Friday, 24 February 2017

New friends in da crib

Stripey...the previously homed
I have two homeless cats living in my garden. One of them had a home previously I think because he is so docile and affectionate and appears to have been neutered. The other was a nervous bag of bones that turned up last summer. I couldn't go near him at first. Now he is the fattest-cheeked boy I have ever seen. Every time he sees me he rolls at my feet. Asking for a cuddle, for a tickle or a tick removal.

It is a nightmare really. I can barely afford my own girls but I can't turn my back on the two boys, it just isn't in my nature.

Fat-cheeks...once skin and bone

Anyway over the winter I decided to build them an outdoor enclosure out of some plastic sheets, an old crate box and discarded fleecy jumpers. Well, you can guess who has taken to street laydee Three Paw, of course. I don't know if it is nostalgia or instinct but she loves a good lounge in that crib.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Beware of Italians bearing gifts

Franco the barber keeps on giving me lamplight pens. I am not sure if it is because (a) he knows of my writing aspirations or (b) he just thinks I am very lost and in need of some light. Today he ambushed me outside the village delicatessen - Cose Ti Piace - around dusk. He shone the pen at me and said "Joanna, sei illuminata." Then he insisted I take the pen before puckering up for a kiss. I really prefer to save the lips for people I am in love with ( or at least mildly like) so I went for each cheek instead. He then turned to the man working in the deli and gave him the thumbs up. I suspect their are wagers afoot in this little hamlet that I know nothing about.

Sunday, 12 February 2017


From my town I can see another smaller hilltop village called Cigoli. Whenever I see the name I think of Istanbul and the ├žig kofte you can eat there. There is no connection between the two of them except in my brain I suppose but I have been feeling for a while that I really ought visit my neighbour if only to look back upon my own home.

Trouble is up until recently I thought the only way to get there was to walk down my hilltop then along a bitumen road that makes regular mincemeat out of cyclists and then up another hilltop. It wasn't even the mincemeat that was putting me off. It was the hills, oh the hills ( although the Woodlander has very kindly lent me a safety jacket so at least now when I climb the hilltop at night I will glow like a bobbing cigarette butt right up to the top.)

Anyway you can imagine my delight when I discovered  that the two villages actually rest on the same hill spine and I can actually walk a back road which follows this very spine. Yes there are still undulations but only little ups and little downs and I have discovered that on a Sunday afternoon it is where everyone seems to walk. And friendly folk too. Full of smiles and nodding bald heads which I appreciate very much.

Olive grove on my jaunt

Blurry shot of snowy mountains - not wine induced just a cheap camera


Enjoying a tipple on the road