The strange droppings that have been appearing in the driveway over the last month or so belong to a polecat. I thought these animals only existed in remoter parts of Montana or the north of Scotland but they are apparently native to the whole of Italy. The local farmer has been logging in the valley below and the appearance of humans and machinery has driven a lot of the animals up the hill and towards our little sylvan glade. The good news is that the polecats eat vipers. The bad news is that they produce a strong oily foul smelling secretion from their anal glands to mark their territory. It was this scent that got the boyz up and raring to go this morning. Because of the possibility of snake bites I took them out of the farm gate on leads . However,we had barely gone five yards before Wilf and Digby had detected the pungent odour and found themselves transported to a frenzy of canine delight. Their noses were down at ground level and the two of them were scooting backwards and forwards, entirely lost in a world where they were the hunters and the polecat was the prey. Their little stumpy tails were wagging at that hyper speed that denotes ecstasy in dogs. The two of them are now back ,safe,exhausted and very dishevelled.
The newspapers here have picked up on the venality and sleaze that is emerging from the publication of British MP's expenses.I can't work out whether Italians are shocked that our elected representatives are defrauding the taxpayer or whether they are shocked that the sums involved are so small.