I had a dream, and in my dream I dreamt that the milkman came and delivered several bottles of milk. I heard the glass clink as he put them on the doorstep and I heard the van drive away.
What a pleasant childhood dream I thought when I awoke sometime later knowing of course that there are no milkmen delivering down here in Puglia. In fact do milkmen deliver anywhere these days apart from in the Archers the world’s oldest radio soap ?
It wasn’t until later this morning as I was going out to the bar to collect my Amazon ordered taglia erbe ( strimmer) that I realised that it wasn’t a dream. I had heard the clink of glass but instead of milk the delivery was wine.
there on the step sat 3 litres of white and 6 litres of red. At lunch on Pasquetta I had said to Francesco that I really liked the wines that he had made and brought to the lunch and he had said I’ll drop some off. Now people say lots of things after a few glasses of wine and I thought no more about it but early this morning good to his word he had dropped some off. I’ll let you know what it is like when we attack it over the weekend.
He didn’t deliver it by horse and cart but he was pretty fast going up and down our driveway
ah, Benny Hill and his double entemdre. I am old enough to remember milkmen delivering milk in an horse and cart. Indeed the dare when small was to run between the front and back legs of the horse. I was also given a bucket and spade and told to collect the droppings from the horse for dad’s roses. Heady days though quite quickly the milkman and the baker got electric vans and only the rag and bone man still came around by horse and cart shouting ” any old iron ” .
Unbelievably we have another holiday tomorrow and then another one next Wednesday. now the Italians we know seem to really go at these holidays. they don’t stint plenty of food and plenty of wine , then loads of card games and gallons of beer but even they are staggering a bit . Indeed as most have bridged the week and so aren’t working the bar resembles the inside of a boxing ring in the twelfth round of a fifteen rounder match. The participants look shattered and are swaying and played out. The bar girls acting as seconds try to encourage one last effort with the beer but the bodies are no longer responding . Nobody seems to know what to do tomorrow, they can’t eat yet another huge meal and playing cards has lost all pleasure as has mixing with the same crew for so long.
Only the politicians seem to keep going. Wheel of fortune Renzi is busy defending his tax cuts but has already cut the cuts a little from saving the average Italian €80 a month to now €50 a month and his ” you won’t find any healthcare cuts to pay for them ” has become just a wish not a promise. He intends cutting government to really fund the cuts but the task is enormous. This from Il Messaggero on the size of government in Italy apart from Rome ( which is huge).
” There are the Provincial Councils, which number (5). The municipalities (378). Mountain Communities (23). The unions of municipalities (21). The centers of agricultural development of various kinds (82). The Reclamation (10). The Park Authorities (12) and Board of reserves and protected areas (30). The ATOs (5), and for waste, (5 more). The Industry consortia (5). The Catchment area (1). Local Action Groups for the management of EU funds, (8). Districts social and health (39). Then multiply the above by 20 regions and you begin to get the big picture . However it doesn’t end there how about the Chambers of Commerce (102 in Italy and 70 abroad).The National Agency for Tourism which is flanked by scores of similar regional structures that, for example, in 2013, has spent over 138 thousand euro just buying magazines. Then there are what insiders call “under bodies”, or the dozens of regional and provincial agencies that are there brazenly to just duplicate the efforts of the departments of Environment or Education. And finally, real monuments to waste such as the regional experimental stations for fuels or the amazingly named “Derivatives of citrus fruit ‘ down in Calabria that soaks up money. Then there are finally the Prefectures of the smaller provinces or regions of Molise or the Lilliputian ones like of the Valle D’Aosta that govern just few hundred thousand people. How much does the taxpayer pay for this orgy of departments? Roughly €8.5 billion in 2013. Which is €1 billion more (repeat more) compared to 2012. How they came to spend more with Italy struggling with the most serious financial crisis the last 30 years is a mystery it seems. ”
Italy likes big government, of course, but even Italians are beginning to realise it is unaffordable. But with so much of it and all with vested interests in maintaining the status quo I wish poor Matteo all the best with ridding the country of it.