Archive for February, 2009

Italian population

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The Institute of Statistics estimates that in 2008 the population of Italy will have passed the 60 million mark. With low birth rates among Italians migration has played a major part in Italy reaching this total. Obiously, Bill and I are happy to have helped the country reach this milestone.

It also has helped that the fertility rate among immigrants is higher than that of the local population. Going against the tide once we have maintained our fertility levels well below that of the local population.

Schools in San Giorgio

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Last Friday there was a town meeting to discuss the future of the schools in San Giorgio. Currently there is a primary and an intermediate school. Falling pupil numbers have raised concerns about the viability of both schools. Piagge the nearest town has a primary school with even lower pupil numbers than San Giorgio. Proposals to combine the schools have been made in the past and are being made again but coming to a decision is problematic as no village wants to give up its school and so feel moribund.

One proposed solution was to have the first three years of primary school at Piagge and to have years 4 and 5 of primary and the first three years of Intermediate at San Giorgio. This, to me, rather obvious solution was not immediately adopted. Infact, suggestions were made that a new school, half way between the two villages should be built. No thought about finance requirements in this solution, only emotional reasons.

The problem is further complicated by the fact that both towns come under different educational boards. This administrative issue would have to be resolved before the idea of a San Giorgio/Piagge merger could go ahead.

Forget Rio!

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009


Today was carnival day in San Giorgio. The theme of this year’s parade was Ancient Rome. The floats were inspired by the civilisations of Rome, Egypt and Barbarian i.e. vikings. Local schools and groups provided plenty of colour and pagentry for the occasion.


Under 16s football

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I have begun to give some English lessons to a few 15 year olds. They are keen footballers and play for the “San Giorgio Allievi”  (the under 16s). Two weeks ago they celebrated their first victory and first 3 points of the season. However, the one swallow didn’t make a Summer and last week they returned to form losing 10-0 to San Andrea. Their 3 points puts them at the bottom of the league. Perhaps the English lessons are having an effect and they are realising that it’s not the winning that’s important but taking part.

New floors

Friday, February 20th, 2009
old floor new floor

Over the last couple of weeks we have been living in dust and chaos as a new floor is being laid in the oldest part of the house. The old tiles will be recycled and used to create pathways in the garden.

I may be some time!

Friday, February 20th, 2009

bill in the snow

Two days ago we had snow again in San Giorgio. Another winter wonderland. It did not stop the intrepid Englishman who went for his”three times a week” 5 km walk.

For those of us who do not take 5 km walks it was possible to stand at the back door and watch the birds eating the remaining olives on the tree. It was possible until a hawk swooped down and tried to grab a bird. It missed but the birds decided to find somewhere safer.

p.s. just to the right of Bill you can see part of a modern sculpture presented to us last year by up and coming artist “Mike Asente & son”.

Olive pruning

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

bill pruning olives

After falling from the ladder in October while collecting the olives I have been relegated to the role of “official photographer” for the start of the olive pruning season. Last year we did a superficial prune but this year Bill is going to prune hard. He has bought a long handled saw and a flat cap to ensure he does a good job.

English conversation

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

roberta and federica

We normally meet Federica (telephone sales) and Roberta (English teacher) on Friday at 6.00 for an hour’s English conversation. They both use English at work and had wanted an opportunity to talk with native speakers. What started out as an “English Conversation Class” has become a very pleasant way to wile away an hour or so over a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a chat.

This week Friday wasn’t possible so we met on Saturday afternoon and they took us for afternoon tea in the Caffe del Pasticciere in Fano. It is just outside the centre of Fano in the middle of a small group of shops. The area is a bit unprepossessing but the cafe itself is very elegant and it is famous in Fano for its cakes. We ordered our coffees and teas and then went to select our pastries and biscuits. When we returned the drinks had arrived but also plates of biscuits, which, unknown to us, are given out with the drinks. Two minutes later the pastries and biscuits we had ordered also arrived at the table. It seemed a lot of food and we  didn’t think we would be able to eat them all. But somehow we managed most of them.

Snow in SG di P

Friday, February 13th, 2009

snow in san giorgio

Having managed to avoid the horrible weather in the north and south of Italy the snow finally arrived. It’s just a sprinkling of snow and so no need to call out the snow ploughs.

Cooking diploma

Sunday, February 8th, 2009
cooking diploma Saturday night was Diploma night in San Giorgio. All those who had attended the cookery course were awarded a diploma with the mayor, Federico, receiving an honory diploma. Family and friends came along to enjoy the event. All the diploma holders had brought food and so after the presentation dinner was served to about 80 hungry Italians. Most of the food was cold with various types of pizzas and sandwiches with lots of desserts but at the mention of hot crepes being served there was a defininte buzz in the place. After dinner drinks took the form of an interesting liquor made from gin, lemon and celerey.