Thursday, 29 January 2009

Any Day Now. Perhaps.

Well, the three months are up and it's time to have the blood tests again. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and got the prescription. So I could have gone yesterday, done the tests and then gone to the nearest bar and knocked back five Negroni. However because in my awful Protestant way I believe deferred gratification to be good for you and being almost certainly deranged because of profound alcohol deficit syndrome (PADS) I will not go for the tests this week which means even more days off the sauce. I am of course presuming that everything is tickety-boo with regard to the liver. If it is shot to bits even after all this abstention then it's time for the pearl-handled Beretta.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Bring me the head of Ron Combo!

The local village bar where, finally and rightly, the name Combo is treated with the respect and veneration it patently merits is I think a still life of lower Piedmont history. Completely retro, it has long-forgotten bottles of obscure drinks behind the bar and long-forgotten customers gently snoring and dribbling in the corner. It not only keeps the local, ancient populace in a Marsala-induced vegetative state but it also sells newspapers and magazines, Sellotape, pastries, lottery tickets, plastic identity card holders, cigarettes, stamps and sweets that, pleasingly, are still kept in big glass jars on old shelves backed by mirrors that lost much of their silvering sometime in the 19th century.
And being in hunting country it is also stuffed with dead beasts and birds of every species.
I have a concern that if I do not give the owner's daughter a decent mark this year, I may be joining Matey here.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

That's more like it!

It's all changed now at the local hilltop village bar (posts passim). Where once I was treated with that special brand of undisguised contempt reserved for people who haven't been using it daily for at least 25 years, the local peasants are now prostrating themselves as I sweep in.
The reason? I am now teaching the owner's daughter at the senior school in the town. Therefore I am responsible for giving her some form of academic evaluation both at the end of February and then again at the end of the school year.
"Good morning professore! May I offer thee a coffee?"
"Ah professore, which newspaper will thou be buying this morning? Ah, La Stampa. An excellent choice professore, if I may say so and one admirably suited to your clinical Anglo-Saxon view of our miserable, benighted country which does not merit the services of one such as yourself."
"Goodbye, professore, may I wish thee many good things especially with regard to your valuable work teaching our worthless children who only want to play on the computer, the ungrateful wretches."
That's more like it.

Thursday, 8 January 2009


Popped up to the idyllic local hilltop village for a 'paper and a coffee this morning, although 'to pop' may not be the best verb in the circumstances; another 24 hour's worth of snow made it a lonely trip. Just me and the odd snowplough. All rendered easy of course by my 19 year old Sisley Special Edition Designer 4x4 Panda. You know it's a Special Edition because it's got a bloke in a canoe painted on the side. That's it in the picture above by the way. I love my Panda.
Hilltop village wasn't so idyllic 'though, what with all that freezing fog.
Only another 23 days to go. Please God, make it go quickly.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

A Very Cold Night

The sharpest frost I have ever seen.

The frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind...
Whether the eaves drop fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining...
Coleridge, 'Frost at Midnight"

Come, lovely Morning, rich in frost
On iron, wood and glass.
W.H. Davies, 'Silver Hours'

Friday, 2 January 2009

Christmas Day Evening

Just found this photograph from Christmas Day evening at Giulio's. Had worse.

Giulio was looking pretty sharp too.

Mamma mia. And this was the third, and final, party of the evening following a gut-busting family lunch which finished at around 5pm.
Some serious wagon action is called for, for January.