Most of our Italian neighbours don’t start painting until early June so we get a jump on them when the first of the nice days come like today. When I was working we got a man in to do the work but now it seems the worksheet gets handed to me and unfortunately today it was not painting outside but inside on the enclosed veranda doing the underside of the brick arches that top the windows. Not a nice task as Italian paint I find is runny even before most Italians add an equal amount of water to the brew. So when painting under an arch the paint runs down the brush down your hand and down your arm . For obvious reasons I started to hum this tune
The first show my mother took me to see was a matinee performance of the Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London with Flanagan and Allen and the rest of the troupe. It was in about 1956 and I remember little of it though I kept the programme for years. The only thing I recall was at the start of the show a guy walked across the stage holding a twig and the act stopped while he walked past and then continue without comment. This happened during most of the acts except the twig grew each time and eventually during the last act he dragged across a whole tree still with no comment from the act on stage ! Bud Flanagan of course sang the Dad’s Army theme for a fee of 100 guineas in 1968. Who remembers those ?
I was allowed a break to walk in the sunshine this afternoon . This is the type of road I walk on
Click to enlarge if you like. The walls are all handmade and just watching the guys making them is exhausting . I will do a post on wall making at a later date as several of the guys in the local bar are wall builders. There are various E.U. grants for keeping these walls in good nick and so work for the good builders is regular and better now that the E.U. have finally after many many years woken up to requiring proof that the wall they paid for (actually that’s you and me folks as Mrs Thatcher always said governments don’t have money) was actually done. Doesn’t take those boys in Brussels long does it.
Now one of the beauties of living in Puglia is the way the Italians bring their sense of design to the simplest of tasks. They all seem to have an innate feel for how things should look.
Take pruning. An easy task you would think grab a saw and attack the tree with a certain amount of gusto. Once you have severed a suitable amount of limbs and are feeling better about it gather up the debris and chuck it in a suitable corner of the garden and either use it for firewood at a later date or if you are like me forget all about it and trip over it a year or so later or break the strimmer on it in the long grass. Not the Italian gardener he leaves it like this
Twigs bound beautifully and ready for the outside oven in the summer and the branches cut just so and stacked for winter. Makes you sick doesn’t it !!
How about a walking song
I was reading this morning that Mario Monti could possibly go into history the way Heinrich Bruning did. Who was he you might be thinking as I did. So mindful of the philosopher George Santayana who wrote in his Life of Reason in 1905 “Those who are unaware of History are destined to make the same mistakes ” ( Pay attention young Tony Blair at the back of the class). I looked him up. He was the Chancellor of Germany in 1930-32 and introduced a series of tax rises, welfare cuts and price inflation that further crippled an already troubled German economy. Further Bruning did not have the support of the Reichstag so introduced them through a series of backdoor Presidential decrees . He himself called this style of ruling ” Authoritative Democracy” . Don’t you just love it. Don’t tell Brussels they will want to use the term themselves . Anyway the downside was a big one. The measures were so unpopular and so ruinous to the economy that within two years one Adolf Hitler had gained power and had become Chancellor. The rest as they say really is History.