Saturday, 28 February 2009

Italy - all is forgiven.

Overnight the seasons have changed. We've moved from the most horrible damp, windy, bitter winter into an idyllic spring. I'm sitting here - it's already 13 degrees, the birds are singing and the boyz have returned from their walk with their paws free of mud. It makes you remember why Italy is so magical - the trees are all suddenly bursting into bud, the light has changed from a cold harsh northern glare into a soft shimmering miasma, and the countryside is turning from brown into emerald green. Please disregard all my previous grumpy posts -put them down to seasonal factors. I could even forgive ENEL the electricity company!

The jobs for the coming week entail getting out all the tables and furniture in readiness for the summer ( we largely live outside between April and October ), airing the guest rooms ( it's amazing how popular you become in the summer ) and thinking about shade rather than fighting the cold. For the two boyz this is the perfect time of the year - not too cold , not too hot.

On a more serious note the sharp contraction in US GDP yesterday ( down 6.2% in the fourth quarter of 2008 ) points to a nasty, brutish and severe recession that will be mercifully short in duration. The alternative would have been a long slow gradual Japanese style downturn that would last a decade and leave every corner of the economy in turmoil. Despite the gloom there is a silver lining - with such rapid declines taking place it's possible the worst will be over in four or five months and a gradual recovery can begin. It's stillpretty scary living through the sort of downturn we never thought our generation would see.

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