Archive for April, 2011

Powerful in the Ass

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

logo for the group powerful in the ass Yesterday we were asked what the phrase “powerful in the ass” means. As we had no idea what it meant we asked where the phrase came from. It is, it turns out, the name of a group from Piagge (next village to San Giorgio) and they will be playing at a festival in San Giorgio in early May.

Searched the internet to see if the phrase “powerful in the ass” had some new meaning that had passed us by and instead found that the group are on “myspace” and it includes some of their music. They sound good.  Most of the tracks are in English and the English is very good – wish my Italian was as good. If you want to hear the tracks click here.

group powerful in the ass

Roscoe-Thompson-Wood effect: Easter lunch.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

easter lunch

Easter lunch is a family affair in Italy. This year we invited Pam and John (Roscoe), Pam and Michael (Wood) and Elizabeth (Thompson from Cabernardi). The picture is the table after the guests had departed.

We had hoped to eat outside but the weather was cool and cloudy. However, we did manage to down a couple of bottles of prosecco out on the terrace but had to move inside for a delicious lunch of Pasta with courgettes, ricotta and mint, followed by apricot stuffed boned chicken, greenbean and chickpea salad and finished off with home made apple pie.

Everyone seemed to have a good time and no-one seemed to mind looking at the mounting mass of dirty pots, dishes etc, as the meal progressed.

First heat wave

Monday, April 11th, 2011
red tulips yellow tulips

In the last few days we have had our first heat wave of the year. The temperatures during the day went up to 30 degrees C (82 degrees F). This is the hottest April temperatures in 100 years and there were even reports of italians swimming in the sea at Torrette.

However, the next few days should see the return to seasonal norms and even some more rain.

In the garden a few days of warm weather means the clay soil is already beginning to crack on the surface. However, it remains damp underneath and everything is shooting up. The daffodils are finished, the tulips are in their prime and most things, including the grasses that Bill planted last year, seem to have survived the winter.

Extra tax

Thursday, April 7th, 2011


Mr Berlusconi often says that Italians are heavily taxed and that he will not add to the burden. So some months ago they announced that there would be a tax of 1 euro on every cinema ticket. In recent years he number of people going to the cinema has been increasing and we have been regularly adding to the number. So putting the ticket price up from 7.50 to 8.50 wasn’t welcomed by the cinema owners or by us. The extra euro was to go towards supporting the Italian film industry.

However, before the new increase became law there was a lot of protest from cultural bodies about the lack of government funding for spending on culture – buildings, art, music etc. In fact over recent years, and despite governments saying how important culture was to the tourist industry, the budget for the Ministry of Culture had been steadily cut. To show that it took culture seriously the Government decide to increase the budget. It did so by scrapping the idea of a tax on cinema tickets and instead put extra tax on petrol. A government spokesman said that he thought Italians would be happy to absorb the increase as it was in  good cause.

So now getting into the cinemas stays as before but not the cost of getting there.

Modem trouble resolved without Marizio’s help.

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

John and Pam Roscoe have returned to San Giorgio for a few weeks. In bringing them up to date with events in our busy lives I mentioned the problem we had had with the modem/router. Later in the evening John said that he had tried to get onto the internet but had failed. It seemed that he the same problems we had had and so I offered to bring my now fully funtioning modem across to him and if we couldn’t connect to the internet then it was definitely a problem with the telephone line.

The next day I took my modem, cables and laptop across to John and Pam’s house, plugged in the power cable and finally the phone cable from the modem to the Telecomm splitter on the wall. Just before I switched on the laptop John exclaimed “Oh no! I hadn’t put the phone cable in. No wonder I couldn’t connect to the internet”. And so after a couple of minutes John was connected up, the internet was available and Pam and I were enjoying looking at each other and smirking.

Is there an excuse for John. Could it be because he is Scottish or because he was tired after driving from England for two days?

Thank you Marzio from Trony

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

trony sign

Our internet had been down for over a week.

One morning I tried to make a phonecall but the phone was dead. A few minutes later it was working again. However, when we tried to get on the internet we failed. We contacted Telecomm who said there was a fault on the line and that it would soon be repaired. However, even after the repair the system didn’t work and so we went to Trony near Fano to buy a new router/modem. When we plugged it in we still couldn’t connect to the internet. We spoke to Telecomm again who sent a couple of engineers to investigate. They could get a signal on their modem to show that adsl was working but couldn’t get through to the internet. One of them went to the local exchange and did something and using their modem google appeared. However, when we tried our new modem no connection was possible. They suggested we return to Trony to change the modem.

When we arrived at Trony I spoke to Marzio who had sold me the modem. He was sceptical about the modem not working and asked if it had been installed correctly. I stammered something about “plug and play” at which he smiled and said that the modems needed to be activated and showed me the instruction sheet that came with the modem. I had misunderstood the instructions (even though they were in English) and so Marzio linked my modem to a computer in the store and went through the setting up prodedure. Having gone through the procedure he asked if I had someone to install it at home. I replied that now I knew what I was doing I could manage. He smiled gently and said that as he had the modem linked to the computer already he might as well activate it for wireless internet access. Within a few minutes it was done and when I returned home I plugged in the modem and here we are back on the internet. What great customer care from Marzio.