Archive for February, 2012

How many more pictures of San Giorgio in the snow can you take?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
sg in snow by night sg main street by day
sg main street with cars under snow sg in snow back of house

With San Giorgio full of snow we cannot go anywhere and so all we can do is take some more photos. The romantic view of SG under snow by night was taken by Massimo De Cerreto. The other more prosaic photos were taken by me and show the main street followed by another of the main street where the igloo shapes are people’s cars and finally the back of our house where we are waiting for the snow to be cleared so we can start to think about getting the car, still under snow, out.

Still it snows

Sunday, February 12th, 2012
snow in sg bill digging snow in sg feb 12

Having managed to survive a few days of snow things were looking brighter. Thursday was a beautiful sunny day and in the evening we had gone to the cinema and driving home there was no hint that snow was on the way. However, early Friday morning it began to snow and it snowed all day Saturday and is continuing into Sunday. Once again we have had to dig our way out a couple more times and the funside of digging through the snow has long since gone.

The sad thing is that a couple of the branches of the old olive tree behind the house have broken. This provided welcome shade in the summer and partially hid an electric pylon. But the weight of snow proved too much and so we can only hope that the legendary capacity of the olive tree to come back is true.

snow in sg feb 12

A break at the cinema

Sunday, February 12th, 2012


After surviving the snow we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day on Thursday. We decided to celebrate by going to the cinema and opted for the 3D movie Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese. It  has been nominated for 11 oscars and so we were expecting great things. Most of the reviews had been ecstatic. However, we both found the film too long and rather boring. Couldn’t understand how it was being nominated for so many oscars although some of the 3D effects were outstanding. We can’t even blame the italian as the dialogue was pretty simple and easy to follow. So 22 euros wasted.

When we left the cinema there was no snow and we thought the weather forecasts of heavy snow for the next couple of days were wrong. Oh, no they weren’t!

Fun in the snow

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

bill and terry in snow sg feb 2012
Here is a happy picture of Bill and I after some time spent shoveling the snow. Happy days. Today Tuesday the 7th we haven’t had any snow. We decided to take the car out and drove to Orciano for a coffee. With the winter tyres we managed to get to Orciano and “almost” back with no problem. At the last little ascent before our house we were making good progress and for reasons, known only to himself, Bill decided to  move into second gear and the car lost grip and wheels began spinning uselessly in the snow. We backed the car down the slope and tried again. No success. No grip. And so we spent the next 30 minutes putting on the snow chains. This is a pain in the best of conditions but in the snow, on a slope it, is a real pain. But once they were on we went straight forward and parked the car easily.

Needless to say the smiling picture of us was taken before we went for a coffee in Orciano.

Snow continues in San Giorgio

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
snow in sg snow in sg
snow in sg snow in sg

Some more photos of San Giorgio under snow. The main street has been kept passable and Bill continues the “animaliterian work” of keeping the birds fed.

Days of the Merla or how the whitebird became black

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

The last few days in January are called the days of the Merlo or Blackbird. According to legend the blackbird  was originally white but when the cold weather arrived at the end of January the whitebird and family decided to take up residence in a chimney until the cold weather passed. After 3 days things improved but when they came out of the chimney they were covered with soot and they have remained (at least the males) black ever since.

This year the Days of the Merla have begun in February with the snow. Here in san Giorgio they haven’t seen snow like it since 1985. One of the good things about snow is that people talk about it and we have discovered a local saying:

“Sotto la neve pane, sotto la pioggia fame”  Under the snow bread, under the rain hunger”

Having snow in winter means that insects and diseases that damage the plants are killed and so a good harvest can be expected. However, if it only rains in winter the insects and diseases can survive to damage the plants and bring a poor harvest.

One other local saying, which has nothing to do with the snow, is:  “Meglio un morto in casa che un Marchigiano alla porta” i.e. better a death in the family than a Marchigiano (native of the Marche) at the door. This saying goes back to the days when the Marche was part of the Papal States and many people from the Marche found work as tax collectors, never the most popular of people.

Snow in San Giorgio

Friday, February 3rd, 2012
snow in sg snow in sg
snow in sg snow in sg

Views from the back of the house.

After a few days warning the snow arrived in San Giorgio on Wednesday. On Tuesday we had decided to go to the supermarket to stock up and they had snowboots on sale. We decided no to buy as the snow may not come to anything. Mistake. On Wednesday evening it started and we cancelled the English class. We have had snow on Thursday and Friday with more promised. Only being at 201 metres asl we have got off relatively lightly. Further inland they are talking of snow falls up to 4ft. We have some bird feeder in the garden and Bill has been keeping them filled up which has meant the garden has been like an aviary.