoteric arithmetical reductions as 26% or 43% strike me as decidedly illogical. Does any other country reduce prices with such precision and employ such strange uneven percentages?
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Boyz have been slightly neglected but have now had a well deserved 30 minutes of ball playing.
Monday, 19 January 2009
It was difficult to find the Obama concert on television in Europe but we eventually tuned into the end on a satellite channel. Why is it that the US always manages to do things with such self confidence? You wouldn't have found a European version of Josh Groban singing a patriotic song like 'My country 'tis of thee' so assuredly. We'll be watching the inauguration tomorrow - most of the channels here will have live coverage from five thirty in the evening onwards. Has there ever been an event anywhere which has attracted so much global attention? The viewing figures will be stratospheric.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
In Italian they are known as istrice and are widespread throughout the region. The local variety are about 2 feet long and weigh in around 30 lbs and live in large networks of burrows. They don't hibernate and have a couple of litters every year. They come out at night and by first light are scurrying back to their burrows after an evenings foraging . They simply adore to eat bulbs and will burrow down a foot to eighteen inches under a fence to get at them - so much for any hope of daffodils or tulips in the garden here. They will usually amble off when they see humans but can be a danger to dogs as they can charge backwards attempting to spear their canine challenger with their quils.
The local farmer says that last year after picking his 30 walnut trees he left the walnuts out overnight in a large pile and the next morning they had all gone - devoured en masse by the istrice. If he's right there must either be one heck of a lot of them or they are absolute gluttons. He also said that you are more likely to hear their grunts than see them - such is the in depth knowledge of the locals imparted to 'we' foreigners. The offer to come down at dawn and shoot them has been politely declined - I think that we and the istrice will get on just fine now that I know not to plant out too many tasty morsels.
Thankfully,the Rimadyl anti-inflammatory tablets work quickly and have no side effects so Digby's leg should be back to normal within a few days . He does however get tired quickly. Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are prone to hip problems and I fear that Digby is getting to an age where sore legs and hind quarters are likely to become more frequent.