Archive for March, 2012

Today the field, tomorrow San Giorgio

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

fire in the field

We have, sorry had, masses of cuttings to get rid off. I had arranged for the commune to come and take some away but they limit this to 2 cubic metres and we had much more. So this afternoon, noticing that our neighbour Sanzio, was buring some stuff, I decided to do likewise. Going into the unused field next to our garden, I set fire to a small piece of fire lighter and added a couple of small pieces of dried cuttings and watched in horror as it began to spread quicker than I was expecting, much quicker than I was expecting and in all directions. Bill and Sanzio responded to my calls for help . Bill arrived with a hose which allowed us to put out the fire but not before it had burn all of the cuttings and about a quarter of the field.

Bill made the quip “today the field, tomorrow San Giorgio”. I didn’t laugh, I just felt stupid.

English class lunch

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

 english class lunch

The English class had been planning a lunch for before Christmas but it was difficult to find a date suitable to everyone. So it was decided to postpone it until after Christmas but then the snow came and it was cancelled again. Finally, the event happened last Sunday (18th March). This time we went to Stacciola. We had a great lunch. Real nice starters and very good pasta. Needless to say we ate too much. There were 5 different starters, followed by 2 different pastas, followed by roast meats, chips, vegetables and all rounded off with very rich, creamy desserts and coffee. Everyone had a good time.

English flowed like wine and hardly a word of Italian was heard.

I am very lucky to  have such a great class. We always have a good time whether in the class or on social occasions.  In the class we work our way through books from the Oxford Bookworm Series. We started on level 1 and are now on level 4. On Sunday Germana said that she had started to read the early books again and was surprised how simple they seemed. So even if they sometimes think they are not making much progress it is not true especially when we consider that it is only 90 minutes per week.

One of these three paragraphs is false, the other two are true.

St Patrick’s Day

Friday, March 16th, 2012

st patrick’s day

Here in Italy the television equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing is a programme of over 3 hours every Saturday evening. It seems impossible for Italians to take a programme or event from abroad and keep it to a reasonable length. They really believe in milking events. The same is true for St Patrick’s Day which instead of being celebrated on one day in Urbino is now being given the 5 day treatment. We have opted not to go but we know some friends who are planning to go and we will look forward to a report particularly on the quality of the irish stew.

Our Hedge

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

hedge after snow
After the snow we have had to cut back our hedge. What had been a 6ft hight dense green hedge is now in places a 2 ft high, patchy excuse for a hedge. Having started with the hedge we  are now working on the olive trees and they are being well and truly chopped. However, no doubt they will all spring back.

Preparing for exams

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

 saint for exams


On a Thursday Luca comes to me for an English lesson. He told me last week that he probably wouldn’t be coming this week as his class are celebrating the 100 days before the beginning of their maturita- the Italian equivalent of A levels. This celebration has become very popular among students. Checking on the internet I saw that some students in other parts of Italy have decided to go on a pilgrimage and pray to Saint Espedito the patron saint for Exams. Not so the students from Lucs’s class in Urbino.


Wednesday evening they will have gone to a disco in Riccione. There, about 2000 students will dance the night away until the small hours when a bus will take them back to Urbino so they can go to school. Luca thinks that when he eventually gets back to San Giorgio he will be too tired for English.


The Riccione tourist board is promoting the town as an ideal place to prepare for the exams:



Riccione is the ideal place for young people who want to celebrate their 100 days to the exams. There are many hotels that offer specials rates including entrance into the best discos on the Adriatic Riviera. It is the land of the best and most innovative pubs, clubs and restaurants in the whole of Italy. Riccione is the “in” city and is full of the most trendy shops and boutiques. A real paradise for those young people who need to get away from their routine lives and to have a great time with their friends.

Agathe Christie – finished at last

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

murder in the vicarage

Some months ago, or was it year,  certainly ages ago we, Bill, Federica, Roberta and I, decided to start reading Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. Bill and I try and meet Federica and Roberta every week for some English conversation. One day they asked if it would be possible to start reading a book. So I thought we could start with an Agatha Christie story as the English shouldn’t be too complex and the books are not too long. In fact the book is longer than I remember and the English is more complex as she uses lots of idioms. However, last Friday the 9th March we finally finished the book and discovered who the murderer was (it wasn’t the butler). We were so pleased to “finally” finish it. We are now moving onto another book but have decided to opt for a book of short stories by Alice Munro, a modern Canadian writer and apparently one of the best short story writers of all time. She awaits our judgement.